Washington Pushes for Tighter Sanctions for eCommerce Counterfeits
October 20, 2020
U.S. President Trump is cracking down on counterfeit trafficking by way of ecommerce platforms, such as Amazon and eBay.
Trump has signed a memorandum asking the executive branch to exercise tighter control over ecommerce sites in the U.S. that offer third-party selling. The proposed set of sanctions would give the Secretary of Homeland Security, through the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the right to seize counterfeit goods imported to the U.S. on ecommerce platforms, while imposing fines on the online sites.
“Trafficking in counterfeit goods infringes on the intellectual property rights of American companies, undermines their competitiveness and harms American workers,” the memorandum stated. “Counterfeit trafficking also poses significant health and safety threats to online consumers. E-commerce platforms serve as key contributors to counterfeit trafficking by acting as intermediaries and providing marketplaces that match up buyers and sellers.”
The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General have 120 days to develop a legislative proposal backing the memorandum.
In January, U.S. Customs and Border Protection launched a pilot program with marketplaces and shipping services, such as Amazon, Zulily, eBay and FedEx — all of which volunteered for the program — to disclose information on shipments, package contents, manufacturing and recipient details.