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IPC APEX Expo To Address Timely Regulatory Issues

Industry experts to discuss pending conflict materials regulations at IPC APEX next month.

Key presentations slated for the 2012 IPC APEX EXPO, which takes place February 28–March 1, at the San Diego Convention Center, will assist electronics manufacturing supply chain members in understanding important regulatory issues. Among them: the conflict minerals legislation set forth in Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act. More importantly, the sessions will help members learn how  to comply with the pending regulation.

What attendees can expect: Executive-level briefings, expert-panel discussions of new developments and industry compliance strategies, development of industry guidance documents and standards, as well as an update on IPC’s continued lobbying efforts--all designed to help industry companies fully comprehend the impact of the conflict minerals requirements.

“This is one of the most significant government regulations to affect the industry since RoHS,” said Tony Hilvers, IPC vice president of industry programs. Although the reporting requirements apply only to publicly traded companies, IPC expects that the requirements will rapidly flow through the entire supply chain in a manner similar to RoHS. Hilvers addded: “Understanding conflict minerals requirements is complex and difficult, so we are leading a number of efforts to help the industry get ready.”

Fern Abrams, IPC director of government relations and environmental policy, will provide executive-level briefings on conflict minerals at the PCB and EMS Executive Management Meetings on Monday, February 27. She will highlight key issues executives need to know to ensure that their companies are ready for compliance with regulatory and customer requirements and will share insights from her meetings with SEC Commissioners and staff over the past year.

During the Government Relations Open Forum on Tuesday, February 28, Bhawnesh Mathur, president of EPIC Technologies and member of the IPC Board of Directors, will discuss IPC’s ongoing lobbying efforts and give an update on the expected U.S. regulation.

On Wednesday, February 29, a panel of experts will address the topic, “Are Conflict Minerals the New RoHS?” During this free BUZZ session, Steven McEuen, director of purchasing, Epic Technologies; Christopher Schwarz, associate, Canyon Snow Consulting; John Plyler, supply chain social responsibility program manager, Research In Motion; and Abrams will provide the latest information on the SEC regulation, guidance, company efforts, and industry tools to help attendees meet legal and customer requirements.

On Thursday, March 1, two newly formed IPC committees will discuss specific efforts to develop tools for conflict minerals compliance. In the morning, the E-30 Conflict Minerals Due Diligence Committee will work on development of a guidance document to assist the electronics industry in complying with due diligence requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act.

In the afternoon, the IPC 2-18h Conflict Minerals Data Exchange Task Group will continue progress toward development of a data exchange standard for the communication of supply chain data necessary for compliance with the conflict minerals regulation. Developed as part of the IPC-175x declaration family of standards, the document will incorporate the EICC/GeSI template.

For more information or to register for IPC APEX EXPO, visit www.IPCAPEXEXPO.org. Free Committee Meetings registration is available to pre-registrants ($40 on-site) and includes access to the BUZZ sessions, Government Relations Open Forum, and all free special events as well as the largest exhibition in North America for printed board design and manufacturing, electronics assembly and test.

Through January 28, savings of 20% off any paid IPC APEX EXPO activities, such as the PCB and EMS Executive Management Meetings, is available to pre-registrants.

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