Keep Those EICC-GeSI Templates: Don’t Stop Conflict Minerals Compliance Efforts

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Yesterday we reported on the U.S. Appeals Court’s decision to strike down parts of the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule on the basis of free speech infringement – according to the case, the Court held that “[b]y compelling an issuer to confess blood on its hands, the statute interferes with that exercise of freedom of speech under the First Amendment” – but what does this actually mean for U.S. manufacturers?

We’re compiling a sampling of what folks are saying in the conflict minerals compliance space before the ruling is fully parsed.

The Legal EDGE

Michael Littenberg, partner at Schulte, Roth and Zabel LLP (and speaker at our Conflict Minerals EDGE conference last spring) co-writes in his firm’s response to the ruling:

“The SEC may decide to seek further review of the Court’s decision, including by the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. In any case, we expect to have further clarity as to what the Court’s decision means for the Conflict Minerals Rule in the coming days. In the meantime, we recommend that companies continue with their compliance efforts.”

Littenberg goes on to indicate that it may be fruitless to resist the conflict minerals compliance efforts much longer anyway:

“…many larger companies — in a variety of industries, not just electronics — intend to continue implementing their 3TG traceability and responsible sourcing initiatives. This will continue to put pressure on the entire public and private company supply chain to implement their compliance programs as well…customer contracts, purchase orders, vendor codes of conduct and supply chain policies may continue to require the implementation of a 3TG compliance framework.”

Well, In Heim-sight…

In case the SEC does have the last laugh before May 31, our friend Lawrence Heim, director of The Elm Consulting Group International LLC/Elm Sustainability Partners LLC, put together a handy list of “5 Must-Knows” about the SEC’s recently released Q&A, under the following categories:

  • Clarifications of DRC Undeterminable
  • IPSA (Independent Private Sector Audit) Objectives
  • IPSA Scope
  • Timing of Due Diligence Activities in Relation to the Reporting Year
  • Description of the Due Diligence in the CMR

(Check out Lawrence’s full take on the five must-knows.)

Not So NAM-tastic?

Guesting for Lawrence’s firm’s blog, Brink Dickerson, a partner in the Atlanta office of Troutman Sanders, writes, “it is noteworthy that the Court found in favor of the SEC on all of the other points raised by [the National Association of Manufacturers] NAM. As a result, if the SEC finds a work-around on the First Amendment issue, there will be little room for NAM or anyone else to challenge the conflict minerals rules.”

More soon, to be sure.

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