Premier Farnell plc has today announced the steps it is taking to be prepared for the final regulations of the U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act: Section 1502 on conflict minerals when they are published later this year.
Under the Act, which was finalised in July 2010, U.S. publicly traded companies whose products contain metals derived from minerals defined as conflict minerals are required to report annually to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The new reporting requirements are based on concerns that revenues obtained from the mining and transport of these minerals are financing the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries, and the resulting humanitarian crisis. While the Act defined basic reporting requirements for conflict minerals, it also requires the SEC to make detailed regulations to implement the legislation and these have not yet been finalised. Premier Farnell expect the SEC to publish the regulations later in 2012 and that these will address a number of significant issues. A number of the metals covered by the legislation can be found in electronic components and products, and dealing with the law will be a major concern for the electronics industry.
Although reporting requirements only apply to publicly traded companies required to report to the SEC, it is expected that these requirements will be rapidly passed through the entire electronics industry supply chain. Premier Farnell is therefore undertaking all necessary precautions in order to be prepared for when the final regulations are published, and is actively involved in trade group task forces in preparing best practice reporting guidelines for industry.
“Our role in assisting our customers is to provide the best and most up-to-date information that is available to us from our suppliers,” said Steven Webb, Company Secretary, Premier Farnell. “As a distributor of products manufactured by others, Premier Farnell does not currently have direct access to information regarding where its suppliers (product manufacturers) procured their raw materials. However, we intend to work with our suppliers to obtain all available information as soon as the SEC rules are clear. We have considerable experience in collecting similar data such as that required under the European RoHS and REACH legislation and we plan to use similar, well developed processes to collect conflict mineral information.”