On 29th April the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a statement (found here) in reaction to the recent US Court of Appeals decision in relation to the ‘conflict minerals’ rule which earlier in April determined that the requirement for firms to report on the conflict status of their products violates the First Amendment. The guidance notes that companies should comply with parts of the rule that the court upheld and file initial reports by June 2 (reports will be due on June 2, 2014 as the May 31 deadline falls on a Saturday). The statement confirms that “no company is required to describe its products as “DRC conflict free,” or having “not been found to be ‘DRC conflict free,'” or “DRC conflict undeterminable.” although, companies may use those descriptions if they wish. In the case of products that would have been identified as either “DRC conflict undeterminable” or “not found to be ‘DRC conflict free,'” companies are required to disclose the smelters, the country of origin, and the efforts to determine the mine or location of origin of the conflict minerals in those products. Until further notice, no independent private sector audit is required unless a company chooses to describe products as “DRC conflict free.”