From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

The deadline for filing the CY2016 SEC conflict minerals disclosure has now passed, although there are likely to be a few late filers. It is too early to glean anything from the filings and at least three analyses will be conducted, including the Development International study, which is the most comprehensive of them. We all anxiously await these reports. READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

SEC Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar and the SEC Division of Corporation Finance Staff both issued statements tApril 7, 2017 on the conflict minerals rule in light of the final Court action in NAM v. SEC. READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

Senator Elizabeth Warren, along with Senators Sherrod Brown, Robert Menendez and Brian Schatz, submitted a pointed letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission Inspector General Carl Hoecker asking for an investigation into recent actions taken by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar.  One of the actions Senator Warren wants reviewed is the January 31, 2017 statement from the Acting Chairman directing the staff to reconsider the conflict minerals rule. READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim

The new public comment period initiated by SEC Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar is now closed and we have reviewed almost all the submittals.  What is surprising is that there still seems to be significant misunderstanding or interpretations of the rule, and some issuers are spending far more than is likely necessary.   READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim

The conflict minerals disclosure is still required for calendar year 2016. No Executive Order has been issued, nor has SEC eliminated or modified the rule. READ MORE

From Jade West, Senior Vice President-Government Relations
National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

If your company has been impacted by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Conflict Minerals Rule – Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act – you are probably aware that the SEC has invited new comments on this rule.

Specifically, Acting SEC Chairman Michael S. Piwowar released a statement on January 31st questioning the effectiveness of the rule and directing the SEC staff to “reconsider whether the 2014 guidance on the conflict minerals rule is still appropriate and whether any additional relief is appropriate.”

To read Chairman Piwowar’s statement and directive to the SEC staff, go to: https://www.sec.gov/corpfin/statement-on-sec-commission-conflict-minerals-rule.html

And go to: https://www.sec.gov/news/statement/reconsideration-of-conflict-minerals-rule-implementation.html

The Acting Chairman has invited comments from stakeholders and interested parties on reconsideration of the rule, and that comment period is open until March 31st.

NAW has filed a comment letter based on feedback we have received from impacted NAW members, and we would encourage you to also file a comment with the commission if you believe the rule should be reconsidered or rescinded.

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

Yesterday, several news outlets reported on what was claimed to be a leaked draft Executive Order that would, if signed by President Trump, suspend Dodd-Frank Section 1502 for a two year period. READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

Acting SEC Chairman Michael Piwowar is “directing the [SEC] staff to consider whether the 2014 guidance is still appropriate and whether any additional relief is appropriate in the interim.”  READ MORE

From Ropes and Gray LLP

President Trump and the Republican-majority Congress are expected to seek to roll back at least some aspects of Dodd-Frank. The repeal of the Conflict Minerals Rule is explicitly provided for in the Financial Choice Act, which was introduced in the House during the last term. However, at present, most of the Conflict Minerals Rule remains very much in effect and is likely to remain so for at least the current reporting period, which requires filings in respect of calendar 2016 to be made by May 31, 2017. READ MORE

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

The conflict minerals filing deadline is still in place and realistically we don't anticipate that changing before June 1.

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From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners LLC

The European Parliament announced November 22 what is called “informal deal on a regulation” for the EU conflict minerals scheme. Read More

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

Conflict minerals information requests from customers increasingly include cobalt.  While cobalt is not an official conflict mineral, and the basis for the recent public attention is not the funding of armed groups, it is nonetheless being included in conflict minerals CMRT requests.

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From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

It has been an unusual campaign and election for the US presidency. Donald Trump will take office in January and the Republicans will control of both houses of the legislature.

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From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

For the time being, it appears the the CY2016 IPSA trigger will be identical to CY2015 – the IPSA is necessary only when an issuer voluntarily chooses to classify a product as “DRC Conflict Free” or “not DRC Conflict Free” after due diligence. Read More

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

Bloomberg’s Emily Chasan published an article that provides an overview of the Source Intelligence and Dr. Chris Bayer’s analyses of the 2015 conflict minerals filings. Read More

From Lawrence Heim

As we understand it, this means that the relevant political entities have agreed upon high level legal principles for the conflict minerals requirements for covered businesses in Europe. Read More

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

There is still confusion about what “country of origin” means. Country of origin refers to the point from which the ore came out of the ground. The location of the smelter can be indicative of risk in some situations, but not always. Read More

From Lawrence Heim, Elm Sustainability Partners

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From Elm Sustainability Partners

Our previous article highlights the absence of any new information or guidance on US conflict minerals filings, the deadline for which is looming (May 31). The lack of information is creating confusion for some companiesand we have had a number of calls in the past weeks to clarify where things stand relative to Form SD and Conflict Minerals Reports requirements. Click here for a summary of the major points

From Elm Sustainability Partners:

Last week, the US Supreme Court granted the SEC an extension for filing an appeal of the Appellate Court rulings on the conflict minerals disclosure requirements related to the use of specific determination wording. Click here to read more