As part of its long-standing commitment to consumer safety, eBay was very proud to launch this week its new Regulatory Portal. The online Portal allows participating regulators to directly take down listings from the eBay marketplace without requiring additional approval. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Therapeutic Goods Administration have already joined over 50 safety authorities from around the world in utilising the portal. eBay is actively discussing expansion with other key Australian regulators.
eBay’s policies have always been informed and developed by consulting and cooperating with agencies and authorities in various fields. The launch of the Portal aligns with eBay’s existing commitments as an inaugural signatory to the ACCC’s Product Safety Pledge.
In launching the Portal, eBay Australia Managing Director, Tim MacKinnon, said, “Maintaining a safe and trusted marketplace is key to driving consumer confidence when purchasing online. We have witnessed the rapid acceleration of e-commerce first hand. There are now an extra one-million shoppers heading to eBay since the pandemic began a year ago, bringing us to 12-million unique monthly visitors.”
The Portal gives regulators the ability to take down any listings from the marketplace themselves, where they have evidence of a risk to consumer safety, without needing approval from eBay. Eliminating the need for a second level of approval streamlines the process, making product removal more efficient and reducing the risk of harmful products being purchased.
“There are many challenges which come with policing a marketplace, and while this has always been a priority for us, teamwork between the government, regulators, and marketplaces is needed to ensure consumers can stay safe shopping online,” adds MacKinnon. “It’s great to be working hand in hand with regulators to address these issues. We hope other players will follow suit and we can tackle them as an industry.”
The Portal will operate in addition to eBay’s own extensive reporting system and proactive efforts to remove prohibited items and enforce its existing policies. In 2020, 2.4-million listings were removed globally that were in violation of eBay’s prohibited and restricted items policies. Over that same period, eBay filters proactively blocked 258-million prohibited and restricted listings from appearing globally.
Further Portal functionalities, including the ability for regulators to directly communicate with buyers and sellers, are to be developed over the coming months.