On July 23, 2020, U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky launched H.R.7756 to require on-line marketplaces to confirm and open up to shoppers sure info concerning high-volume third-party sellers of client merchandise. The aim of the invoice is to fight the sale of stolen, counterfeit, and harmful client merchandise by requiring transparency of third-party sellers on on-line retail marketplaces.
This follows the same invoice launched by U.S. Senators Invoice Cassidy and Dick Durbin on March 10, 2020, titled the Integrity, Notification, and Equity in On-line Retail Marketplaces for Customers Act, or the INFORM Customers Act. The INFORM Customers Act directs on-line retail marketplaces that embody third-party sellers of client merchandise to confirm the id of high-volume third-party sellers on the platform. The invoice defines “high-volume third-party sellers” as those that have entered into 200 or extra discrete transactions in a 12-month interval amounting to an mixture complete of $5,000 or extra. To verify the id of those third-party sellers, the invoice requires on-line marketplaces to accumulate sellers’ government-issued photograph identification, tax identification quantity, checking account info, and call info on an annual foundation.
The INFORM Customers act would additionally require on-line retail marketplaces to open up to shoppers the vendor’s title, enterprise handle, telephone quantity, e-mail handle, and whether or not the vendor engages within the manufacturing, importing, retail, or reselling of client merchandise. The invoice presents an exception, nonetheless, for particular person high-volume third-party sellers that enables them to not disclose their private road handle or private telephone quantity so long as the sellers reply to client inquiries submitted through e-mail inside an affordable time. Moreover, the web marketplaces must present contact info for patrons to report suspicious exercise.
It’s also vital to notice that the act would maintain on-line retail marketplaces accountable for the merchandise on their platform bought by third-party sellers, with the intent of stopping the sale of counterfeit or stolen merchandise to unsuspecting prospects.
The Federal Commerce Fee would implement the invoice’s necessities, with violations leading to civil penalties.
By establishing a baseline stage of transparency for on-line retail marketplaces, the invoice supplies info so that buyers can distinguish between real retailers and frauds. Nonetheless, this new client safety might place an incredible burden on on-line retail marketplaces that don’t at present meet every of the laws’s necessities, given the potential prices related to altering procedures and adopting measures essential to make sure compliance.
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