Raw materials | Strasbourg, 22 November 2016
EU reaches landmark agreement on conflict minerals regulation
The EU institutions today reached an agreement on the final shape of an EU regulation on conflict minerals, which aims to stop the financing of armed groups in developing countries through the trade of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. The regulation, brokered by the Commission, will ensure that the vast majority of these minerals and metals imported into the EU are sourced responsibly.
"The rules we agreed upon today are a huge step forward in our efforts to stop human rights abuses and armed conflict financed by trade in minerals. I'm convinced that it will have real impact on the ground, for the people suffering from such conflicts. I sincerely hope that the EU model will now set an example for other countries to follow," said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.
Since a political understanding on the core elements of the regulation was reached in June of this year, co-legislators – the Council and the European Parliament - have been working together to finalise the text. The key issue was to define how and when the regulation will apply to EU importers.
In the result of these discussions, the regulation is set to ensure sustainable sourcing for more than 95% of all EU imports of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, which will be covered by due diligence provisions as of 1 January 2021.
In the meantime, the Commission and Member States will work to make sure that the necessary structures are in place to ensure EU-wide implementation.
Accompanying measures to provide support for importers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, will also be deployed. This will be combined with a range of development aid and foreign policy actions to ensure the effectiveness of the regulation, and its positive impact on the ground.
Formally, the regulation will now be adopted by the Council and the European Parliament.