Press Releases

Nadler, Collins, Johnson & Roby Introduce Bipartisan SHOP SAFE Act to Protect Consumers and Businesses from the Sale of Dangerous Counterfeit Products Online

SHOP SAFE incentivizes e-commerce platforms to adopt best practices designed to limit the sale of counterfeit products that pose a risk to consumer health and safety.

Washington, March 2, 2020

WASHINGTON—Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; Doug Collins (R-GA), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee; Hank Johnson (D-GA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet; and Martha Roby (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, today introduced the Stopping Harmful Offers on Platforms by Screening Against Fakes in E-Commerce (SHOP SAFE) Act to stop the online sale of dangerous counterfeits. The bill incentivizes platforms to engage in a set of best practices to curb the presence of counterfeits on their sites.

“American consumers increasingly turn to the internet to shop. Counterfeiters have followed consumers, and it is clear more must be done to combat the rising trend in online sales of counterfeit products,” said Chairman Nadler. “Consumers should be able to trust that what they see and purchase online is what they will get, but counterfeiters continue to join platforms with ease and masquerade as reliable sellers in order to infect American households with dangerous and unsafe counterfeit products.  The SHOP SAFE Act proposes a set of commonsense measures to tackle the gaps in these platforms’ systems and stop counterfeit sales.”

“Consumer lives are at risk because of dangerous counterfeit products that are flooding the online marketplace. Congress must create accountability to prevent these hazardous items from infiltrating the homes of millions of Americans. The SHOP SAFE Act would make families safer by requiring online sellers to help prevent the sale of counterfeit products to consumers. President Trump and Peter Navarro have taken great strides to address counterfeit issues, and the SHOP SAFE Act will help achieve their goals,” said Collins.

“Counterfeit products pose significant threats to consumer health and safety and have devastating impacts on businesses,” said Congressman Johnson. “Platforms must do their part in ensuring that their sellers are reliable and that their products are authentic.  This legislation makes great strides in addressing the increasing problem of unsafe counterfeit products sold to unsuspecting consumers by encouraging platforms take steps that are reasonable, workable, and necessary for keeping dangerous counterfeits out of consumers’ hands.”  

“Counterfeit products directly impact brands and consumers while also posing serious dangers to public health and safety. It is critically important that we combat the sale of these harmful products online," said Roby.

The SHOP SAFE Act would:

  • Establish trademark liability for online marketplace platforms when a third-party sells a counterfeit product that poses a risk to consumer health or safety and that platform does not follow certain best practices;
  • Incentivize online platforms to establish best practices such as vetting sellers to ensure their legitimacy, removing counterfeit listings, and removing sellers who repeatedly sell counterfeits; and 
  • Call for online marketplaces to take steps necessary to prevent the continued sale of counterfeits by the third-party seller or face contributory liability for their actions.

A copy of the full bill text can be found here
A section by section analysis of the bill can be found here
A one-pager on the bill can be found here.  


The sale of counterfeit goods through online platforms is a growing problem because the current legal regime does not adequately incentivize online platforms to vet who is selling on their website and what they are selling.  In addition, counterfeiters frequently take advantage of the features of online platforms to appear as legitimate sellers, meaning that consumers are unknowingly purchasing inauthentic products.  Combined with a significant increase in sales of counterfeits online, the end result is consumers potentially facing serious threats to their health and safety. 

Many counterfeits do not undergo safety testing and pose a substantial health and safety risk for consumers. Products like cosmetics, baby formula, batteries, chargers, air bags, car seats and breaks are a few of the potentially life-threatening counterfeits currently sold online.  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 20 of 47 items purchased from third-party sellers on popular consumer websites were counterfeit.