On 1 January 2021 the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation came into force. This regulation aims to stem the trade in four minerals – tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) – which can be linked to the finance of armed conflict or are mined using forced labour. The Regulation is applicable to companies that import a certain amount of 3TG. The European Commission will establish a threshold value to ensure that at least 95% of the total import of 3TG in the EU will be regulated.
The Regulation needs to be implemented in the member states. The Dutch Implementation Act is nearing the final stage of the law making process and will most likely be adopted in the near future. In this Act, the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport) will be appointed as regulator. The regulator will check if the companies that fall under the scope of the Regulation are in compliance. If they are not, the regulator can impose an order subject to a penalty. Of note is that article 4 of the Act determines that if the company does not comply with the order subject to a penalty, the order will be published. Therefore, not complying with the Act may lead to reputational damage.
For more information about the Regulation, please see my post “The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation will soon come into force!”. Do you have questions about the Regulation? Get in touch with our Business and Human Rights practice group!