AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar says counterfeit goods often pose product safety and environmental risks, sidestep social responsibility and sustainability standards, and evade accountability.
The Shop Safe Act, which was introduced in 2021 means online platforms will be required to adhere to the same standards and face equivalent responsibilities as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers when it comes to preventing the sale of counterfeit or illicit products that could harm US consumers.
Lamar emphasises the risks associated with counterfeit products by stating: “Wearing a counterfeit item is not only potentially dangerous with chemicals or heavy metals, but it also misaligns with the moral values a consumer holds, including national and financial security risks helping fuel organised crime around the world.
He says: “We appreciate the unwavering leadership and commitment of Senator Chris Coons and Senator Thom Tillis as they reintroduce the Shop Safe Act to address the abundance of dangerous counterfeits promoted and sold online.”
The Shop Safe Act will require platforms to engage in best practices for screening and vetting sellers and goods, address repeat counterfeiter sellers, and ensure that consumers have relevant information available to them, or be held liable for the sale of counterfeit and illicit products that harm consumers.
Lamar points out brands allocate substantial resources and build devoted teams to safeguard their brand identities and fight against consumer deception. This is all whilst adhering to sustainability targets, conducting in-depth consumer safety tests, protecting their workers from harm, and tracing their supply chains to ensure brand integrity.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
All the while, counterfeiters ignore these simple steps and “exploit their own lack of due diligence to amass a greater profit.”
Lamar adds: “It is high time Congress approves the Shop Safe Act to combat the sale of unsafe counterfeit goods as the current status quo is untenable for brands and dangerous for consumers. Consumer safety is a bipartisan issue, and we’re glad to see ongoing bipartisan support in this area.”
The AAFA notes this legislation complements the Inform Consumers Act, which became effective on 27 June of this year and requires online marketplaces to collect, verify, and disclose specific information about “high-volume third-party sellers.”
According to the AAFA’s 2022 counterfeit study, 17 out of the 47 products tested failed to comply with US product safety standards, introducing dangerous levels of arsenic, cadmium, phthalates, lead, and more that have been linked to adverse health outcomes.
Together, these policies aim to cut down the influx of illicit products and protect consumers from the significant dangers posed by counterfeit goods across various industries.
In August, the AAFA expressed support for California’s proposed new greenhouse gas emissions law, alongside the Accessories Council, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Fashion Makes Change.