Brussels, 20 January 2022

The Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) is concerned about the vote on the Digital Services Act that took place last night in the European Parliament. Despite some recent positive amendments put on table, MEPs failed to adopt an ambitious position that would have effectively protected brands and consumers operating online.

Yesterday’s vote is a clear missed opportunity to create a safer digital world where consumers are effectively protected from the exposure to illegal goods. The absence of a stay-down obligation in the DSA will make it possible for illegal content, such as counterfeits, to continue reappearing online after being removed, and further profit the infringers at the expense of consumers’ health and brands’ revenues”, commented Jérôme Pero, FESI Secretary General.

The exclusion of individual right holders from the scope of the trusted flaggers provision is also a disappointment for FESI, which had been advocating in favour of this since the beginning of the legislative process. Brands such as FESI’s members are in the best position to determine the illegality of their own products. Not allowing them to qualify as trusted flaggers is another missed opportunity to remove illegal content more quickly and prevent consumers from accessing it. In that sense, FESI hopes that the future trilogues negotiations will bring the final text on DSA in line with the Council’s position, which includes individual rights holders in the scope of the trusted flaggers’ provision.

FESI is nevertheless pleased to see the introduction of a new Recital mandating intermediary services providers covered by the Know Your Business Customer requirement to conduct due diligence checks. However, this is not sufficient. The obligation for platforms to check the identity of their business customers should be clearly extended to all intermediaries beyond online marketplaces. Indeed, in today’s digital age, many illegal products, especially sporting goods, are also sold on social media platforms. This provision is crucial to bring the DSA up to date with the digital world.

FESI now calls on the Parliament’s rapporteur and the French Presidency to focus on these priorities in future trilogues. We are at a historic turning point and the DSA is the chance of a decade to make sure what is illegal offline is also illegal online!


Contact: Ariane Gatti, FESI Communication Manager / [email protected] / +32 274 08 94