EU Regulation 2017/821 Supply chain due diligence for minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas

Last updated: 11 October 2022

This EU regulation outlines supply chain due diligence obligations for importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. 

The Regulation aims to prevent revenue from the sale of tin, tantalum and tungsten and their ores, and from the sale of gold from being used to finance armed conflict. Consequently, as of 1 January 2021, EU companies importing any of these commodities from conflict zones and areas deemed to be at high risk of conflict have to comply with a number of due diligence obligations.

Article 5 sets out a list of risk management obligations. These include identifying and assessing the risks in their mineral supply chain, and implementing a strategy to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts. Risk assessments must be combined with the implementation of reporting mechanisms within each company. Article 6 details the obligation to conduct independent third-party audits, which must cover all the companies’ activities, processes and systems used to implement supply chain due diligence for minerals and metals.

The EU Regulation is rooted in the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. This Guidance provides detailed recommendations to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral purchasing decisions and practices. These recommendations were specifically issued to companies operating in the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold industries, but are ultimately designed to cover all minerals and geographic regions.

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