PRINTER'S NO. 1757
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1594
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY TOMLINSON, SANKEY, THOMAS, MILLARD, TOPPER,
SCHROEDER, FARRY, STAATS, POLINCHOCK, KAIL, MOUL, BURNS,
QUINN AND DELOZIER, JUNE 10, 2021
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER AFFAIRS, JUNE 10, 2021
AN ACT
Amending the act of December 17, 1968 (P.L.1224, No.387),
entitled "An act prohibiting unfair methods of competition
and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of
any trade or commerce, giving the Attorney General and
District Attorneys certain powers and duties and providing
penalties," providing for disclosure of information by online
marketplaces to inform customers.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of December 17, 1968 (P.L.1224, No.387),
known as the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law,
is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 9.4. Disclosure of Information by Online
Marketplaces to Inform Customers.--(a) The following shall
apply:
(1) An online marketplace shall require that a high-volume
third-party seller on the online marketplace provide the online
marketplace with all of the following information within twenty-
four hours of becoming a high-volume third-party seller:
(i) Accurate bank account information that has been
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confirmed directly by the online marketplace, a payment
processor or other third party contracted by the online
marketplace. If the high-volume third-party seller does not have
a bank account, the name of the payee for payments issued by the
online marketplace to the high-volume third-party seller. The
high-volume third-party seller may provide the bank account or
payee information under this subclause to the online
marketplace, a payment processor or other third party contracted
by the online marketplace to maintain the information. The
online marketplace may obtain the bank account or payee
information under this subclause on demand from a payment
processor or other third party contracted by the online
marketplace.
(ii) Contact information, including all of the following:
(A) If the high-volume third-party seller is an individual,
a copy of a government-issued photo identification for the
individual that includes the individual's name and physical
address.
(B) If the high-volume third-party seller is not an
individual, all of the following:
(I) A copy of a government-issued photo identification for
an individual acting on behalf of the high-volume third-party
seller that includes the individual's name and physical address.
(II) A copy of a government-issued record or tax document
that includes the business name and physical address of the
high-volume third-party seller.
(III) A working email address and working telephone number
for the high-volume third-party seller.
(C) A business tax identification number. If the high-volume
third-party seller does not have a business tax identification
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number, a taxpayer identification number.
(D) Whether the high-volume third-party seller is
exclusively advertising or offering the consumer product on the
online marketplace or currently advertising or offering for sale
the same consumer product on any other Internet websites other
than the online marketplace.
(2) The online marketplace shall verify the information
provided by the high-volume third-party seller under clause (1)
and each change to the information within three days. If the
high-volume third-party seller provides a copy of a valid
government-issued tax document under clause (1)(ii)(B)(II),
information contained within the tax document shall be presumed
to be verified as of the date of issuance of such record or
document.
(3) The online marketplace shall, on at least an annual
basis, notify the high-volume third-party seller on the online
marketplace that the high-volume third-party seller must inform
the online marketplace of each change to the information
provided by the high-volume third-party seller under clause (1)
within three days of receiving the notice under this clause. As
part of the notice under this clause, the online marketplace
shall instruct the high-volume third-party seller to
electronically certify that the high-volume third-party seller's
information under clause (1) is unchanged or that the high-
volume third-party seller is providing a change to the
information. If the online marketplace becomes aware that the
high-volume third-party seller has not complied with the
provisions of this clause, the online marketplace shall suspend
the high-volume third-party seller's participation on the online
marketplace until the high-volume third-party seller complies
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with the provisions of this clause.
(b) The following shall apply:
(1) Except as provided under clause (2), an online
marketplace shall require a high-volume third-party seller on
the online marketplace to provide all of the following
information:
(i) The identity of the high-volume third-party seller,
including all of the following information:
(A) The full name of the high-volume third-party seller.
(B) The full physical address of the high-volume third-party
seller.
(C) Whether the high-volume third-party seller engages in
the manufacturing, importing or reselling of consumer products.
(D) Contact information for the high-volume third-party
seller, including a functioning telephone number and email
address. The online marketplace may provide the functioning
email address to the high-volume third-party seller by the
online marketplace.
(ii) Any other information determined to be necessary by the
online marketplace to address any potential circumvention or
evasion of the requirements under this clause.
