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EU Conflict Minerals Regulation — Finally Published in the Official Journal!

At long last, the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation was published today in the Official Journal of the European Union.  The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation 2017 (as published) will enter into force 20 days after publication (June 8, 2017) and take effect 1 month after that (July 8, 2017). The effective date is January 2021, but companies would … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals Rule — Will It Stay or Will It Go?

With only 19 days left before the SECs Form SD filing deadline, there is still a lot of talk about consequences of the SECs April 7, 2017 Statement (“April 2017 Statement”).  In that statement, the SEC staff indicated that it would not recommend enforcement action to the Commission if a company that is otherwise required to … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals Report No Longer Required? Wait — Not So Fast

Those hoping for updated SEC guidance that would relieve or reduce companies’ conflict minerals diligence and disclosure obligations for calendar year 2016 got only a fraction of what they wanted. Last Friday, April 7, 2017, the SECs Acting Chair Michael Piwowar issued a statement that said “it is difficult to conceive of a circumstance that … Continue Reading

Final EU Conflict Minerals Regulation – Only the Publication Step Remains

Today, April 3, 2017, the European Council took the last procedural step and approved the EU conflict minerals regulation. Publication in the Official Journal of the European Union will be the next and final step of the process. The publication could occur in 3 to 6 weeks.  Here is the text of the official EU Conflict Minerals … Continue Reading

European Conflict Minerals Regulation — Details On What EU Importers Must Do

The proposed EU conflict minerals regulation has almost reached the last step before becoming an official EU regulation. On March 16, 2017, the European Parliament voted to approve the regulation, and the Council of the EU is expected to formally approve it in the weeks to come.  The Council’s vote will be the last step … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals Rule Legal Challenge — Done and Done

“Hear ye, Hear ye.”  The parties to the legal challenge of the SECs conflict minerals rule have agreed that no further court proceedings are necessary and have requested that the US District Court enter a judgment in accordance with the decisions of the Court of Appeals — that is, that certain elements of the rule violated reporting entities’ First … Continue Reading

Executive Order on Conflict Minerals? Not Yet

You may have read that President Trump signed an executive order repealing or waiving the SEC conflict minerals rule.  Not true — at least not yet.  As of February 14th, no executive order relating to the conflict minerals rule had been signed.  But, a leaked draft of an executive order and rumors about a plan … Continue Reading

Piwowar’s Statement on SECs Conflict Minerals Rule – We Could Have Seen It Coming

In a move that has already been widely reported, on January 31, 2017, the SEC’s Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar issued a statement on the SECs conflict minerals rule, in which he directed the SEC staff to “consider whether the [April] 2014 guidance is still appropriate and whether any additional relief is appropriate in the interim.” … Continue Reading

EU Conflict Minerals Regulation – Where do things stand?

Almost two months after the negotiations of the EU conflict minerals regulation were concluded, there has been some movement towards the end of the European legislative cycle. On January 24, 2017, the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee approved the text of the conflict minerals regulation submitted following the three-way trilogue negotiations that were completed on … Continue Reading

The New EU Conflict Minerals Regulation — Is It Something To Be Thankful For?

Since the US Presidential Election 2 weeks ago, some have been looking forward to a possible repeal of the US conflict minerals rule by a newly-elected Trump Administration. But, the completion of the negotiations on the new EU conflict minerals regulation makes it clear that companies should not slow their due diligence efforts on the … Continue Reading

Budgeting for Conflict Minerals Compliance: Apps and Platforms — Is That All I Need?

As we approach the end of conflict minerals compliance year 4 (with 3 years of reports behind us), companies are budgeting for how they will address conflict minerals in 2017.  Since the SEC rule took effect, supply chain professionals and in-house lawyers have found that compliance is complicated, time-consuming, and still changing because of the … Continue Reading

SEC Conflict Minerals Rule Legal Challenge is Over – But Not For Good

What Just Happened? April 7, 2016 was the deadline for filing a petition for writ of certiorari to the US Supreme Court seeking a review of the court of appeals’ decision on the conflict minerals rule.   The SEC did not file the petition, and Amnesty International (the intervenor in the case) did not make the … Continue Reading

EU Conflict Minerals Regulation — What’s Going On?

