- Trade topics
- Conflict minerals
In politically unstable areas, armed groups often use forced labour to mine minerals. They then sell those minerals to fund their activities, for example to buy weapons.
These so-called 'conflict minerals', such as tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, can find their way into our mobile phones, cars and jewellery.
A new EU law to stem the trade in conflict minerals
Therefore, the EU passed a new regulation in May 2017 to stop:
- conflict minerals and metals from being exported to the EU;
- global and EU smelters and refiners from using conflict minerals, and;
- mine workers from being abused.
The law also supports the development of local communities.
It requires EU companies to ensure they import these minerals and metals from responsible sources only.
The requirements start to apply on 1 January 2021.
Transparency platform for downstream companies
The Commission will soon release an online platform where downstream companies can voluntarily share information on their due diligence for metals and minerals. The platform is in its final preparatory phase. Stakeholders interested in this process can contact TRADE-RESPONSIBLE-SOURCING@ec.europa.eu for more information.
TRADE/2022/OP/0001 Study to Review the Functioning and Effectiveness of Regulation (EU) 2017/821 (Due Diligence Obligations for Importers of Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten and Gold from Conflict-affected and High-risk Areas)