News & positions

POSITIONS 09 March 2021

AIM publishes Position on the Commission's draft Digital Services Act (DSA)

AIM, the European Brands Association, is grateful to the European Commission for its considered draft Digital Services Act (“DSA”), which should help to ensure that the European Union remains at the vanguard of protecting online consumer and business trust, safeguarding both rights and citizens.

The digital transformation has indeed brought many benefits but also risks and challenges in recent years, including the exponential growth in online offers of counterfeit and other illegal goods. Protecting consumers and providing them with trusted, safe and innovative goods is in the DNA of every branded goods manufacturer and should also be embedded in any intermediary and retailer, on- or offline.

As such, the DSA is the opportunity to ensure that:

  • European consumers and businesses are protected equally on- and offline against rogue traders and (illegal) unfair competition;
  • Online service providers play their part in maintaining a clean and fair online ecosystem, in particular by exercising appropriate control over those parts of the value chain that are within their purview. This includes:
    • reasonable due diligence to know with whom they enter business relationships (“Know Your Business Customer”);
    • legal obligations to employ proactive, including technical, measures to prevent offers for illegal goods appearing on their sites. Voluntary measures are insufficient to tackle counterfeiting online;
    • rapidly (and permanently) removing such offers when they are identified and prohibiting repeat offenders from accessing their services;
  • Information about infringements is provided on a proactive basis to law enforcement, including customs and market surveillance, authorities allowing for effective risk analysis and targeting. Consumers also deserve such transparency, especially being informed when they have previously purchased a product that has since been removed as it was illegal.
  • Rapid and efficient notice and action procedures are established, including the treatment of brand holders as “trusted flaggers”, given that they alone can authenticate their products.