Law & Order

INFORM Consumers Act Passes House Committee

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

SEMA and its partner organizations that comprise the Buy Safe America Coalition thanked the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee for passing legislation that protects Americans from criminals who sell counterfeit and stolen goods through online marketplaces.

The INFORM Consumers Act, H.R. 5502, requires online marketplaces to verify certain information about high-volume third-party sellers of consumer products (sellers who make 200 or more discrete sales or transactions totaling at least $5,000 during any continuous 12-month period in the last 24 months), including the seller’s bank account number, business tax identification number or a taxpayer identification number, and contact information. The bill also requires high-volume third-party sellers with $20,000 in annual gross revenue through an online marketplace to disclose to consumers the full name of the seller or company, business address, and contact info (current working email address, phone number, or other direct electronic messaging for the seller) after each sale. The bill empowers online marketplaces to suspend high-volume third-party sellers of consumer products who do not provide the required information within 10 days of the request from the online marketplace.

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. The Coalition urges the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to pass the Inform Consumers Act to help protect individuals and small businesses alike.

“We are alarmed by the danger posed to unsuspecting consumers when they purchase what they believe to be legitimate auto parts and equipment,” said Daniel Ingber, SEMA’s vice president of government and legal affairs. “The reality is that major sources of counterfeit products are internet consumer purchases that arrive in the United States via postal and overnight carriers. We are confident that by passing commonsense legislation like the INFORM Consumers Act, we can stop these bad actors from selling dangerous counterfeit automotive parts and equipment to unsuspecting consumers.”

There has been a steep rise in the sale of counterfeit automotive parts on online marketplaces, posing a threat to the safety of U.S. consumers. The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the issue of counterfeit product sales, as traffic towards e-commerce has grown and current regulatory standards fail to hold third-party marketplaces accountable.

A recent study published by the Buy Safe America Coalition found that illegitimate imports entering the U.S. cost domestic retailers nearly $54.1 billion in sales annually and more than 39,000 jobs in wholesaling and 280,000 retail jobs—paying more than $13.6 billion in wages and benefits to workers—were lost because of counterfeit production.

For additional information, contact Eric Snyder at