Ohio House Bill 272 championed by State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) was signed into law by the governor Wednesday. The legislation designed to combat organized retail crime, jointly sponsored by State Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton), requires high-volume, third-party online sellers to disclose certain pieces of identifying information in order to protect consumers. Ghanbari attended the bill signing ceremony.
“I’m thankful to Governor DeWine for signing this important piece of legislation into law today,” said Ghanbari. “It’s going to simultaneously protect our consumers and assist in curbing organized retail crime across Wood County and our great state. We’re sending a message to these criminals to not take advantage of our citizens in this capacity – it will not be tolerated.”
The bill defines a high-volume third-party seller as a participant in an online marketplace that, in any continuous 12-month period in the previous 24 months has entered into at least 200 discreet sales for new or unused consumer goods resulting in at least $5,000 of gross revenue. The required identifying information for sellers on product listings would include details such as name, email address, or business tax I.D. number and would further require the online marketplace to verify such information within ten days of the seller qualifying as high volume.
Through the bill, this information available will allow consumers to be able to contact these sellers if necessary. It also allows the attorney general to adopt rules to enforce the bill’s provisions.
Additionally, the bill will help combat organized crime as Ghanbari identified that crime rings find a source of revenue through the online selling of stolen or counterfeit goods. The legislation was recently highlighted by NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt as they did an in-depth story on the issue and Ghanbari’s efforts to bring the legislation to fruition.
After being signed today, the bill will effectively become law in 90 days.