Congress Rejects Harmful Seller Provisions In Science Package

August 10, 2022

As Congress leaves Washington for a few weeks after a very busy spring and summer, we are providing you with an update on some key policy issues impacting the eBay community. 

After more than a year of battling anti-marketplace provisions with YOUR help, the eBay Government Relations team has successfully prevented three harmful provisions from being signed into law as part of Congress’s economic competition package (formally known as the CHIPS and Science Act). Our success in blocking these provisions was directly tied to the relentless engagement of the members of our Small Business Ambassador Network program and  the larger eBay Main Street community. These provisions include the SHOP SAFE Act, the Import Security and Fairness Act, and the Country of Origin Online Labeling Act:

  • The SHOP SAFE Act: This bill would put in place a number of new restrictions and requirements for sellers on marketplaces like eBay–including a “three strikes” requirement to ban sellers after three allegations of counterfeit listings. The bill would make sellers guilty until proven innocent, forcing sellers to battle some of the largest brands in the world.
  • The Import Security and Fairness Act: This provision would have levied tariffs on low-value imports from China by eliminating the customs “de minimis” threshold. Many small businesses rely on the de minimis threshold, and eliminating this would have raised consumer prices and further complicated supply chain disruptions.
  • Country of Origin Online Labeling Act: This proposal would have required online sellers to disclose the country of origin for all products sold online–including used goods sold domestically. 

While preventing the above proposals from being signed into law was a huge win for everyone, the eBay Government Relations team has more work to do this year to pass two provisions that are favorable for eBay and our seller community:

  • The INFORM Act: This bill increases the safety and transparency of online marketplaces by implementing workable seller verification and disclosure requirements while protecting the safety and privacy of our sellers. Given that the federal INFORM Act has widespread bipartisan and industry support, Government Relations is working to pass the bill before the end of this year and help sellers avoid having to comply with a patchwork of different state laws.
  • 1099-K Reporting: We continue to push for improvements to new 1099-K reporting requirements so that casual eBay sellers are not inundated with unnecessary 1099-K forms, even when no taxes are owed. 

The eBay Government Relations team will continue to fight for fair ecommerce public policy and would like to thank all of the members of the Main Street community who helped us by participating in our grassroots campaigns and other policy-focused activities.