The Mineral Raw Materials Due Diligence Act implements the EU 2017/821 Regulation, which outlines supply chain due diligence obligations for EU importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.
The EU Regulation is rooted in the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, which provides detailed recommendations to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral purchasing decisions and practices. Additional recommendations have been issued to companies operating in the tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold industries.
In particular, this EU regulation aims to prevent revenues from these minerals from being used to finance armed conflict. For this reason, as of 1 January 2021, EU companies importing any of these commodities from conflict zones and areas deemed to be at high risk of conflict have to comply with a number of due diligence obligations.
Companies must develop a supply chain policy and introduce risk management systems, to be reported to the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, which the act names as the competent authority. It further outlines the Federal Institute's enforcement powers as well as applicable penalties and requirements. Moreover, it states that the competent authority shall report once a year on the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2017/821 on the preceding calendar year.