The SEC issued guidance on its interpretation of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s recent decision that certain portions of the SEC’s conflict minerals reporting requirements violate the First Amendment, as discussed further here and here. Key points from the guidance include:
1. The June 2, 2014 filing deadline remains effective;
2. Covered companies are not required to state “DRC Conflict Free”, “DRC Conflict Undeterminable”, or “have not been found to DRC Conflict Free,” in relation to their covered products; and
3. An independent private sector audit is no longer required unless the company voluntarily elects to state that its products are DRC Conflict Free.
Contemporaneously, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed a motion for stay of the final Conflict Minerals Rule (or at the very least a stay for the filing deadline for the Form SD and reports associated with the rule) with the SEC. NAM also indicates that it will move for injunctive relief in the District Court, in the likely event that the SEC denies its motion.
We continue to monitor events closely and will provide additional updates as they become available.