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AAIA Releases Guidance On New SEC Conflict Mineral Rules

Congress approved the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) in 2010. Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires publicly held companies to disclose use of conflict minerals including tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, which originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or an adjoining country. These rules may impact AAIA members who manufacture or contract to manufacture products containing conflict minerals from the covered countries.

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BETHESDA, Md. – The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) has released guidance designed to help U.S. automotive parts manufacturers, distributors and retailers comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) final rule on conflict minerals.
 
Congress approved the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) in 2010. Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires publicly held companies to disclose use of conflict minerals including tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, which originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or an adjoining country. These rules may impact AAIA members who manufacture or contract to manufacture products containing conflict minerals from the covered countries.
 
“AAIA is committed to helping its members navigate increasing social responsibility reporting requirements,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. “As these rules are extremely lengthy and complex, we hope to help take some of the guesswork out of this process and help our members determine whether they need to perform additional diligence.”
 
Enforced by the SEC, the final conflict minerals rule applies to all products manufactured on or after Jan. 31, 2013. The first report, covering calendar year 2013, is due to the SEC by May 31, 2014. A legal challenge to the new rule filed by several business organizations with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia was rejected on July 23. Although the plaintiffs may appeal this decision to a higher court, the appeal process can be lengthy and unpredictable. As it stands, the conflict minerals reporting requirements remain in effect as adopted, and companies who are impacted by the new rule should begin reviewing their internal compliance procedures and making preparations for any internal audits and reports that may be required.
 
AAIA members can access the guidance on reporting conflict minerals as part of the Dodd-Frank Act at www.aftermarket.org/conflictminerals.

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