Author Topic: Congo Conflict Materials  (Read 3409 times)

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Offline sonicj

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Congo Conflict Materials
« on: October 14, 2010, 08:49:00 am »
from element14:
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Something that industry is going to hear more about is the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” which was signed into law by President Obama on 21 July 2010.

The Act includes a raft of measures arising out of the recent financial crisis and runs to 2,300 pages!

Last year there was a bill in the US Senate known as the “Congo Conflict Minerals Act of 2009” which was similar.

The issue has been heavily debated on both sides and has now made it in to the Dodd-Frank Act.

The section on conflict minerals requires that companies, principally US listed, that are Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered disclose annually whether it has used relevant minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an “adjoining country”.

If a company did use conflict minerals from such countries, it will also have to submit a report to the SEC describing how it exercised due diligence on the source and chain of custody of such minerals, including an “independent private sector audit” of such a report, as well as a description of the products manufactured that contain such conflict minerals. This information would have to be made available on the company’s website.

The minerals covered are: columbite-tantalite (coltan), cassiterite, gold, wolf-ramite or their derivatives or any other mineral determined by the Secretary of State.

The electrical products industry has a major use for materials covered by this legislation and many of the components will come from China where one source of the raw materials will be the Congo

National security applications have an exemption limited to 2 years.

It is worth noting that very few of the Act’s provisions take effect immediately. The vast majority require various regulatory agencies to issue implementing regulations with specified periods. The section dealing with conflict minerals refers to regulations being produced not later than 270 days after the Act was passed.

While the SEC has not yet published any posed rules under the Dodd-Frank Act it must promulgate the regulations within approximately 9 months (April 2011).

However, before that they need to publish a draft proposal, possibly in December or January, allowing for public comment. Such periods of review are typically 60 or 90 days.

In the meantime the SEC has started soliciting unofficial public comment through its website.

So the Dodd-Frank Act will create yet another data collection requirement for an industry already struggling to cope with REACH, RoHS and other such legislation.

Premier Farnell has been asking its suppliers for confirmation of use of conflict materials for a while as there is little doubt that customers down the supply chain will seek reassurance that no metals are sourced from the conflict areas or if a product is labelled “conflict mineral free” if it does not contain any of the conflict minerals that directly finance or benefit armed groups in the Congo.

cool, we'll be busy filling out paper work, jumping through hoops &/or trying to decipher thousands of pages of regulations while consumers continue to purchase cheap goods manufactured outside the borders, based solely on price, regardless of material origin.  :-\
-sj
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Congo Conflict Materials
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2010, 04:40:17 pm »
Next time I hear an American complain about RoHS I'll hit him over the head with the 2300 pages Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
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Offline sonicj

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Re: Congo Conflict Materials
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010, 07:27:40 pm »
touché
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Congo Conflict Materials
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2010, 08:25:00 pm »
cool, we'll be busy filling out paper work, jumping through hoops &/or trying to decipher thousands of pages of regulations while consumers continue to purchase cheap goods manufactured outside the borders, based solely on price, regardless of material origin.  :-\

Going from the article you've quoted it will effect imported goods too - the importer will have to ensure that none of the materials in the goods are sourced from the the Congo.

The same is true with RoHS, the products may be made in China but the company importing them has to make sure they comply.

This is also a big problem:
Quote
The electrical products industry has a major use for materials covered by this legislation and many of the components will come from China where one source of the raw materials will be the Congo
The importers will just have to take the Chinese company's word for it, that none of their products contain materials from the Congo.

Another thing is this all breaks down when people start buying from Chinese suppliers on ebay but that isn't normally the case with most goods.
 

Offline sonicj

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Re: Congo Conflict Materials
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2010, 10:40:58 pm »
Going from the article you've quoted it will effect imported goods too - the importer will have to ensure that none of the materials in the goods are sourced from the the Congo.

The same is true with RoHS, the products may be made in China but the company importing them has to make sure they comply.
i haven't read all 2300 pages yet ::) , but according to the article, this looks like it may only apply SEC traded manufacturers. i don't know if it applies to the smaller manufacturers or importers of finished or unfinished goods...  ???

This is also a big problem:
The importers will just have to take the Chinese company's word for it, that none of their products contain materials from the Congo.

Another thing is this all breaks down when people start buying from Chinese suppliers on ebay but that isn't normally the case with most goods.

yup. i guess some sort of certifying authority oversight group will be created to verify compliance and sign-off on some "certified" vendors list. ie: Fair Trade

he said, she said probably won't be enough effort to C.Y.A. if the SEC decides to raid your congo logs.


i'm all for companies doing what they can to ensure their products don't support raping babies in the congo or whatever, but this should be a ethical decision made the company themselves. not a earmark buried in a 2300pg economic reform bill that ultimately becomes a Federal LAW!

heres how i suspect this went down...  someone named ___________ whom has a special place in their heart for the poor people suffering in the congo (or a vested interest in regulating these materials) donates handjobs/money/whatever to congressman ________________.    congressman ___________ likes handjobs/campaign money/etc. and doesn't want to cut off the funding/handjobs/etc provided by ______________, so congressman __________________  pushes for his special interest earmark to be added to the financial reform bill or else he won't vote for it. multiply this times 430 something congressmen, each with own "special interest" agenda, and you have the 2300pg "Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act".

Congratulations America! You're now on your way to economic recovery and you can rest easy knowing that your cellphone wasn't built by raped babies in the congo.  ::)
-sj
 


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