Gospodarska diplomacija

Diplomacija u službi gospodarstva

Conflict minerals

REGULATION (EU) 2017/821 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 17 May 2017 laying down supply chain due diligence obligations for Union importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas

European Parliament has, by an overwhelming majority, adopted on 16 March 2017 Regulation (EU) 2017/821 laying down supply chain due diligence obligations for Union importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores and gold originating from conflict-affected and high risk areas. This Regulation shall apply from 9 July 2017, with the exception of the provisions referred to in article 20 paragraph 3 which shall apply from 1 January 2021.

The aim of this Regulation is to prevent the financing of armed groups in resource-rich and politically unstable areas such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or in Africa's Great Lakes region where money from the sale of so-called conflict minerals may go to armed groups or criminals.  The so-called conflict minerals, tungsten, tantalum, tin and gold are used in many everyday objects like smartphones, lightning, cars etc.

This new Regulation will oblige importers of tungsten, tantalum, tin and gold to ensure their supply chains do not contribute to armed conflicts or to severe violations of human rights such as child labour, sexual violence, the disappearance of people, forced resettlement. It requires EU companies to ensure they import these minerals and metals from responsible sources only. 

The EU regulation aims to ensure that EU importers of „conflict minerals“ meet international responsible sourcing standards, set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to help break the link between conflict and the illegal exploitation of minerals and to help put an end to the exploitation and abuse of local communities, including mine workers, and support local development.

 

THE OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE NEW EU REGULATION

The proposed regulation establishes binding European supply chain due diligence obligations for importers of raw conflict minerals. All European importers, from refineries to foundries, will be bound by this duty of care, with the exception of very small operations (such as dentists). Due diligence implies that the companies concerned apply supply chain controls in all conflict affected or high-risk areas, in order to identify the risk of funding harmful activities.

The regulation requires importers to follow a five-step framework which the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has laid out in a document called 'Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas' (OECD Guidance).

These steps require an importer to:

1) establish strong company management systems
2) identify and assess risk in the supply chain
3) design and implement a strategy to respond to identified risks
4) carry out an independent third-party audit of supply chain due diligence
5) report annually on supply chain due diligence.

For more details please consult OECD-ov vodič „Due Diligence Guidance: towards conflict-free mineral supply chains“: http://www.oecd.org/daf/inv/mne/EasytoUseGuide_English.pdf

The Member States’ authorities will be responsible for ensuring that companies comply with their obligations, and for imposing penalties where appropriate. Companies which do not import directly from conflict-affected areas but which use minerals in their production processes are asked to report annually, on a voluntary basis, on the due diligence measures they have taken. The Commission will draw up a list of responsible smelters and/or refiners supplying the EU, as well as a guide to conflict and risk areas.

Competent authorities  are responsible for carrying out appropriate ex-post checks in order to ensure that Union importers of minerals or metals comply with the obligations set out in Articles 4 to 7.

Competent authority in Republic of Croatia is:

Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
Export Control Division
Trg N.Š.Zrinskog 7-8
10000 Zagreb

Competent authorities shall lay down the rules applicable to infringements of this Regulation and shall issue a notice of remedial action to be taken by the Union importer under Article 16(3).

More on the Regulation you can find here: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/conflict-minerals-regulation/regulation-explained/

LAW AND SUBORDINATE LEGISLATION