“The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand” – Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).
The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.
So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.
That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!
Background of new rule:
“This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).
Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:
“The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).
Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:
“Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).
“Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations
1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).
Date of Application:
“Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).
What the statements on the law:
“The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).
The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.
Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).
After reading a Forbes article on Illicit Financial Funds leaving Ethiopia, as they question the need for and the use of donor aid to Ethiopia. I had to read the reports that it partly was based and make my own assumptions. The difference is that I want to focus on the East African Nations and their Illicit Financial Funds that leaves the States. So that the values and the amounts show’s lack of governance and regulation of finance gives way for the African governments and corporations to get away with transferring funds without legal bounds. This is a way of misusing funds and also money laundering through lacking revenue service and authorities to keep up the upkeep of the states. Take a look!
“IFFs are illegal movements of money or capital from one country to another. GFI classifies such flows as illicit if the funds crossing borders are illegally earned, transferred, and/or utilized. If the flow breaks a law at any point, it is illicit” (GFI, 2015).
“African governments have a political interest in IFFs because these flows impact their national development aspirations and encroach on state structures. They therefore have law enforcement and regulatory agencies whose duties include preventing IFFs. Among these are the police, financial intelligence units and anti-corruption agencies. Governments also have customs and revenue services and other agencies whose purposes are thwarted or hindered by IFFs” (IFF, P: 35, 2016).
“The widespread occurrence of IFFs in Africa also points to a governance problem in the sense of weak institutions and inadequate regulatory environments. IFFs accordingly contribute to undermining state capacity. To achieve their purposes, the people and corporations behind IFFs often compromise state officials and institutions. Left unchecked, these activities lead to entrenched impunity and the institutionalization of corruption” (IFF, P: 51, 2016)
“Most African countries do not have enough highly trained lawyers, accountants and tax experts to carry out the oversight functions to prevent or punish perpetrators of illicit financial outflows. The few that exist are often overworked and unable to prepare sufficiently to take on top-class representing large corporations” (IFF, P: 72, 2016).
Illicit Financial Funds ranking in the years of 2004 – 2013:
*(in millions of U.S. dollars, nominal)
* Global Financial Integrity December Report 2015
Total IFFs in the years of 2004 – 2013 (GER+HMN)
*(in millions of U.S. dollars, nominal)
* Global Financial Integrity December Report 2015
* “Trade misinvoicing (GER) dominates measurable illicit outflows, averaging 83.4 percent of total illicit outflows during the years 2004 to 2013. However, there has been a noticeable growth in the hot money narrow (HMN) estimate of balance of payment leakages over those years as well. Though initially only accounting for 6.9 percent of illicit outflows in 2004, HMN rose to 19.4 percent of illicit flows by 2013” (GFI, P: 10, 2015).
If you look at the charts there are some monies that is missing and gone away on all sorts of schemes and tax exemptions, all sort of added invoicing or other types of financial instruments to make sure the monies doesn’t end where they are supposed to be. The East African states have misused giant amount of funds.
Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda are topping the list. What is weird for me and the report it is not specifying the Sudan as the Khartoum republic or putting South Sudan alone! So the report and the values put on South Sudan, which was independent in 2011, there do not know what of part of Sudan who has illicit funds. Still, the values and the amount of million dollars Illicit Financial Funds (IFFs) from Ethiopia for instance. You can wonder how much of the government budget that is eaten by this sort of financial mismanagement and misuse of public funds. The reserves and state coffers have to be hit when it is these amounts of dollars that are lost. Uganda have also gotten rid of giant amount of funds, these is 10 higher than the revelation during the Oil Probe with the 2.4 Trillion shillings, which is about $640-700m dollars. That we’re oil revenue that has not been remitted to the state, just these values is ten-times of what was revealed in the Ugandan courts. So there is other revenue that the State House, Bank of Uganda and Uganda Revenue Authority not have complied to or have registered as there is a loss of $7,149 million dollars.
These is just two financial instruments as the HMN and the GER that is explained under the table, the other ways of misusing funds, I haven’t even covered. This is just how much that is miss-invoicing and Hot Money Narrow, the others can be shown at another time. The numbers shown here alone show the extent of misuse of funds in a decade. That is the public loss and the state coffers that been looted by the regime and their lack of will of following and regulating the financial markets. Therefore, the state and institutions does not have the will or capacity to follow the money. This shouldn’t be evident, but it is and not a good look. Peace.
Illicit Financial Flows iff – ‘Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa’
Global Financial Integrity – ‘Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2004-2013’ (December 2015)