(2) Subject to clause (3), upon the request of the high-
volume third-party seller, the online marketplace may provide
for partial disclosure of the identity information required
under clause (1) in any of the following situations:
(i) If the high-volume third-party seller demonstrates to
the online marketplace that the high-volume third-party seller
does not have a business address and only has a residential
street address, the online marketplace may:
(A) direct the high-volume third-party seller to disclose
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only the country and, if applicable, the state where the high-
volume third-party seller resides on the product listing; and
(B) inform consumers that there is no business address
available for the high-volume third-party seller and that
consumer inquiries should be submitted to the high-volume third-
party seller by telephone or email.
(ii) If the high-volume third-party seller demonstrates to
the online marketplace that the seller is a business that has a
physical address for product returns, the online marketplace may
direct the high-volume third-party seller to disclose the high-
volume third-party seller's physical address for product
returns.
(iii) If the high-volume third-party seller demonstrates to
the online marketplace that the high-volume third-party seller
does not have a telephone number other than a personal telephone
number, the online marketplace shall inform consumers that there
is no telephone number available for the high-volume third-party
seller and that consumer inquiries should be submitted to the
high-volume third-party seller's email.
(3) If an online marketplace becomes aware that a high-
volume third-party seller has made a false representation to the
online marketplace in order to justify the provision of a
partial disclosure under clause (2) or that a high-volume third-
party seller who has requested and received a provision for a
partial disclosure under clause (2) has not provided responsive
answers within a reasonable time period to consumer inquiries
submitted to the high-volume third-party seller by telephone or
email, the online marketplace shall withdraw the provision for
partial disclosure under clause (2) and require the full
disclosure of the high-volume third-party seller's identity
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information required under clause (1) within three business
days' notice to the high-volume third-party seller.
(4) The online marketplace shall disclose to a consumer, in
a conspicuous manner on the product listing of the high-volume
third-party seller, a reporting mechanism that allows for
electronic and telephonic reporting of suspicious marketplace
activity to the online marketplace and a message encouraging
the consumer to report suspicious activity to the online
marketplace.
(c) In addition to the requirements under subsection (b), an
online marketplace that warehouses, distributes or otherwise
fulfills a consumer product order shall disclose to the consumer
the identification of a high-volume third-party seller supplying
the consumer product if different than the seller listed on the
product listing page.
(d) Violations of this section shall be declared unlawful
under section 3 of this act and shall be subject to the
penalties imposed under this act.
(e) A political subdivision may not establish, mandate or
otherwise require an online marketplace to verify information
from a high-volume third-party seller on a one-time or ongoing
basis or disclose information to consumers.
(f) The Bureau of Consumer Protection within the Office of
Attorney General may promulgate regulations regarding the
collection and verification of information from high-volume
third-party sellers under subsections (a) and (b).
(g) As used in this section:
"Consumer product" means tangible personal property that is
distributed in commerce and is normally used for personal,
family or household purposes, including tangible personal
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property intended to be attached to or installed in real
property without regard to whether the tangible personal
property is attached or installed.
"High-volume third-party seller" means a participant in an
online marketplace who is a third-party seller and who, in any
continuous twelve-month period during the previous twenty-four
months, has entered into two hundred or more discrete sales or
transactions of new or unused consumer products resulting in the
accumulation of an aggregate total of five thousand dollars
($5,000) or more in gross revenues.
"Online marketplace" means an electronically based or
accessed platform that hosts high-volume third-party sellers and
includes features which allow for, facilitate or enable high-
volume third-party sellers to engage in the sale, purchase,
payment, storage, shipping or delivery of a consumer product in
the United States.
"Seller" means a person who sells, offers to sell or
contracts to sell a consumer product through an online
marketplace.
"Third-party seller" means a seller, independent of an
operator, facilitator or owner of an online marketplace, who
sells, offers to sell or contracts to sell a consumer product in
the United States through an online marketplace. The term shall
not include a seller who:
(1) is operating as a business entity that has made the
business entity's name, business address and working contact
information available to the general public;
(2) has an ongoing contractual relationship with the owner
of the online marketplace to provide for the manufacture,
distribution, wholesaling or fulfillment of the shipment of
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consumer products; and
(3) has provided verified information under subsection (a).
"Verify" means to confirm information provided to an online
marketplace by the use of any of the following:
(1) A third-party or proprietary identity verification
system that has the capability to confirm a seller's name, email
address, physical address and telephone number.
(2) A combination of a two-factor authentication, a public
records search and the presentation of a government-issued
identification.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 180 days.
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