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U.S. House Passes
INFORM Consumers Act

Cracking down on the online sale of stolen
& fake goods that fuel ORC


H.R. 5502, the "Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act," was introduced by Schakowsky and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Ranking Member Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). The bill requires online platforms to verify the identity of high-volume third-party sellers by obtaining and authenticating the seller's name, tax ID, bank account information, and contact information. This additional transparency will help combat the online sale of stolen, counterfeit, and dangerous consumer products and enable consumers to contact and seek recourse from such sellers. The bill passed en bloc by a vote of 381-39.

What is the INFORM Consumers Act?

The INFORM Consumers Act requires online marketplaces to verify the identity of high-volume third-party sellers to help curb the sale of stolen and counterfeit merchandise.

According to the text of the bill, the act "requires online marketplaces to verify certain information regarding high-volume third party sellers of consumer products on such online marketplaces and to disclose to consumers certain contact and other information regarding such high-volume third party sellers."

Read the full text of the bill here

NRF Statement on House Passage of INFORM Act

WASHINGTON - The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French following the U.S. House's vote on the "Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act." The bipartisan legislation was approved by a House majority vote under suspension of the rules.

"There is no place for crime targeting retailers in American communities. Organized retail crime (ORC) is a multibillion-dollar problem where criminal enterprises plan, organize and execute large-scale thefts from retailers to sell illegally obtained goods for financial gain. These brazen crimes are not only dangerous but also impact retailers with significant financial losses and disruptions to business operations.

"NRF supports today's action in the House to advance the INFORM Consumers Act. We urge the House and Senate to enact this bipartisan legislation and send it President Biden before the end of the year."

According to NRF's 2022 National Retail Security Survey, retailers reported a 26.5% increase in ORC, on average. Even more alarming, the vast majority (81.2%) said the violence and aggression associated with ORC had increased in the past year.

Last month, NRF spearheaded a grassroots campaign called "Fight Retail Crime Day." One thousand retail advocates contacted members of Congress and urged them to act on legislative measures including the INFORM Act to curb the sale of stolen goods online and the Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act to increase federal coordination to fight crime.

Amazon's role in pushing the bill forward

Amazon and a number of small businesses have spent the past year talking to policymakers about the facts and what Congress can do to truly help protect customers, while not punishing the honest small businesses that sell online.

After initial opposition to more previous versions of the bill, Amazon came around to supporting a modified version of H.R. 5502.

In a post on their website, Amazon wrote:

We appreciate that policymakers listened to these concerns and added important changes to H.R. 5502, the recently introduced House version of the INFORM Act.

These modifications will protect innovation, giving Amazon and other online marketplaces flexibility in how we stop bad actors. Equally important, this bill will not favor one business model over another. We're thankful for the progress that's been made on the House version of the INFORM Act and look forward to supporting its passage. While there are a few areas in the bill that could be refined to further minimize burdens on honest sellers, we believe this bill will help protect small businesses and consumers alike. We also think it is important this bill establishes a federal standard, preventing an unworkable patchwork of state-level regulations.

With H.R. 5502, Congress will be doing what's best for small businesses and consumers. We look forward to working with lawmakers to further strengthen the bill and to get the INFORM Act passed into law.