The “Conflict-free” label, while referenced and defined in DFA 1502, does not accurately represent the principle and practice of due diligence as an ongoing process that is expected to be carried out and improved upon over time, where risks incidents are identified, managed, and reported as part of the process.
Companies are still able to use the results of the RMI’s RMAP program to support their United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, “conflict-free” claims, and/or customers’ requests. Smelters and refiners are still required to identify and address direct or indirect support to non-state armed groups and the financing of conflict in the Great Lakes Region as part of the risk identification and assessment process.
However, as was the case under the previous protocols, companies that source from smelters or refiners that are in conformance with the revised standard are not considered automatically in compliance with the SEC Final Rule. Under the SEC Final Rule, additional steps are required for companies to meet SEC reporting requirements: scoping, RCOI, and due diligence.