Ask Our Experts: CMRT Best Practices and Common Mistakes to Avoid

Ask Our Experts: CMRT Best Practices and Common Mistakes to Avoid

The Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) Version 5.01 is the most effective tool companies can use to meet their conflict minerals due diligence requirements. Asking their suppliers to complete the CMRT helps companies comply with government regulations on conflict minerals (such as the D0dd-Frank Act or EU conflict mineral obligations, for example), corporate social responsibility (CSR) requirements or responsible sourcing standards (e.g. IPC-1755). 

Our customer success managers are experts in CMRT usage and conflict mineral reporting. To get you on the right track for this year’s filings, they have compiled the following tips to help you fill out your CMRT correctly.

Best Practices When Completing Your CMRT

  1. Use the Most Recent Version of Excel

It is a best practice to use the most recent version of Microsoft Excel when completing your CMRT. Using another type of spreadsheet, such as Google Sheets, or an outdated version of Excel, could negatively affect the template’s functionality.

  1. Use Standard File Naming Conventions

Another best practice to employ while completing your CMRT is to use standard file naming conventions. These include using regular letters, keeping file names accurate, adding a version number if applicable and avoiding the use of symbols.

  1. Be Conscious of Text Length in Cells

You should avoid copying and pasting data, such as your Smelter List, into the cells in the template. The text in each cell should be clear, concise, and not exceed 255 characters as a rule.

  1. Make Use of the Checker Tab

The “Checker” tab of the template is a tool used to see the number of required fields you still need to complete. When cells are filled in effectively, the “Required Fields” and “Notes” sections of the tab will turn green, indicating the field is complete.

  1. Review Your CMRT

Take the time to review your CMRT before you submit it to ensure the template is complete. Go through each section of the template and look for anything you forgot to fill out, or mistakes you may have made. This review of your CMRT can save you time and improve the accuracy of your submitted data.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Completing Your CMRT

  1. No Smelter Information

When claiming “Yes” to any or all 3TGs, it is essential to provide smelter information. As the CMRT gets passed along the supply chain, its purpose is to help identify the smelters used to refine or smelt the minerals. Without smelter information, it is unable to perform this function.

  1. Missing Information

To avoid an invalid CMRT, ensure it is filled out accurately and completely. Any incomplete information, from missing company information to a missing answer, will invalidate the CMRT.

TIP: If a cell remains highlighted in yellow in the CMRT Declaration tab, you will see it highlighted red on the Checker tab. This is a prompt to populate one or more required fields.

  1. Too Much Text & Formatting

Too many characters in a single cell or trying to reformat the template may cause the CMRT to be invalid in certain systems. Ensuring the CMRT remains in the same format, without any alterations, helps to safeguard against an invalid submission. Prioritizing the information you wish to include and inputting the data in a clear and concise manner is recommended to avoid this common mistake.

  1. Using the Wrong Version

It is vital to ensure you are using CMRT 5.01, as previous versions do not include the most recent corrections, updates, enhancements and translations. You can review the revision history of the CMRT versions by clicking on the “Revision” tab of the template. The most recent version can be downloaded for free online by clicking here.

  1. Product-Level vs Company-Level Reporting

Many companies are requesting their suppliers provide them with a CMRT at the Product-Level rather the company level in order to scope down the smelter list and only show those smelters or refiners that relate to particular products. Ensure you fully understand which level your client wants you to report at in your CMRT before submitting it.

Contact info@assentcompliance.com with any further questions or for more information on how our customer success team and regulatory experts can help you achieve conflict mineral compliance.

 

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