CONFLICT MINERALS REPORTING – SECOND ROUND OF Q&A’s RELEASED Reply

On May 31, companies who report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and manufacture products containing conflict minerals will need to submit their disclosures for 2013 to the SEC. With the deadline looming and this being the first reporting year, the SEC issued a second set of conflict minerals Q&A’s last week.

The link to the Q&A’s is located here.

http://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/guidance/conflictminerals-faq.htm

There are 21 Q&A’s in the new document. The newly issued Q&A’s provide:

• further clarification on applicability of the reporting
• the extent to which organizations must investigate and disclose information
• clarification of terms and definitions
• further information on the necessary content of the reporting, audit
qualifications, and requirements and
• clarification of “due diligence”

In August 2012, the SEC issued a final rule on Section 1502 of the 2010 U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act stating that publically-traded companies in the United States must evaluate and disclose their usage of conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, gold, and tungsten) throughout their manufacturing supply chain, track quantities purchased, and report on the origin of these products.

Companies who are not publically-traded are also affected as they need to address these requirements in order to maintain market-share with their customers who are publically traded. They must also be prepared to respond to customer requests regarding conflict minerals usage.

Some companies have been delaying action, anticipating successful attempts by a group of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to repeal all or a portion of the law. Although some progress is being made, nonetheless, most companies still face customer supply chain inquiries and also need to be prepared to respond to meet initial regulatory deadlines.

Many companies are either using or considering using the International Electrotechnical Commission Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IEQC) QC 080000:2012 “Hazardous Substance Process Management System” (HSPM) standard to facilitate incorporating conflict minerals management into existing environmental and quality management systems.

For those companies affected by the Conflict Minerals regulations, the deadline to file a form SD with the SEC is just weeks away. If you require help with your reporting or need further assistance with developing and implementing systems to management conflict minerals and other product related reporting requirements, please contact Julie Muszalski at 508.970.0033 ext.124 or jmuszalski@capaccio.com.

CAPACCIO to present “SEC Conflict Minerals Ruling: Ensuring Compliance and Meeting Customer Demands” at SESHA National ESH Symposium In March Reply

Capaccio Environmental Engineering Inc. (CAPACCIO) will present “SEC Conflict Minerals Ruling: Ensuring Compliance and Meeting Customer Demands” at this year’s Semiconductor Environmental Safety and Health Association (SESHA) ESH Symposium and Exhibition March 18-22 in Long Beach, California. SESHA is the premier international organization which promotes the effective communication of safety, health and environmental information on cutting edge high technology ESH topics to the electronics and related high technology industries.

In August 2012, the SEC adopted a ruling mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that requires publically-traded companies to disclose their use of conflict minerals originating from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or an adjoining country. Conflict minerals, including tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold, are largely found in electronic and semiconductor components. Conducting due diligence and tracing the use of conflict minerals to comply with the ruling will be a substantial undertaking requiring dedicated time, resources, and expertise.

CAPACCIO’s presentation will delve into an overview of the requirements for conflict minerals, how to be prepared to respond to customer surveys inquiring about your supply chain, and ways to identify systems and solutions for streamlining the reporting process. Additionally, effective approaches to incorporating conflict minerals reporting into a sustainability management system or corporate social responsibility program will also be discussed. Although the report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is not due until May 31, 2014, having a plan in place regarding the source and chain of custody of conflict minerals will be of the upmost importance as data will need to be collected for the 2013 reporting year, beginning on January 1.

CAPACCIO has tracked this regulation from the very beginning and has developed a program to assist companies with the conflict minerals process and reporting. For those not attending the SESHA conference, CAPACCIO will be offering a free webinar covering this material in February of 2013. Stay tuned to your email or our website, http://www.capaccio.com, for more information. Subscribe to our EH&S Regulatory and Industrial News blog to receive immediate notification of this webinar and other important news items: http://news.capaccio.com.

For more information on conflict minerals, please contact Julie Muszalski at jmuszalski@capaccio.com or 508.970.0033 ext. 124.

“RoHS Recast” New Directive Reply

On July 1st 2011, an updated version of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  EU member states have 18 months to enact the new directive into local law.  DIRECTIVE 2011/65/EU termed the “RoHS Recast” has a number of changes that could affect manufacturing in the United States.  The most impactful change is that the updated version of RoHS now includes electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) that was previously outside the scope of the directive.  The RoHS Directive will now include Medical Devices and Monitoring and Control Instruments. 

Manufacturers of these types of EEE will have 3 years to come into compliance with the changes to the directive.   The RoHS recast will also require manufacturers to draw up a declaration of conformity and affix the CE mark to their products in order to demonstrate compliance.  There has also been a number of changes regarding exemptions.  There is now a process for applying for an exemption to the directive.  All exemptions will expire and the manufacturer will need to reapply for the exemptions 18 months prior to expiration. 

The recast did not add additional substances to the banned list, although the recast requires a review of the substances within three years.  The current banned substances are; Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, Polybrominated Biphenyls, and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers.  It is important for companies to start thinking about how these changes are going affect the importation of EEE into the EU.  Companies will also need to be able to demonstrate that they are in compliance with the directive at the member state level. If you have any questions about the RoHS Recast please contact Travis Wheeler at 508.970.0033 ext. 115 or twheeler@capaccio.com.