The European Commission presented its proposal for a Critical Raw Material Act (‘CRMA’) on 16 March 2023. The proposed CRMA represents a significant part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan presented in February 2023. It seeks to ensure the EU’s access to a secure and long-term supply of critical raw materials, thereby reducing the EU’s strategic dependencies on imports from third countries.

FERMA created a project group to take on the legislative developments in the area of critical raw materials (‘CRMs’) at the start of 2023—the Critical Raw Materials Project Group. The group developed feedback on the European Commission’s proposed legislation, which was submitted by FERMA in June.

In FERMA’s feedback to the European Commission, the following points were emphasised:

  •  FERMA is encouraged to see there is an entire chapter dedicated to risk monitoring and mitigation in the proposed CRMA (Chapter 4). This is a positive and formal recognition of the important role risk management, and Risk Managers, will play for organisations in and around the supply of CRMs.
  • Therefore, FERMA believes that there should be a Risk Manager on the EU Critical Raw Materials Board.
  • There is understandably a lot of emphasis on ‘circularity’ in the text. The EU is not blessed with bountiful supplies of CRMs so relies a lot on imports. It makes sense recycling of CRMs is a key feature of an EU strategy. Nevertheless, it would make sense for more consideration to be given to traceability, as well as to all of the risks that might emerge should recycling increase.
  •  Furthermore, FERMA pointed out that there are certainly insurance implications of the CRMA. This deserves more attention.
  • Lastly, FERMA believes there should also be more attention given to the potential cybersecurity risks that arise in the strategic projects involving CRMs, but also in the extraction and supply of them, too.

FERMA will continue to be active on this topic.

Read FERMA’s full answer to the consultation here