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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: June 1, 2021 02:57 PM
From: Representative Kathleen C. Tomlinson
To: All House members
Subject: Organized Retail Crime

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has stated that illicit sales of counterfeit and stolen goods have become a $509 billion criminal enterprise and impacts consumers and law-abiding small businesses alike. Therefore, I plan to introduce legislation that would strengthen the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law by requiring third-party sellers to disclose information to the online marketplace and consumers.

Under this legislation, a high-volume third-party seller would be required to provide bank account information, contact information, and a tax identification number to the online marketplace. Contact information, such as name, address, or email, must also be provided to the consumer by the third-party seller to help ensure transparency and accountability.

The bill will require verification of the seller’s disclosed information by the online marketplace within three days of the information being provided. The third-party seller must also supply updated bank account, contact, and tax identification information to the online marketplace on an annual basis.
Additionally, an online marketplace must establish a reporting mechanism for instances of suspicious activity if false information is provided by the seller. Enforcement of the act will be conducted by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, and the Division of Consumer Protection will set regulations regarding the collection and verification of this information.

By verifying the identity and business information of third-party sellers on online marketplaces and enacting these important safeguards, we can protect consumers and small businesses from the sale of illegitimate items.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB1594