After years of negotiations between the EU Commission, EU Parliament, & the EU Council, and pressure from NGO’s and special interest groups, the European Union agreed on legislation to regulate the usage of 3TG in their member states. The law applies to importers of 3TG into the EU effective January 1, 2021.
The European Union (EU) agreed to outline a deal to facilitate a focus on transparency in the supply chain, specifically the sourcing of conflict minerals. The EU regulation covers the sourcing of conflict minerals from anywhere in the world. The legislation goes further into the geographic scope than U.S. Dodd-Frank legislation (section 1502, finalized in 2012), which only looks into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and adjoining countries. The EU legislation will focus on importers of materials and substances used to make finished products such as cell phones, computers, light bulbs, automotive components, medical devices, and retail accessories.
What Are Conflict Minerals?
Conflict minerals are natural resources that are extracted by armed groups in regions of conflict, which are used to purchase arms and pay combatants thus perpetuating war, violations of international law, mass civilian displacement, food insecurity, and regional instability. The starkest, contemporary example of conflict minerals has been the role played by tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold in the intractable instability of the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa, most notably the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
While these four minerals have been identified as playing a distinct role in this region, they are by no means the only minerals which have perpetuated conflict in the past three decades. In particular, diamonds were central to the conflicts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, and Angola in the 1990s and the early 2000s. More recently, the so-called Islamic State has attempted to bankroll its war machine with proceeds from crude oil.
Nevertheless, for understanding legislation in the United States, and the forthcoming legislation in the European Union, the term conflict minerals currently refers to tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold, which is often abbreviated as “3TG”.
This white paper is a guide to help you understand the EU conflict minerals legislation and how to best position your company for success.
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