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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.