European Parliament introduces certification for conflict minerals

21 May 2015

European Parliament introduces certification for conflict minerals

Foto: Julien Harneis from Goma

The European Parliament is to introduce compulsory certification for the import of raw materials from war zones. This will mean that importers will be required to declare that the raw materials in question were mined in a responsible manner. The SP is delighted that the Parliament defied a fierce lobby and voted to approve a compulsory certification system.

SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur voted for the proposal which made certification compulsory, explaining that ‘it concerns for example tin, tantalum, and tungsten mines which annually produce many millions of euros profit for the war lords in eastern Congo. In 2010 the United States brought in compulsory certification via the famed Dodd-Frank-Act. This prompted computer manufacturers such as Apple and Intel to switch to suppliers from regions free of armed conflict, as they didn’t want to be associated with war and violence. This put the rebel militias under a grest deal of pressure, as they had far less money to arm themselves with.

‘It’s great that the European Union is also going to do this now. Of course we still have questions about the number of raw materials covered, and we would also like to see the directive go beyond limiting the import of these primary commodities to include the end products in which they have been incorporated.’


Photo: Tungsten mine in Kailo, Democratic Republic of Congo. By Julien Harneis from Goma CC BY-SA 2.0

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