December 17, 2019

Cassidy, Tillis Introduce SANTA Act to Protect Children from Dangerous Online Products

WASHINGTONAs Americans increasingly turn to online vendors for holiday shopping, U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) want parents to know that what they buy is safe for their families. They introduced legislation today to help parents protect their children against dangerous counterfeit toys and products.

The Stop All Nefarious Toys in America (SANTA) Act would require new information be included in online marketplaces that clearly show product origins and business name and contact information, among other requirements, for children’s toys and products.

“Not all online vendors’ toys are as reliable as those from Santa’s workshop. Parents should know that the presents they buy their children are safe. This bill is about keeping our children safe both during the holidays and throughout the year,” said Dr. Cassidy.

“As families across North Carolina celebrate Christmas and the holidays, parents buying toys should have the peace of mind that they are buying safe and reliable products for their children,” said Senator Tillis. “I’m proud to co-introduce the SANTA Act so online marketplaces like Amazon must include important information to ensure families aren’t buying counterfeit products that put their children at risk.”

“As New Jerseyans prepare to celebrate the holidays, all of us want our children to have fun—not get hurt by overlooked hazards in toys,” said Sen. Menendez. “Our Stop All Nefarious Toys in America Act will ensure that online customers are not duped into buying dangerous counterfeit toys that could cause unwanted injuries and keep our children safe during the holidays and beyond.”

New information required under the SANTA Act include:

  • Full name, full business address, whether the seller is the manufacturer, importer, retailer or reseller of the children’s product and contact information for the seller, including working phone number and working email.
  • Online marketplaces should also notify parents if the product is fulfilled or shipped from a seller or warehouse that is different from the original seller.
  • Online marketplaces should verify seller information prior to listing through government issued ID, bank accounts, individual and business contact information.  This should exclude sellers of used children’s products and resellers of children’s products.

The SANTA Act has received support from the Toy Association, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and the Halloween & Costume Association.

“The Toy Association applauds Senator Bill Cassidy for his leadership on the SANTA Act. The legislation is an important step forward in empowering families who shop online. By providing online shoppers with information on who, and from where, they are purchasing toys from they will be better able to make smart, informed decisions about the toys and games being purchased online for their loved ones,” said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Toy Association. “Third-party sellers on online marketplaces have thus far not been held to the same high level of accountability that is expected from the U.S. toy and retail industries. Online sellers who seek to deceive consumers and profit from the sale of untested, unsafe and fake toys – and place children and other consumers at risk – must be stopped. This bill stands to be an important tool toward achieving this objective.”

“JPMA supports this effort to require greater transparency in online marketplaces so Consumers can better know the source of products that provide for the care and protection of babies. Consumers expect legitimate branded, safety tested, affordable baby products when they purchase them online,” said Kelly Mariotti, Executive Director of JPMA.

“Consumers want to know that when they are buying children’s Halloween Costumes and accessories online that the products are legitimate brands and safe. This bill mandates such transparency and deserves public support,” said Michelle Buggy Executive Director of the Halloween & Costume Association.