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International Commerce Consumer Protection Act


Steven Andrews
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Title I: International Companies Advertising Sales in the United States
(1) For any company located overseas doing more than $25,000 in online advertising per year in the United States, which shall be deemed to be sufficient activity to have established a commercial nexus in the United States, requires the following:
(A) Places a minimum time frame on accepting notification of returns to "not less than 30 days following delivery to an address in the United States, unless another rule or law would require a longer time"; or
(B) Requires that any foreign company which does not provide for the above shall maintain a receiving agent in the United States for the purposes of processing returns.  Exceptions may be provided for in international agreements, but only if returns can "reasonably be expected" to be delivered within seven business days under normal circumstances.
(C) Requires that the company be able to be reached both by phone, in English, during established business hours (which should not regularly be less than 40 hours per seven days) as well as via "email or another established protocol for electronic communications".

(2) Permits the Secretary of State to petition the courts for an order barring companies which are "chronic offenders" in terms of refusing or obstructing refunds from advertising to United States consumers, or requiring ad vendors not to do business with them for US consumers.

 

Title II: International Companies Carrying Out Sales via Large-Scale Online Platforms
For any website which carries out more than $25,000,000 per year in sales in the United States on behalf of sellers not located in the United States (other than the website themselves), does the following:
(1) Requires that the "platform company" (e.g. Amazon) properly vet suppliers and ensure that they are able to comply with the terms of Title I of this Act.
(2) Requires that the platform company make provisions to act as a receiving agent under Title I, Section (2) of this Act with domestic facilities.
(3) Enacts a system to ensure that fraudulent, illegitimate, or misleading sales and/or reviews are not carried out, and to remove sellers engaging in such practices.  The platform company will be required to permit customers to set a default setting to only accept reviews from people verified to be in the United States.  Though other settings may be offered, this one must be available and be able to set as a default setting. 


Title III: Internet Credit Card Sales
(1) Extends the requirement of credit cards to refund purchases to include "international purchases which, upon delivery, are not of the indicated quality, are substantially different from that which was sold, or are otherwise defective; and which do not permit a full refund with complementary return shipping" and requires that such refund requests be accepted for "not less than 30 days following delivery to an address in the United States, unless another rule or law would require a longer time".  Requires that overseas-shipped purchases on behalf of sellers whose sales to US customers exceeds $25,000 include tracking information as part of shipping at no extra cost, and requires that credit card companies include such a requirement in their contracts.
(2) Creates an identical requirement for debit cards.
(3) Requires credit card networks to "exercise due care" in issuing merchant accounts to ensure that fraudulent businesses are not licensed when a threshold of $100,000/yr in business is reached, making them subject to US Know Your Customer regulations.  Permits the issuers of credit cards and debit cards (i.e. the banks) to bring claims against the networks [e.g. Visa, MasterCard, Discover] for permitting businesses with "substantial patterns of fraudulent behavior" to remain in-network to recoup chargeback losses.
(4) Requires that international sellers carrying out more than $25,000/yr in sales of physical goods to customers located in the United States must accept a method of payment subject to this title.
(5) Renders any clause in the Terms of Service of a website invalid which would circumvent consumer protection provisions found in credit card contracts (e.g. chargeback provisions).
(6) Bars the cancelling of orders, closing of accounts, or confiscation of property (digital or physical) for chargeback claims, etc., except where such claims are "abusive".

Andrew Byrd (and family), Virginia

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