Many of you are asking what is happening with the EU conflict minerals regulation, what is the likely timing for adopting the regulation, and what should you do now to prepare. Process — The development of the EU conflict minerals regulation has now entered the final negotiation phase. This phase, known as the “trialogue negotiations,” involves informal meetings between the … Continue Reading

Cobalt and Conflict Minerals — 3TG and C?

Companies and industry groups have been working for over 3 years on investigation and due diligence processes to determine the source and chain of custody of the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) in their products.   But, there could now be pressure to add to the list of conflict minerals.  Compliance Week raised this question last week in … Continue Reading

Resource Extraction Payment Disclosure Rule — You Have More Time To Comment

In a January 21, 2016 release titled Extension of Comment Period for Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers, the Securities and Exchange Commission extended the comment periods for the revised proposed Rule 13q-1 (and the related amendment to Form SD).  That proposed rule relates to the disclosure of payments by resource extraction issuers in connection with the commercial development of … Continue Reading

Slavery and Human Trafficking — How to Build Your Compliance Program

The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2012 (“California Act”) applies to retailers and manufacturers with annual worldwide gross receipts over $100 million that are doing business in California. Those entities are required to disclose (by statements posted on their websites) their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their direct supply chains … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals — For European Companies That Haven’t Started The Process, Here’s How To Build Your Compliance Program

When the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s conflict minerals rule was issued in 2012, US reporting companies (and their suppliers) developed and implemented conflict minerals compliance programs. Companies have continued to enhance and beef up their programs since then. Now, companies should be supplementing their compliance programs to be ready to address the requirements of … Continue Reading

Here We Go Again — New Proposed Resource Extraction Payment Rules

As we discussed in posts on September 3, 2015 and on October 2, 2015, Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required the SEC to issue resource extraction payment rules.  The purpose of those rules was to promote the federal government’s desire for transparency about resource extraction payments made by commercial entities to governments around the world.   The initial … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals Rehearing Denied — Is the Legal Challenge Over?

In a summary order handed down yesterday, November 9, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected the petitions of the SEC and Amnesty International for a rehearing en banc of the Court’s August 2015 opinion (which reaffirmed its prior ruling that a small portion of the Conflict Minerals Rule violates the First Amendment). So, is the … Continue Reading

Move UK Slavery and Human Trafficking Compliance to the Top of Your To-Do List

On October 29, 2015, the UK Government issued Guidance on the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act.  The UK Modern Slavery Act requires many commercial organizations doing business in the UK to post a slavery and human trafficking statement on their homepages.  It is now clear that those businesses (especially those with year-ends on or after March 31, 2016) need to turn their … Continue Reading

EU Conflict Minerals Regulation Not Expected Until Mid-2016 – At the Earliest

We have been watching the EU process for some time, eager to determine when the EU conflict minerals regulation will finally be adopted. A source familiar with the EU Council proceedings has told us about the Council’s next steps, which will determine when the final consensus of the regulation can be expected. The Council of the EU is currently developing its … Continue Reading

SEC Seeks Rehearing in Conflict Minerals Case

October 2, 2015 marked another step in the continuing legal challenge of the conflict minerals rule.  The SEC and Amnesty International filed petitions requesting an en banc rehearing of the April 2014 and the August 2015 D.C. Court of Appeals panel decisions, in an effort to reverse the ruling that struck down portions of the … Continue Reading

SEC Proposes To Vote On Final Resource Extraction Rule By June 27, 2016

In a previous post, we provided a summary of both the maneuverings of the SEC’s resource extraction rule after it was issued and Oxfam’s suit to speed up the SEC’s development of a revised rule after it was vacated.  As a reminder, on September 2, 2015 (nearly a year after the Oxfam case was filed), a federal judge gave the SEC a … Continue Reading
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