Contact: Jill Notini
HOME APPLIANCE INDUSTRY APPLAUDS INTRODUCTION OF LEGISLATION TO PROTECT CONSUMERS FROM COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS SOLD ONLINE
Urgently Needed INFORM Consumers Act Will Bring Greater Transparency and Accountability To Dominant Online Marketplaces
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 24, 2021)
– The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers 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 counterfeit 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 Senators Durbin (D-IL), Cassidy (R-LA), Hirono (D-HI), Grassley (R-IA), Coons (D-DE) and Tillis (R-NC), 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 home appliance industry has been working to stop the sale of counterfeit water filters and other products for nearly 5 years. Once we learned about the health and safety issues related to the use of counterfeit filters, we developed a campaign to educate consumers about their harmful effects. But, education alone is not enough. We applaud the work being done by our legislators to stand up to those taking advantage of American consumers, particularly those purchasing essential items online during the pandemic,” said Joseph McGuire, President and CEO of AHAM.
A single U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s seizure in 2019 of more than 5,200 counterfeit refrigerator water filters at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport is a stark reminder that serious health and safety risks can lurk in even routine household purchases.
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.
for more information about the growing problem of stolen and counterfeit goods and solutions to better protect consumers and businesses.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is the trade association representing manufacturers of major, portable and floor care home appliances and suppliers to the industry. AHAM is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and maintains an office in Ottawa. AHAM is the single voice providing the home appliance industry and its customers leadership, advocacy and a forum for action — developing and implementing credible solutions for public policy, standards and business decisions.
You can visit AHAM’s web site at http://www.aham.org or follow us on Twitter @AHAM_Voice and @AHAM_Policy.
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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.