What you need to know about the new disclosure and reporting requirements and how Ernst & Young can help

In recent years, there has been an increasing international focus on “conflict minerals” emanating from mining operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries.

On 21 July 2010, in response to these concerns, the United States Congress enacted legislation that requires certain public companies to provide disclosures about the use of specified conflict minerals emanating from the DRC and nine adjoining countries (Covered Countries). Section 1502 of the Dodd–Frank Act is intended to make transparent the financial interests that support armed groups in the DRC area. By requiring companies using conflict minerals in their products to disclose the source of such minerals, the law is aimed at dissuading companies from continuing to engage in trade that supports regional conflicts.

Section 1502 is applicable to all SEC “issuers” (including foreign issuers) that manufacture or contract to manufacture products where “conflict minerals are necessary to the functionality or production” of the product. The industries most likely to be affected include electronics and communications, aerospace, automotive, jewelry and industrial products.

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