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EU votes to strengthen conflict minerals legislation while America identifies reporting issues

America lead the way with US companies (if they file reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act) required to report on their supply chain purchasing for the first time in 2014. Since reviewing 100 of these submitted conflict minerals reports, Amnesty International have published its findings, Digging for Transparency. Nearly 80% are failing to meet the minimum requirements set out by the U.S. conflict minerals law, with some of America’s biggest corporations among those found to be submitting inadequate information.

However there are growing calls to repeal or amend the US Dodd-Frank Act as there is evidence that “the SEC Dodd-Frank conflicts minerals law has had significant unintended consequences on the Congolese people and has been difficult to comply with.” (Business Law Prof Blog)

In May, the full European parliament will be voting on the proposed conflict minerals legislation and consider the joint statement of recommendations issued by IPC and other associations.

The principle difference between the US Dodd Frank Act and the joint statement is that the former requires companies at the end pf the supply chain (downstream users) to do all the due diligence and trace their mineral supply chain to source while the joint statement recommends “keeping the focus upstream” since “Beyond the pinch point of smelters/refiners, it  becomes exponentially more difficult to identify the origins of metals”.

However it remains the case that while the Dodd Frank Act has no legal standing in the UK, UK companies that supply US companies are finding that they have to perform the due diligence under the Act as a contractual condition.

Tenkay Electronics support the ideals of the existing and proposed Conflict minerals legislation and are committed to ensure that the products they manufacture are free, as far as is reasonably practicable, from conflict minerals.