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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

Resource Extraction Payment Rule — Not Everyone Wants to Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

On September 2, 2015, a federal judge ordered the SEC to file, by October 2, 2015, an “expedited schedule” for issuing the final resource extraction payment rule (which was required by Section 1504 of Dodd-Frank). This order is added to an already complicated setting of: increased regulation from the US, states and other countries requiring … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals’ Conflict Minerals Rule Decision is the Shiny Object – But Don’t Be Distracted

Many lawyers and supply chain managers (and reporters) have focused on the Court of Appeals’ August 18, 2015 decision confirming the court’s prior ruling that the Conflict Minerals Rule violates the First Amendment to the extent that it requires reporting companies to report that any of their products have “not been found to be ‘DRC conflict free.’” … Continue Reading

Supply Chain Policy and Disclosure Leads to Human Trafficking/Slave Labor Litigation

There has been a lot of discussion about the case against Costco relating to its California Transparency in Supply Chains Act disclosure.  Here is the link to the post about the Costco case that I co-wrote for our Global Supply Chain Law Blog .  This case is an example of how supply chain policy and disclosure can lead to litigation.   … Continue Reading

Impact of the Development of the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation

Editorial Note: This article was published on African Law & Business’s website on July 14, 2015. The article can be found at: http://www.africanlawbusiness.com/news/5682-conflict-minerals-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel.   On 20 May 2015, the European Parliament voted to reject the proposal of the European Commission and the Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) for a voluntary system of self-certification for importers … Continue Reading

European Parliament Votes In Favor of Mandatory Certification System for Importers of Conflict Minerals and Disclosure by Downstream Companies

On May 20, the European Parliament voted to reject the proposal of the European Commission and the Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) for a voluntary system of self-certification for importers of conflict minerals into the EU. The amended draft regulation marks a significant departure from the proposed draft regulation, calling for mandatory compliance by … Continue Reading

European Parliament Committee Votes for a Mandatory System for Conflict Minerals Importers

On April 14, the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament (INTA) voted on the amendments to the EU’s conflict minerals regulation that were proposed by its members. The INTA committee adopted an amended report strengthening the system of due diligence for conflict minerals importers that was initially proposed. The MEPs voted in favor of … Continue Reading

European Parliament Debates the Proposed Conflict Minerals Regulation

On March 19, the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament (INTA) met to debate the amendments to the conflict minerals regulation that were proposed by its members. The amendments reflect the views of the political parties that have been expressed in the ongoing discussions in the committee. The debate focused on the question of … Continue Reading

Update on the EU’s Proposed Regulation on Conflict Minerals – Report on February 23 Meeting of INTA Committee

The European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) met on February 23 to discuss their draft report on the proposed regulation on conflict minerals. This meeting followed the public hearing held by the committee in December 2014. The debate opened with the rapporteur, Iuliu Winkler, a Romanian member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the … Continue Reading

EU’s Proposed Regulation on Conflict Minerals – Part II

Editors Note: A prior version of this blog post incorrectly attributed the sentence in bold below. We sincerely apologize for any confusion this may have caused. This version has now been corrected.  Views on the Draft Regulation The draft EU conflict minerals regulation is a voluntary system of certification, which covers imports of the minerals … Continue Reading

EU’s Proposed Regulation on Conflict Minerals – Part I

The European Union (EU) is considering legislation that would regulate the importation of conflict minerals into the EU. The European Commission announced its proposed regulation on March 5, 2014. The draft regulation contains proposals for a voluntary self-certification process for importers of conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold) into the EU from anywhere … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals Rule and Recycling Businesses

For purposes of the conflict minerals rule, conflict minerals that are sourced from recycled or scrap materials are deemed to be “DRC conflict free” and require disclosure only about the inquiry that led the reporting company to conclude that they were from those recycled or scrap sources.  That means that for products whose conflict minerals … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals Rule – Complying With The Rule In The Meantime

Companies are unsure of how to prepare for the year 2 filings while the legal challenge is still pending and there is uncertainty about exactly what the reporting requirements will be when the filing deadline finally arrives. Legal Challenge to the Conflict Minerals Rule In the last few posts, we’ve discussed the legal challenge to the conflict … Continue Reading

Rehearing of NAM v. SEC — Part 3 (Brief of NAM)

As required by the November 18, 2014 order, NAM filed its Supplemental Brief on December 29, 2014, arguing that the April 2014 decision by the Court of Appeals should be upheld and that the product description required by the conflict minerals rule violates the First Amendment.  Brief of NAM NAM argues that the product description required … Continue Reading

Rehearing of NAM v. SEC — Part 2 (Briefs of SEC, Amnesty International, Global Witness and Free Speech for People)

As required by the November 18, 2014 order, the parties in NAM v. SEC filed briefs responding to questions about the First Amendment issue that were posed by the Court of Appeals.  This post summarizes the briefs filed by the parties that want the product description requirements of the conflict minerals rule to be upheld.  … Continue Reading

Rehearing of NAM v. SEC — Part 1 (Background)

The SEC, Amnesty International, Global Witness, Free Speech for People, and the National Association of Manufacturers have all filed their briefs, and we are now waiting for the decision on the rehearing — do portions of the SEC’s conflict minerals rule violate the First Amendment?  What follows is an introduction to what is being considered.  As you may recall, on April … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals Rule Case To Be Reheard

We’ve been waiting for months.  And now, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has granted the SEC’s petition for rehearing of the court’s April 2014 decision that found that certain disclosure requirements of the conflict minerals rule violated the First Amendment.  The parties have been ordered to file supplemental briefs to discuss: The effect of … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals – Motion to Stay DENIED

In a ruling today, May 14, the Court of Appeals denied the emergency motion to stay the Conflict Minerals Rule.  So, companies should complete their analysis and, if necessary, their drafting of Form SDs and Conflict Minerals Reports to be ready to file by the June 2 deadline.  However, remember that on May 2, the SEC issued a partial … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals Legal Challenge — SEC, NAM, Industry Coalition and Amnesty International Briefs Filed

Between May 8 and May 13, briefs on the trade associations’ emergency motion for stay were filed by the SEC, the trade association petitioners, an industry coalition, and Amnesty International.  Two steps remain —   First, the oral argument in American Meat Institute, which is set for May 19.  American Meat Institute is a case involving a First Amendment … Continue Reading

Second Form SD and Conflict Minerals Report Filed

Today, Monday May 12, the second Form SD and Conflict Minerals Report was filed with the SEC by Affymetrix, Inc.  Affymetrix described itself as a “provider of life science products and molecular diagnostic products.”  Consistent with our usual practice, we will not provide a critique of the filing here.  However, it is worth noting that, like … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals — Industry Groups File Motion For Full Stay in Response to SEC Partial Stay

On May 2, the SEC issued a partial stay of the Conflict Minerals Rule.  This partial stay implements the substance of the statement of the Director of Corporation Finance that was released on Tuesday, April 29th.  Our  blog post of April 29th  summarizes the SEC Statement.  As they indicated they would, the trade groups that challenged the Conflict Minerals Rule filed a … Continue Reading

URGENT — SEC Releases Statement on Conflict Minerals Rule

On Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Keith Higgins, the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, released an eagerly awaited statement on the effect of the Court of Appeals decision on the conflict minerals rule.  Two weeks ago, the Court of Appeals found that the conflict minerals rule violated the First Amendment when it required reporting … Continue Reading
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