March 6, 2014 -- As a leading industry initiative on conflict minerals, the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative shares and recognizes the objectives of the proposal on conflict minerals regulations released by the European Commission on March 5, 2014. We agree that companies have a responsibility to make informed choices about conflict minerals in their supply chains and that their sourcing decisions can have an impact on natural resources trade and funding of conflict.
The proposal set forth by the European Commission highlights the importance of the smelter and refiner level of the global metals supply chain. The ability of downstream companies to identify conflict-free smelters and refiners is a key element to support reliable, effective and credible due diligence about the conflict status of materials in companies’ supply chains. Identifying conflict-free smelters and refiners is also a prerequisite for avoiding adverse consequences for legitimate commerce in conflict regions. This focus on smelters and refiners — a “pinch point” in the supply chain — is the basis of the CFSI’s Conflict-Free Smelter Program, one of the most mature conflict minerals due diligence programs existing today in line with international standards such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.
The CFSI is well-positioned to support companies seeking to comply with potential European Union regulations, pending the outcome of the EU’s legislative process. At this time, the CFSI is set up to support due diligence on conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and adjoining countries. Whatever conflict or high-risk regions may be covered by pending EU regulations, strong upstream traceability programs in those regions will be vital to ensure conflict-free sources of materials from those areas are available on the global market.
Director of Communications & Stakeholder Engagement
Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition
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