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Regulators given power to remove dangerous Ebay listings

Listings found to put consumer safety at risk can now be taken down without eBay’s prior approval under a new scheme.

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Regulators will not need to notify Ebay to remove unsafe and illegal listings (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Regulators will not need to notify Ebay to remove unsafe and illegal listings (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Regulators will not need to notify Ebay to remove unsafe and illegal listings (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Regulators have been given the power to remove unsafe and illegal listings from Ebay without consulting the company first.

The online market place said the new system would enable “trusted authorities” to remove items themselves to ensure consumer safety.

The scheme is part of a new Regulatory Portal built by Ebay, which gives regulators around the world – including Westminster City Council Trading Standards, Ofcom, and the Office for Product and Safety Standards (OPSS) in the UK – the power to take down listings without needing Ebay’s approval.

The move is the latest step in efforts to reduce the number of dangerous and counterfeit items which can be found on many online market places.

Marketplaces should be taking their responsibility for consumer safety seriously, but collaboration with authorities is vitalMurray Lambell, Ebay UK

Additional concerns have also been raised during the pandemic, with millions of people turning to online shopping, often for the first time, as high streets closed.

Ebay said that the new portal would speed up the process of removing dangerous items and therefore would help reduce any risk to its customers.

Murray Lambell, general manager of Ebay UK, said: “The last year has seen an acceleration towards an increasingly digital age, and with online shopping becoming an even greater part of everyone’s lives, we’re pleased to announce this worldwide collaboration where all parties can work towards a common goal of keeping our valued community safe.

“Marketplaces should be taking their responsibility for consumer safety seriously, but collaboration with authorities is vital, and we are proud to be beginning the year with a focus on this.

“We hope that other players in the industry will follow suit and we can tackle the issue as an industry.”

Heather Acton, Westminster Council’s cabinet member for communities and regeneration, said: “With Covid-19 driving much of our shopping online this past year, our role as a local authority in protecting our residents from scams and fraud has had to make a similar switch to the digital world.

“By working collaboratively with some of the biggest online shopping sources like Ebay UK, our Trading Standards teams have been able to expedite our processes and ensure that our local communities can continue to be safe and have peace of mind when browsing marketplaces and ordering products online.”

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