THE WHAT? European Consumers’ Organisation Beuc has stated that online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay should be held responsible for any faulty or unsafe goods sold via its platforms, according to a report by the Financial Times.
THE DETAILS The organisation, which represents 26 countries, highlighted the wide range of goods sold via these platforms that fail to comply with EU regulations, and that self-regulation was no longer enough.
Speaking of safety risks, Beuc said, “voluntary action is not enough, or has just become a way to delay regulatory obligations.”
“The consequences for consumers, including children, of buying such failing products could range from electric shock, to fire or suffocation.”
Beuc also highlighted the “the power and influence” held on society and the public during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Maryant Fernández, Senior Digital Policy Officer at Beuc, said, “E-commerce shops have become more relevant than ever during the pandemic and we need to hold them accountable. It cannot continue to be the case that it’s very easy for a platform to make money from illegal online sales, but that it’s very difficult to put an end to them.”
THE WHY? Despite Amazon responding to state that it “requires selling partners to abide by strict product quality guidelines and our teams have robust proactive systems in place to prevent expired goods from being shipped to customers,” the EU is said to be keen to push through the new Digital Services Act.
Set to replace the old Ecommerce Directive, Margrethe Vestager, EU Competition Commissioner, said of the act, “The crisis has shown that it’s more urgent than ever to get the Digital Services Act because you really need to be able to trust what you do online as well as what you do offline.”