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Conflict Minerals Rule Implementation Could be Reassessed

In a public statement issued January 31 , Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar ordered staff members to review whether the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule is still applicable and needs additional relief. In April 2014, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that part of the required disclosure under the conflict minerals rule was in violation of the First Amendment. In response to the ruling, the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance at the time issued guidance delaying the compliance date for portions of the rule considered unconstitutional. The case was subsequently remanded to the district court for further consideration. Litigation is. Read More.

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SEC Chair Responds to Senator’s Conflict Minerals Request

Responding to Senator Michael Crapo’s request that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proceed with a full stay on the reporting requirements from Release No. 34-67716, Conflict Minerals, SEC Chair Mary Jo White declared that her agency plans to wait for a final court ruling before deciding if further regulatory action is necessary. In a letter to Crapo this week, White stated that the SEC’s actions from the April 14th appeals court decision are in line with the ruling, the SEC’s rule and Congress’ purpose in the Dodd-Frank Act. Last month, the SEC requested that the full appeals court. Read More.

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Conflict Minerals’ Emergency Appeal Denied

Despite an attempt to file an emergency motion for a stay of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) entire Conflict Minerals rule, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“the Court”) has rejected the request. While the Court previously ruled the Conflict Minerals’ final rule was a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, the SEC later issued a partial stay that mandates companies to use language disclosing whether any of their products are “DRC conflict free”. The SEC also released guidance to continue implementing the provision requiring businesses to file their conflict mineral reports. Read More.

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Conflict Minerals’ Effective Date Gets a Stay

Announced on May 2nd, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“the Commission”; “SEC”) issued a stay of the effective date for companies to comply with parts of its final rule, Conflict Minerals. The stay affects parts of Exchange Act Rule 13p-1 and Form SD, which mandates public disclosure of a company’s use of conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or neighboring countries. Due to last month’s decision by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“the Court”), such disclosure was ruled as violating the First Amendment. As companies move forward applying the final rule. Read More.

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SEC to Move Forward with Conflict Minerals Rule

Despite the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s (“the Court”) recent ruling, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chair Mary Jo White announced that the SEC will continue to carry out most of its Conflict Minerals final rule. The final rule, which forces companies to publicly reveal whether or not they have used conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or neighboring countries and file the disclosure on an SEC-issued form, was ruled by the Court as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. During her testimony at the April 29th “Oversight of. Read More.

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Conflict Minerals’ Interpretative Guidance Issued

Issued on April 29th, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has announced interpretive guidance based on Release No. 34-67716, Conflict Minerals. Named Statement on the Effect of the Recent Court of Appeals Decision on the Conflict Minerals Rule (“the Statement”), the guidance is in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s (“the Court”) April 14th ruling that part of the provision which forces companies to use disclosure language like “DRC conflict free” or “DRC conflict undeterminable” violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. The interpretive guidance curtails the independent audit requirement for the SEC’s Conflict. Read More.

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