The European Parliament adopted new rules on mineral imports from conflict zones. These rules follow nearly two and a half years of debate and negotiation. They will enter into force on January 1, 2021 and will apply across all EU member states.
Under the rules, all but the smallest EU importers of tungsten, tantalum, tin and gold must ensure that their supply chains are not linked to armed conflicts, including those in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or in Africa’s Great Lakes region. The drafters incorporated provisions to revise the law to include and exclude certain regions depending on changes in political climate. The “due diligence” requirement aligns with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines and has the potential to change the lives of individuals caught in armed conflict. The reason for the new rules is to attempt to prevent the vicious cycle affecting mineral-rich countries afflicted by conflicts.