The Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) Consumers Act (INFORM) legislation was introduced in October last year. It is aimed at increasing online marketplace transparency and accountability to combat the rapidly growing problem of fakes and stolen goods sold through these channels.

The Act is set to be voted on in the US Senate and House in the next several days.

The National Retail Federation’s SVP of Government Relations, David French, said: “On behalf of the retail industry, we are extremely pleased negotiators included the INFORM Act in the omnibus package, and we look forward to passage in Congress this week.

“The INFORM Act will bring transparency to online marketplaces by requiring them to verify the identities of high-volume third-party sellers. Doing so will help curb the fencing of stolen merchandise and address the sale of counterfeit goods, which are common tactics of organized retail crime (ORC) groups.

NRF’s 2022 National Retail Security Survey found that retail shrink, when taken as a percentage of total retail sales in 2021, accounted for US$94.5bn in losses last year.

“While ORC can vary in scope and scale, the common denominator is that the activity is a coordinated, organised effort. These criminal rings operate sophisticated enterprises that aim to ransack retailers and sell illegally obtained merchandise for profit, endangering both employees and consumers.

“NRF has long supported meaningful legislation to curtail the danger and destruction caused from these criminal activities. We applaud Congress for passing this important measure before the end of the year.”

NRF has been a vocal advocate to pass legislation that helps curb the threat of organised retail crime. The trade group has led industry-wide efforts, including a successful grassroots campaign, in support of both the INFORM Act and the Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act. Data published last year showed that fake products accounted for around 3.3% of global trade, which is negatively impacting economies, brands and individuals according to figures published by testing, inspection and certification company SGS with clothing and footwear the most heavily bootlegged industry.