ITSCI standards have not changed and remain 100% aligned with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance[1]. ITSCI continues, and will continue, to provide verified, credible, and valuable information to ITSCI members, including smelters, for use as part of their own due diligence. The OECD Guidance does not require any cross-recognition process between industry schemes. There are expectations for programmes like ITSCI to regularly undergo alignment assessment to the OECD methodology. ITSCI committed to a second assessment which is currently ongoing. ITSCI has provided updates on that process to multiple parties, including ITSCI members and the RMI.

ITSCI has been engaging with the RMI over the past 2 years to discuss cross-recognition. ITSCI responded to RMI’s request to apply to their recognition process and made efforts to understand that process and seek clarifications. ITSCI provided RMI with a detailed analysis highlighting questions and concerns about that process, including its scope and purpose, for instance regarding access to confidential business information, and setting up a fair and proportionate cost-sharing agreement, or in relation to avoiding companies’ over-reliance on industry schemes.

RMI has so far shared limited feedback which has not yet provided ITSCI with sufficient clarity or confidence in the RMI’s recognition process. RMI has also not yet positively responded to ITSCI’s suggestion for open engagement to discuss those concerns and possible improvements to their recognition process. At no point in time did ITSCI refuse to engage in discussion about the recognition process with RMI.

This October, the ITSCI Programme Manager also joined an RMI Steering Committee meeting to discuss recognition and alignment assessment topics. Unfortunately, no next steps were communicated from RMI to ITSCI. RMI’s press release issued on the 31st October 2022 therefore comes at a surprise, with no prior communication or further call for dialogue with ITSCI.

RMI’s statement still requires further consideration and discussion to understand all possible implications for ITSCI and ITSCI members. ITSCI is currently working on this and will communicate it to ITSCI members soon, along with further explanations and concerns about the RMI recognition process.

ITSCI remains committed to constructive and open dialogue and engagement with RMI to agree on a way forward. It appears that RMI’s decision relates to the RMI’s own recognition process with the European Union (EU). ITSCI was not invited to participate and has no information on the EU process and would welcome more transparency in that regard. ITSCI will be calling for meaningful discussions between all parties, including the EU and OECD, to gain clarity, understand best practices to support company due diligence whilst avoiding creating over-reliance on any industry mechanism or scheme.

ITSCI is concerned that RMI’s press release may create confusion for companies and potentially result in serious negative impact including disengagement from the 3T sector. ITSCI is committed to supporting a resolution that promotes responsible sourcing in, and avoid harmful disengagement from, the 3T sector in CAHRAs.

As an industry initiative with standards 100% aligned with the OECD Guidance, ITSCI continues to provide information and support to ITSCI members, including smelters, for their own due diligence, as recommended by the OECD Guidance.

For more information, please contact:

Mickaël Daudin, ITSCI Programme Manager, [email protected]