EU backs draft law to ban conflict minerals

20 May 2015 (Last Updated May 20th, 2015 18:30)

The European Parliament has approved a new draft regulation that requires importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold for manufacturing consumer goods to receive certification from the EU to help prevent conflict mineral imports.

The European Parliament has approved a new draft regulation that requires importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold for manufacturing consumer goods to receive certification from the EU to help prevent conflict mineral imports.

Under the new regulation, expected to affect 880,000 small or medium-sized manufacturers in EU, companies should also provide information on the measures they take to identify and address risks in their supply chains.

Many companies often use items containing conflict materials for laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other consumer electronics, and would be obliged to provide information on their use.

"The materials include those sourced from conflict zones and areas where warlords control the mining and sales of minerals."

The materials include those sourced from conflict zones and areas where warlords control the mining and sales of minerals.

The new draft law applies to all conflict-affected global high-risk areas and it aims to prevent companies from sourcing such minerals from those areas.

Parliament voted by 400 votes to 285, with seven abstentions, requested mandatory compliance for 'all Union importers' sourcing in conflict areas.

The commission was requested to provide financial support to micro-businesses and small and medium-sized firms that look to secure certification through the EU's COSME programme (EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises).

Parliament plans to carry out informal talks with the EU member states in a bid to seek agreement on the final version of the regulation in a vote of 343 votes to 331, with nine abstentions.

Industries such as automotive, electronics, aerospace, packaging, construction, lighting and industrial machinery in EU use the materials tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold in many consumer products.