New Zealand electronics companies could be among those caught up in new legislation being introduced in the United States.
The new law cracks down on armed groups in the Congo who are engaged in the deadly trade of conflict minerals, and which help sustain the human rights abuses in the region.
The minerals such as gold, tantalum, tungsten and tin are often found in consumer products like cell phones, game consoles, and products with integrated circuits.
Otago University Professor David Lont says the effects of the new laws will filter through the layers of manufacturers and suppliers.
"For New Zealand companies that's when they start to kick in, because they could be supplying to a US supplier and so that's how they become involved in this."