Following today’s plenary approval of MEP Alex Saliba’s report on the Digital Services Act (DSA), the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) calls on the European Commission to present a strong proposal with clear obligations on platforms to take preventive and proactive measures against the sale of illegal products. The presence of counterfeit goods on the web is increasing year on year, undermining consumers’ health and safety, as well as their confidence in original brands. 

Beyond the economic impact, which is substantial – 1.1 billion in annual revenue losses for Europe’s sporting goods industry – the wider societal impacts of counterfeiting are often overlooked. Indeed, in our sector alone, no less than 6 579 jobs are destroyed each year”, commented Jérôme Pero, FESI Secretary General. “Consumer health and safety is also at stake, due to the poor quality and lack of compliance with any standards of these products. Not to mention that the production and destruction of counterfeit goods also causes serious damage to the environment” he concluded.

FESI is very much in favour of the imminent presentation of the Digital Services Act announced more than a year ago by President Von der Leyen. But to be effective and have a strong impact, this act must take the measure of the current challenges facing European brands and consumers. FESI therefore calls on the European Commission to adopt clear rules to frame the responsibility of platforms, including due diligence obligations for preventive and proactive measures.

The report adopted today by the European Parliament is sending a strong signal to the Commission. For the first time, the idea of introducing a “Know Your Business Customer Principle” at European level is raised – making it mandatory for platforms to check and stop fraudulent companies using their services to sell their illegal and unsafe products. However, there is still a long way to go to curb the presence of counterfeiting on the Internet. Therefore, FESI urges the European Commission to introduce the following measures in the future DSA proposal:

  • Adopting proactive and preventing measures to fight against illegal products online
  • Simplifying and harmonizing the notice and takedown procedures
  • Introducing new transparency and information requirements for online marketplaces
  • Optimizing use of technologies
  • Strengthening information sharing with right holders