European lawmakers voted 402 to 118, with 171 abstentions, on Wednesday to require devicemakers that use tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold in their products to certify that the minerals aren’t sourced from certain conflict zones.
The draft law would mandate compliance for all importers sourcing the minerals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other high-risk conflict-affected areas around the world.
Companies that purchase those minerals from importers for use in consumer products would need to file reports detailing the steps they take to address and identify risks related to conflict minerals. The rules could ultimately affect up to 880,000 companies, Parliament says. Small- and medium-sized devicemakers would be able to get financial support to meet the certification requirements under an EU competitiveness program. The conflict minerals program would be reviewed two years after it launches and every three years thereafter.
Parliament also voted 343 to 331, with nine abstentions, to leave the first reading version of the bill open and enter into talks with member states to reach agreement on a final version of the law. No date is set for final adoption.
The law is modeled on 2012 guidance from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and hews closely to a U.S. law that took effect last year requiring firms to publicly disclose use of conflict minerals from the DRC, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Zambia or Angola. — Elizabeth Orr