SEC Staff to Reconsider Conflict Minerals Rule Guidance
Acting Chairman of the SEC Michael S. Piwowar announced that he has directed the SEC's staff to reconsider whether the staff's 2014 guidance on the conflict minerals rule (Rule 13p-1 under the Exchange Act) is still appropriate, and whether any additional relief would be appropriate going forward.
On January 31, 2017, Acting Chairman of the SEC Michael S. Piwowar announced that he has directed the SEC's staff to reconsider whether the staff's 2014 guidance on the conflict minerals ( www.practicallaw.com/2-521-4858) rule (Rule 13p-1 under the Exchange Act ( www.practicallaw.com/5-382-3808) ) is still appropriate, and whether any additional relief would be appropriate going forward. The SEC staff issued the 2014 guidance following a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that struck down a portion of the conflict minerals rule as a violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution (for more on the 2014 guidance, see Legal Update, Companies Must Report Under Conflict Minerals Rule with Modifications: SEC Staff ( www.practicallaw.com/7-566-5947) ).
In another statement released on January 31, Acting Chairman Piwowar noted that:
The litigation over the conflict minerals rule remains ongoing following the case's remand to the district court for further consideration.
The temporary transition period provided for in the rule has expired, and the reporting period beginning January 1, 2017 is the first reporting period for which no issuer falls within the terms of the transition period.
In light of these considerations, Acting Chairman Piwowar has requested that the SEC staff review the 2014 guidance.
Public comments on the 2014 guidance will be accepted for 45 days.
For more information on the conflict minerals rule, see Practice Note, Conflict Minerals Diligence ( www.practicallaw.com/0-510-6930) .