March 6 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules for companies to disclose the use of so-called conflict minerals may not be finished until the middle of the year, according to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro.
The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 set an April 2011 deadline for the rule, which requires public companies to disclose whether any of four metals in their manufacturing or products came from central Africa, where mining revenue has funded violent militia groups. Schapiro told House lawmakers in a Washington hearing today the SEC will need at least “the next couple of months” to finish.
“It is so complex and so out of the ordinary for the SEC,” Schapiro said of the rule, which focuses on the origins of gold, tantalum, tungsten and tin -- all common to the manufacturing of electronics. She said the final rule will include a phase-in period, and she wasn’t certain how long that will be. The rule may emerge in “the middle of the year,” she said.
When asked whether the agency will allow companies to use smaller amounts of the metal without disclosure, Schapiro said the statute doesn’t allow that and the rule “will try to give latitude and flexibility in some areas.”
Less than halfway through the process of implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the pace of rule-writing by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has slowed by about half since the first months after its enactment.
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