The US Securities and Exchange Commission will host a public meeting next month to discuss the looming “conflict metals” law. The 18 October roundtable will cover implementation of the new regulations, which require companies to disclose products that may contain conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and nearby countries. The roundtable will be held at SEC headquarters in Washington and is open to the public, and will be webcast live on SEC’s website.
A provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed last July mandated that US companies report any purchases or use of conflict minerals, and put the SEC in charge of writing, implementing and enforcing the rule. The SEC missed an original 17 April deadline to produce such rules and indicated that it would do so between August and December.
The roundtable will provide a forum for various stakeholders to exchange views and provide input on issues related to the SEC’s required rulemaking and discussions will focus on key regulatory issues such as appropriate reporting approaches for the final rule, challenges in tracking conflict minerals through the supply chain, and workable due diligence and other requirements related to the rulemaking. “We are committed to writing an effective rule as soon as possible, and the roundtable will help us do that,” said Meredith Cross, director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance.
At the start of this week five Democratic lawmakers pressed the regulator to finalize and implement new rules in the coming weeks — before the end of the year. Under the provision companies have to begin tracking and reporting on minerals in the first fiscal year after the rules are finalized. If the SEC fails to finish the rules by the end of the year, it could delay implementation for another 12 months, as most companies start their fiscal year in January, the lawmakers warned.