Washington, DC, 24 March 2021 – Yesterday, TIC Council Americas 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.
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 stolen, counterfeit, expired, dangerous and defective products. The INFORM Consumers Act, which was introduced yesterday by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), 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 TIC industry supports all efforts to protect consumers from unforeseen hazards caused by products that do not meet product safety standards. Counterfeit products, by their nature, cannot be considered safe and in identified cases, TIC member marks have been counterfeited to deceive consumers into thinking they are safe for use. We applaud the work of Senators Durbin and Cassidy in introducing this legislation and look forward to engaging on this topic.” – Karin Athanas, Executive Director, TIC Council Americas.
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.
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Editor’s Note About TIC Council :
TIC Council is the global trade federation representing the independent third-party Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) industry which brings together more than 90-member companies and organizations from around the world to speak with one voice. Its members provide services across a wide range of sectors: consumer products, medical devices, petroleum, mining and metals, food, and agriculture among others. Through provision of these services, TIC Council members assure that not only regulatory requirements are met, but also that reliability, economic value, and sustainability are enhanced. TIC Council’s members are present in more than 160 countries and employ more than 300,000 people across the globe.
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.