Two Commissioners Call for a Stay of Conflict Mineral Rules; Members of Congress Urge Chair White to Move Forward

Yesterday Commissioners Gallagher and Piwowar released a joint statement calling for a stay of the Commission’s conflict mineral rules pending final outcome of a legal challenge to the rules by the National Association of  Manufacturers and other industry groups.

Issuers’ first Form SD is due to be filed by June 2, 2014 (the filing deadline, May 31, 2014, falls on a Saturday so issuers have until the following Monday to file). However, according to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers only 4% of 700 companies surveyed have completed a first draft of their filing.

What’s more, recall that two weeks ago the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that requiring an issuer to describe its products as not having been found to be “DRC conflict free” violates the First Amendment. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court’s judgement and remanded the case to the lower court for further proceedings.

But Gallagher and Piwowar aren’t the only ones urging the Commission to act. Earlier last week twelve members of Congress, including Senator Durbin, author of the conflict minerals provision in the Dodd-Frank Act, issued a joint letter to Chair White urging that the Commission move forward with implementation of those portions of the rules upheld by the Court of Appeals.

What, if anything, the Commission will do remains to be seen. What we do know is that as of right now the June 2nd filing deadline is just 34 days away and it seems that many companies still have quite a way to go to meet the filing deadline.

Update: April 30, 2014

The National Association of Manufacturers, U. S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable have filed a motion requesting the Commission stay the conflict mineral rules, or at least the filing deadline for Form SD, pending amendment of that portion of the final rule which invalidated by the Court of Appeal’s decision.

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