Public Company Adviser - June 2013: SEC Provides FAQs on Conflict Minerals Rules

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On May 30, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance released twelve Frequently Asked Questions in an effort to provide issuers with guidance on various aspects of Exchange Act Section 1 (p), Rule 13p-1 and Item 1.01 of Form SD, relating to the disclosure otherwise known as the “Conflict Minerals Rules.” In this edition of the Public Company Advisor, we highlight several of these eagerly-awaited FAQs.

Given the expanding list of interpretive questions that have developed since the rules were adopted, and this limited release of FAQs, it may be possible that additional guidance will be forthcoming from the Division of Corporation Finance. However, at this time, issuers and their counsel are still left to apply a significant amount of judgment to an issuer’s facts and circumstances under the SEC’s final conflict minerals rules. Nevertheless, these FAQs could provide welcome relief to many issuers, including service providers like airlines, and consumer product manufacturers concerned with the makeup of their product’s packaging or containers.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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