US Securities and Exchange (SEC) Commission Chair Mary Jo White on April 29 said that the agency will continue to implement the conflict minerals rule upheld by the US Court of Appeals.
The SEC has also issued guidance on meeting the May 31 reporting deadline. The gist is that companies must meet the deadline as expected, but may omit aspectsstruck down recently by the US Court of Appeals.
SEC Division of Corporation Finance Director Keith Higgins said companies should comply with parts of the rule that the court upheld and file initial reports by June 2 (reports will be due on June 2, 2014 as the May 31 deadline falls on a Saturday). Thing is, most parts of the rule were upheld, so there is very little change to requirements on the whole.
Higgins said no company will be required to describe products as “not been found to be ‘DRC conflict free'” but companies will still have to disclose the origins of the products.
Legal outlook.Insiders at IPC say that yesterday the industry petitioners, led by the National Association of Manufacturers, filed a Motion for a Stay with the SEC in the conflict minerals case. If the SEC denies the stay, the petitioners will consider filing a stay request with the DC Circuit.
On April 14, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the requirement that firms report whether their products have “not been found to be ‘DRC conflict free,’ included in the SEC conflict minerals regulation, violates the First Amendment.
If there is no stay requested or granted, and the case is remanded to the district court, that court may simply remand to the SEC to implement the DC Circuit’s decision in the first instance.
Do I have to file? So it’s business as usual for conflict mineral compliance. And the deadline at the end of May approacheth.
There are two categories of companies who must report.