IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 22, 2008
Mr. Brownback (for himself and Mr. Durbin) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance
To prohibit the importation of certain products that contain or are derived from columbite-tantalite or cassiterite mined or extracted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as
Conflict Coltan and Cassiterite
Act of 2008.
Identification of groups that commit certain violations of international law
Not later than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall develop and submit to Congress a list of groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including units of the army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, that—
commit serious violations of human rights;
commit violations of international humanitarian law; or
commit crimes under international law.
The President shall update the list required by subsection (a) not less frequently than once each year.
Prohibition on imports of certain minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, until the President makes the certification described in subsection (c), no products may be imported into the United States—
that contain or are derived from columbite-tantalite or cassiterite that is extracted, mined, or otherwise produced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and
the extraction, mining, or production of which benefits a group on the list developed under section 2(a).
For purposes of subsection (a), the extraction, mining, or production of columbite-tantalite or cassiterite benefits a group on the list developed under section 2(a) if the sale of the columbite-tantalite or cassiterite, as the case may be, results in arms or money being transferred directly or indirectly to the group.
The prohibition described in subsection (a) shall terminate on the date that is 45 days after the date on which the President certifies to Congress that the violations of human rights, violations of international humanitarian law, and crimes under international law committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo by groups on the list developed under section 2(a) have ceased.
It shall be unlawful for a person to violate, attempt to violate, conspire to violate, or cause a violation of section 3(a).
A civil penalty may be imposed on any person that commits an unlawful act described in subsection (a) in an amount not to exceed $10,000.
A person that willfully commits or willfully attempts to commit an unlawful act described in subsection (a), upon conviction—
in the case of a corporation or other legal entity, shall be fined not more than $50,000; or
in the case of a natural person, including an officer, director, or agent of a corporation or other legal entity, may—
be fined not more than $50,000;
be imprisoned for not more than 10 years; or
be fined under clause (i) and imprisoned under clause (ii).
In addition to the penalties provided for in subsection (a), any violation of section 3(a) that violates any other customs law of the United States shall be subject to any applicable civil or criminal penalty, including seizure and forfeiture, that may be imposed under such customs law or title 18, United States Code, with respect to the importation of products described in section 3(a) of this Act.