Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors
March 23, 2021

Urgently Needed INFORM Consumers Act Will Bring Greater Transparency and Accountability To Dominant Online Marketplaces

Washington, D.C — The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributor joins with the Buy Safe America Coalition, a diverse group of retailers, consumer groups, wholesaler-distributors, and manufacturers in publicly declaring support of the introduction of the INFORM Consumers Act, legislation to increase transparency and accountability for online marketplaces amid the rapidly growing problem of illicit goods sold online.

“The INFORM Consumers Act makes clear that transparency is key to combatting the sale of illicit goods online and makes it easier for law enforcement to track offenders,” said Blake Adami, Vice President of Government Relations for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. “Online marketplaces, like Amazon and Facebook, should be accountable for the activity on their platforms to ensure only legitimate goods are sold by verified sellers. This legislation is a common-sense solution to address the growing problem of organized retail crime and its consequences for both consumers and businesses.”

Throughout the pandemic U.S. e-commerce grew by 44 percent as more families shopped online.  At the same time criminal networks targeted unsuspecting customers with the sale of stolencounterfeit, expired, dangerous and defective products. The INFORM Consumers Act, which was introduced today by Senators Durbin (D-IL), Cassidy (R-LA), Hirono (D-HI), Grassley (R-IA), Coons (D-DE) and Tillis (R-NC), would modernize consumer protection laws and require online marketplaces to collect and verify basic business information from sellers, in addition to requiring high-volume sellers to provide contact information to consumers.

The INFORM Consumers Act’s introduction comes in the wake of some of the largest and most notable retail crime busts in history, including the Department of Homeland Security’s  seizure of millions of counterfeit masks, the recovery of $8 million in stolen merchandise and goods heading for online marketplaces in California, and the discovery of a $10 million theft ring led by Amazon drivers in Washington state. Data collected from asset protection managers (APMs) at leading retailers nationwide – 67 percent of whom reported an increase in ORC since March 2020 and 80 percent of whom expect ORC to increase further this year ­­– confirms the severity of the situation.

Visit BuySafeAmerica.org for more information about the growing problem of stolen and counterfeit goods and solutions to better protect consumers and businesses.

The Buy Safe America Coalition represents a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates and law enforcement officials who support efforts at all levels of government to protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.

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