FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toy Association Praises SHOP SAFE Act which Aims to Eradicate Unsafe Counterfeits Sold Online
March 2, 2020 | The Toy Association applauded the introduction of the SHOP SAFE Act of 2020, which aims to eliminate the online sale of counterfeit goods by incentivizing e-commerce platforms to adopt best practices to eliminate sellers of potentially harmful counterfeit products. The introduction of the bill coincides with The Toy Association’s ongoing advocacy and education efforts to demand action on the critical issue of unsafe counterfeit toys sold online.
The SHOP SAFE (Stopping Harmful Offers on Platforms by Screening Against Fakes in E-commerce) Act was introduced yesterday by bipartisan Judiciary Committee leadership. Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler and Ranking Member Doug Collins led the introduction of the bill along with Congressman Hank Johnson, Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Martha Roby.
Aimed at reducing opportunities for illicit sellers to sell counterfeit products (including toys) that may impact health and safety, the bill, if passed, would implement many of The Toy Association’s recommendations in its Intellectual Property Committee’s white paper, “The Real Threat of Fake Toys.” Among the requirements, the bill mandates that marketplaces implement seller vetting, penalties for repeat offenders, and consumer transparency, therefore reducing opportunities for counterfeits to be sold online. E-commerce marketplaces would be liable for counterfeit products sold on their sites if they do not implement these protections.
“We commend the bipartisan cosponsors for their leadership addressing an urgent need to protect consumers from illicit products that have the potential to harm our nation’s most vulnerable consumers – kids,” said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association. “The toy industry complies with strict standards and regulations for toys sold in the United States. Every single provider in the legitimate supply chain plays a role in ensuring the products consumers are purchasing are safe – and no seller should be exempt from that responsibility. SHOP SAFE establishes common sense best practices that third-party marketplaces should have in place in order to protect families and kids from potentially dangerous counterfeits sold online.”
The introduction of the SHOP SAFE bill is timely, with the House Committee on Energy and Commerce holding a hearing March 4 on the proliferation of deceptive and dangerous products on online marketplaces. Toy Association staff will be present at the hearing and provide testimony on behalf of the industry. The Toy Association also joined 17 trade associations and organizations in submitting a letter to the House Judiciary Committee urging legislation that would increase liability for online marketplaces.
The Toy Association continues to advocate for the eradication of counterfeits sold online through various roundtable meetings and hearings with top government officials and enforcement agencies, and by communicating and advocating directly with several marketplace platforms. In 2019, the Association was invited to testify before Congress about the dangers of counterfeits, and to participate in a roundtable discussion with top White House officials on regulatory and legislative actions to combat the online sale of illicit toys and other children’s products. The Toy Association is also planning an Intellectual Property Protection Fly-In advocacy event; details on the fly-in and how companies can participate will be available in the coming days.
Toy Association members who would like to learn more or get involved with the Association’s IP Committee are encouraged to contact Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs.