The International Tin Association (ITA) and the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), an initiative of the Responsible Business Alliance, have jointly developed and published the new Assessment Criteria for Tin Smelting Companies, which clarify a common upstream and downstream view of due diligence requirements for the tin supply chain.

These criteria are designed to align with the internationally recognised Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) due diligence guidance, assist with the new London Metal Exchange responsible sourcing requirements, and satisfy other upcoming requirements such as the EU Minerals Due Diligence Regulation.

The criteria will be used by the RMI to replace their Tin Standard for the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP) following a transition period; and will also set the requirements for responsible sourcing to be evaluated by new assessment processes under the ITA’s Code of Conduct.

“We are excited to announce this important step forward in progressing due diligence and responsible sourcing for the tin industry” said Kay Nimmo, Head of Sustainability at ITA.

“We are proud to be able to bring together multiple views of complex due diligence expectations into this one new harmonised text which will be recognised by assessment processes of both our organisations and the market. This will not only improve risk management but will help to streamline information requests through the supply chain.”

“This further demonstrates the leadership of both ITA and the RMI, and their determination to tackle the very significant challenges involved in bringing the entire supply chain together to provide realistic but robust solutions for the responsible production and sourcing of tin,” said Leah Butler, Vice President, Responsible Business Alliance.

The criteria will enable audit firms and their individual auditors to conduct rigorous and consistent checks on whether any smelter has implemented OECD supply chain due diligence.

After incorporating consultation feedback from a broad spectrum of stakeholders across the tin supply chain, the criteria have been improved by focusing exclusively on the tin value chain; structuring to reference each step of the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance Supplement on Tin; highlight additional, separate regulatory or downstream expectations; outline practical expectations for red-flag review of suppliers; explain how smelters may use OECD-aligned joint industry initiatives for due diligence support; and clarify terminology and separating procedural or guidance text for auditors.

The criteria, explains Nimmo, results from cooperation between the ITA and the RMI as agreed in an memorandum of understanding earlier in the year.

“Both organisations are continuing to work together to draft further guidance on criteria expectations in a workbook format for use by auditors and/or smelters as the new criteria are implemented. The development of associated training materials is also planned.”

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