Rule 13p-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Rule”) was adopted by the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to implement reporting and disclosure requirements related to “conflict minerals” from “covered countries” as directed by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The Rule requires disclosure of certain information when a company manufactures or contracts to manufacture products, and the conflict minerals specified in the Rule are necessary to the functionality or production of those products. Conflict minerals are defined by the SEC as gold, columbite-tantalite (coltan), cassiterite, and wolframite, including their derivatives, which are limited to tantalum, tin, and tungsten. For the purposes of the Rule, the covered countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Angola (the “Covered Countries”). The Rule requires conflict minerals disclosure in the form of SEC Forms SD (Specialized Disclosure) and Conflict Minerals Reports.
NETSCOUT’s Conflict Minerals Policy Statement
Introduction to Conflict Minerals Legislation
On August 22, 2012, the final rule regarding sourcing of conflict minerals under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) was approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The rule requires publicly traded companies to report annually to the SEC the presence, in the products they manufacture or contract to manufacture, of conflict minerals originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and adjoining countries (“Covered Countries”) when such minerals are necessary to the functionality or production of a product. Conflict minerals include tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold. These minerals are commonly used in electronics products. Some of the mining operations in the Covered Countries are controlled by warring militias who may be financing armed conflict with profits from the sale of these minerals. This ongoing conflict has been linked to human rights violations, labor abuses, and environmental degradation. NetScout is committed to taking appropriate steps to comply with this legislation and is implementing a due-diligence process to meet our obligations. Our first report must be filed with the SEC on May 31, 2014 for the 2013 calendar year.
What NETSCOUT is Doing
We support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights for all, including the basic human rights of employees and workers within our supply chain. We believe in treating all people with respect and dignity. We also expect our suppliers to adhere to the same high standards. We’re committed to the sourcing of components and materials used in our products from companies that share our values about human rights, ethics, and environmental responsibility.
We’re assessing whether our products contain tantalum, tin, tungsten, or gold derived from ores mined in the Covered Countries. We’re taking appropriate steps with our suppliers to address and improve the process for sourcing minerals that are “conflict free.” The global supply chain for these minerals is complex, however, and tracing these minerals to their sources is a challenge. Our efforts to address these issues include notifying our suppliers of our policy on conflict minerals and requiring that they disclose their status with respect to the use of conflict minerals.
There is additional work to be done, but we expect our suppliers to commit to the responsible sourcing of minerals, including providing reasonable assurances that the tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold in products they manufacture or distribute are conflict free. We expect each supplier to establish its own due diligence program to ensure conflict-free supply chains with respect to all parts and materials used to manufacture products supplied to us.
How to Report Your Conflict Minerals Concerns or Questions
NETSCOUT has established a mechanism by which customers, employees, and other interested parties may provide or request information relevant to the Company’s Conflict Minerals Management Program (CMMP), and report any grievances with respect to Conflict Minerals issues in general.
To provide or request any such information, or make any such report, please contact NETSCOUT’s CMMP Coordinator at (978) 614-6089, or [email protected].