April 12, 2013 – April 19, 2013
The summaries provided in this Weekly Recap do not necessarily represent the views of Squire Sanders (US) LLP and should not be deemed to be endorsements of them. The Recap is intended to be a compilation of articles and events to encourage discussion within the conflict minerals community and to keep our readers updated on the most recent developments.
Hewlett-Packard Released Its Supply Chain Smelters
In a press release last week, Hewlett-Packard (HP) released a list made up of almost 200 smelters within its supply chain. HP plans on updating the list annually. In its release, HP stated that it “is the first IT company to publish its supply chain smelter list and to have the smelter identification process be independently reviewed.” By releasing its list of smelters in its supply chain, HP hopes to “urg[e] the entire industry to move toward greater utilization of conflict-free smelters and refiners.”
For the complete press release, please see HP Releases List of Supply Chain Smelters.
Cecilia Jamasmie: More Than a Third of U.S. Firms Not Ready for Conflict Minerals Rule
Cecilia Jamasmie, of Mining.com, notes that “[w]ith only about a year remaining until publicly-traded US component manufacturers are forced by law to disclose their usage of conflict minerals to the federal government, more than a third are absolutely unprepared.”
Ms. Jamasmie’s conclusion is based on the results of a poll conducted during an IHS webinar titled “The Clock’s Ticking: How to Comply with the New Conflict Minerals Regulations.” For poll results, see the graphic below.
For more, please see Ms. Jamasmie’s complete article at More Than a Third of U.S. Firms Not Ready for Conflict Minerals Rule.
Compliance Week: Conflict Minerals Rule Compliance Off to a Slow Start
Dynda A. Thomas, leader of Squire Sanders’ conflict minerals team, was recently featured in Compliance Week’s article by Joe Mont titled “Conflict Minerals Rule Compliance Off to a Slow Start”.
Ms. Thomas stressed that the clock is ticking for companies to comply with the conflict minerals rule. “There is very little time, only a few months, to survey your company, assess your products, be in contact with all of your suppliers and give them time to follow up with their suppliers,” stated Ms. Thomas.
In addition, Ms. Thomas discussed the challenges companies are facing in determining whether they are subject to the conflict minerals rule. Specifically, she discussed the difficulty companies are having when they analyze how the conflict minerals rule relates to packaging. If packaging is considered a part of the “product” (like the casing which encloses the working parts of a cell phone), and the packaging contains conflict minerals, then the product would be subject to the conflict minerals rule.
Finally, Ms. Thomas noted the challenges companies may face if other countries adopt their own conflict minerals rules. “Having inconsistent, yet overlapping rules, would create a lot of extra work for companies,” she said.
Others who took part in the article by Joe Mont included, Barbara Kipp, a partner in PwC’s risk assurance services practice and David Lynn, a partner with the law firm Morrison & Foerster. Both stressed the importance of ramping up compliance, but recognized the challenges companies are facing, including leverage over their supply chains and internal resources available to companies.