21/03/2014 - The European Commission has proposed an integrated EU approach to stop profits from trading minerals being used to fund armed conflicts. The package of measures aims to make it more difficult for armed groups in conflict-affected and high-risk areas to finance their activities through the mining of and trade in minerals. The focus of the approach is to make it easier for companies to source tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold responsibly and to encourage legitimate trading channels.
The legislative component of the initiative proposes a voluntary self-certification system for EU importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold to exercise 'due diligence' by monitoring and administering their purchases and sales in line with the five steps of the .
Professor Roel Nieuwenkamp, Chair of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct, welcomed the new EU initiative, and noted that he looks forward to the on-going legislative process on the draft regulation, bearing in mind the different views of stakeholders. “The European Commission’s use of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance as the standard for responsible mineral sourcing is vital to maintain clarity for business and contribute to a level playing field” he said. “The accompanying measures in the Commission’s communiqué also offer a good basis to promote responsible sourcing of minerals, avoid unintended consequences, and encourage private sector investment and trade in all areas of conflict and high-risk.”
For further information, please contact Professor Roel Nieuwenkamp, Chair of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct (Roel.Nieuwenkamp@minbuza.nl).