EU Parliament approves tighter rules on conflict minerals

The European Parliament has approved plans to tighten regulations on the trade of gold and other minerals that have been used to finance armed conflicts.

The legislature voted 558-17 on Thursday, with 45 abstentions, to approve plans announced in November. They will require all but the smallest EU importers of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold to conduct due diligence checks on their suppliers.

The new obligations, which still require approval from EU member states, are to take effect in January 2021. The delay is meant to allow EU countries, which will be responsible for ensuring compliance, time to "appoint competent authorities" and for importers to become familiar with their obligations.

Recycled materials and small importers such as dentists and jewelers will be exempted.