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Sustainability // Sustainability

EU minerals regulation reaches final stage of approval

Wednesday, 01 February 2017

On 24th January 2017 the European Parliaments' trade committee approved text of the proposed mineral regulation finalised following the three-way negotiations between the Parliament, Council and Commission completed last november. The regulation will be published after formal adoption of the full Parliament and Council and will enter into force 20 days later, many years after discussions began on this controversial topic. From January 2021 importers, smelters and refiners of tungsten, tin, tantalum and gold (3TG) will have to carry out mandatory due diligence checks in their supply chain, and it is important to note that although intended to control mineral imports potentially affected by conflict and human rights abuses, the list of affected products also includes tin metal and some alloys and articles under customs codes 8001, 8003 00 00, 8007 00 above certain threshold volumes yet to be set. There is no mandatory requirement on downstream metal users, and several NGOs and industry bodies criticise the regulation for its lack of ambition and effectiveness. The Commission is due to recognise existing industry schemes as part of this regulation as long as they fit certain criteria.

ITRI encourages importers of tin ores, concentrates, metals and articles under the listed product codes to examine the new requirements (draft here) and prepare to comply by 2021. The European Commission has announced several measures to help companies in the EU, including help for SMEs (downstream) and more information is available at ITRI.