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In politically unstable areas, armed groups often use forced labour to mine minerals. They then sell those minerals to fund their activities, for example to buy weapons.

These so-called 'conflict minerals', such as tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, can find their way into our mobile phones, cars and jewellery.

A new EU law to stem the trade in conflict minerals

So the EU passed a new regulation in May 2017 to stop:

  • conflict minerals and metals from being exported to the EU
  • global and EU smelters and refiners from using conflict minerals
  • mine workers from being abused

The law also supports the development of local communities.

It requires EU companies to ensure they import these minerals and metals from responsible sources only.  

It will start on 1 January 2021 so companies have time to adapt to it.

About the EU's new conflict minerals law

Find answers to all your questions, in plain English.

Help for your business

Learn about the support on offer to help you source responsibly.

Legal texts and other documents

See the text of the regulation, tenders, and EU studies on conflict minerals.