Amazon will now face “civil fines and other penalties” for selling counterfeit goods on its platform in the US.
Online retailers like Amazon, Alibaba and Ebay will now face severe penalties for selling illegal counterfeit goods, according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The report states that law enforcement officials will begin identifying counterfeit goods being sold online immediately, and actively pursuing them with fines and potentially “injunctive relief”.
Powers have also been granted to officials allowing them to examine online retailers’ warehouses and fulfilment centres, find illegal goods and demand they be destroyed or abandoned.
This dramatic crack down comes as President Donald Trump signed the ‘phase one’ trade deal with China, which requires both countries to “combat the prevalence of counterfeit or pirated goods”.
The DHS, which launched the initiative alongside the US Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, laid out 10 “immediate actions” for both the government and online retailers to adopt in order to tackle the issue.
Ecommerce platforms have been urged to make their terms of service very clear in regards to the sale of counterfeit goods, enhance third party vetting processes and simplify the process for brands to complain about fake goods being sold.
It added that the seizure of counterfeit goods at the border has risen dramatically from 3244 in 2000 to 33,810 in 2018.