An issuer manufactures or contracts to manufacture a package or container that contains a conflict mineral, and the issuer uses the package or container in the display, transport, or sale of a product the issuer also manufactures or contracts to have manufactured. Would a conflict mineral necessary to the functionality or production of the package or container also be considered necessary to the functionality or production of the product under the rule? What if the container or packaging is necessary to preserve the product until the time the product is purchased or used?
No. Only a conflict mineral that is contained in the product would be considered “necessary to the functionality or production” of the product. The packaging or container sold with a product is not considered to be part of the product. Once the consumer starts to use a product, the packaging is generally discarded. This conclusion is true even if a product’s package or container is necessary to preserve the usability of that product up to and following the product’s purchase. If, however, an issuer manufactures and sells packaging or containers independent of the product, the packaging or containers, in that circumstance, would be considered a product.