News & positions

PRESS RELEASES 21 January 2022

European Parliament’s position on Digital Services Act lacks ambition to seriously crack down on illegal goods

Brussels, 20 January 2022 – AIM, the European Brands Association, deplores the lack of ambition of the European Parliament’s position on the proposed Digital Services Act (DSA) adopted today in plenary. The overall vote will not protect consumers online, which runs against the original intention of the DSA, and benefits irresponsible platforms and rogue sellers.

AIM is deeply disappointed by the fact that MEPs voted down several sensible amendments to the Internal Market Committee’s report on the DSA tabled in plenary by a broad group of MEPs across political groups and Member States. These amendments, had they been adopted, would have helped preserve EU consumer’s health and safety by further cracking down on the ever-increasing amount of counterfeit products sold online, in particular via social media. AIM urges the negotiators to address these key issues during trilogue.

AIM regrets that MEPs fell short of:

  • Expanding the obligation – currently limited to online marketplaces – to verify the identity of traders offering goods for sale on their services (the “Know-Your-Business-Customer” obligation) to all online intermediaries.

“The fact that only 2 votes out of 589 were missing in the end to reach a political majority in favour of a wider KYBC requirement demonstrates large support among MEPs for this”, observes Michelle Gibbons, Director-General of AIM. “Without this change, the DSA will very quickly become outdated,” adds Ms Gibbons.

  • Broadening the trusted flaggers status to individual brand owners (contrary to the Council’s general approach) so their IP infringement notices can benefit from prompt treatment by platforms.

“Denying this status to individual brands is a nonsense as they alone can authenticate their products, and most do not act through collecting societies, which would represent an additional burden and cost for them, especially for SMEs,” notes Ms Gibbons.  

  • Introducing a stay down obligation for all relevant online intermediaries, including online marketplaces and stores, to prevent previously flagged and removed/disactivated or similar content from reappearing on their services.

“A stay down obligation is necessary to make the DSA’s notice and action mechanism and KYBC requirement effective. Without this, illegal goods will simply keep reappearing at a pace which brand owners will not be able to match with notices, endangering consumers and businesses alike,” remarks Ms Gibbons. “This would be made even worse should brands not be able to qualify as trusted flaggers for their own goods and content,” adds Ms Gibbons.

  • Narrowing down exemptions from due diligence obligations to micro platforms only, going as far as enlarging them for small and medium-sized platforms.

“Excluding small and medium platforms would create a major loophole and fail to effectively protect consumers and businesses against illegal products” observes Ms Gibbons. “Consumers are just as exposed to counterfeit products when shopping on small and medium platforms as when shopping on larger ones,” adds Ms Gibbons.

Regrettably, the Parliament’s position therefore does not ensure a safe and transparent Internet for all and leaves European consumers and legitimate businesses, including the vast majority of EU SMEs, behind.

We are therefore calling on the European Parliament, Council and Commission to fix these serious shortcomings during the upcoming trilogue negotiations so that the DSA delivers on its promise of guaranteeing that “what is illegal offline should be illegal online” and set future-proof rules that protect both EU consumers and businesses against illegal goods.



For further information, please contact: Amaury Libbrecht

Tel: +32 2 736 03 05 • Email:

About AIM

AIM (Association des Industries de Marque) is the European Brands Association, which represents manufacturers of branded consumer goods in Europe on key issues that affect their ability to design, distribute and market their brands. AIM’s membership comprises 2500 businesses ranging  from SMEs to multinationals, directly or indirectly through its corporate and national association members.