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A regulation on conflict minerals has been on the EU agenda for some time.

In June 2013, a public consultation on a possible initiative on responsible sourcing of minerals originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas came to a close.

In March 2015, a draft regulation was proposed by the EU Commission. Business personnel may have been relieved to discover that the initial proposal was weak only introducing a voluntary system of self-certification for importers of four minerals – tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold (3TG).

There are only approximately 400 importers in the EU. However, the opt-in nature of the proposed regulation is set to change, as is the scope of application. The European Parliament has rejected the Commission’s proposal and backed a much more onerous regulation which would subject a broader range of businesses to mandatory requirements.

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