MANILA - E-Commerce platforms Shopee and Lazada signed Monday a memorandum of understanding with several global and local brand owners, agreeing to follow a code of conduct on the sale of counterfeit or pirated goods.
Under the MOU, Shopee and Lazada agreed to restrict the sale of counterfeit goods online "in a timely and efficient manner" when these are reported by brand owners.
Under the MOU the platforms are also required to maintain data on all sellers, to verify their identities, and to share information on the identities of alleged infringers, when ordered by the court or requested by government regulators.
They are also required to suspend or permanently close the account of such sellers.
Intellectual Property rights holders or brand owners also signed the MOU, including Unilever Philippines, GlaxoSmithKline, Globe Telecom, the Philippine Retailers Association, and the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
Trade Assistant Secretary Mary Jean Pacheco welcomed the MOU signing as a strong start to boosting business and consumer confidence in e-commerce.
But she also said stronger regulations are needed.
Under Senate Bill 1591, the proposed Internet Transactions Act, the Trade Department, is seeking regulatory powers to take down websites or platforms where counterfeit products are allowed to be sold.
"There is an Internet Transactions Bill pending in Congress, and that is one of the provisions. There is of course a strong argument, that if it is an infringement, then platforms must be liable," Pacheco said.
The e-commerce platforms meanwhile said they are already committed to fighting counterfeiting.
Last year, some of the biggest online shopping sites warned that some provisions of Internet Transactions Bill may stifle the growth of e-commerce in the Philippines.