The new INFORM Consumers Act has caused confusion and anxiety for brands that sell on Amazon. Many brands have received banners and emails requesting verification for certain information related to their Amazon seller accounts. These notifications often come with an alert that their account is at risk of deactivation. To help keep your mind at ease, we’ll explain the INFORM Consumers Act, how it impacts your brand, and what you need to do about any related notifications you receive.
What is the INFORM Consumers Act?
The INFORM Consumers Act is a new U.S. federal law that takes effect on June 27, 2023. This law places new obligations on Amazon and high-volume third-party sellers who sell products in Amazon’s U.S. store. Under the new law, Amazon must collect and verify the following information:
- Identity: (a) For individual sellers: the name of the individual legally authorized to act on the sellers’ behalf; (b) For business sellers: the business name and name of a business point-of-contact
- Bank account information
- A working business phone number
- Business address
- Tax identification number
- A working email address
The INFORM Consumers Act applies to third-party sellers on Amazon who have sold 200 or more new or unused consumer products and have generated $5,000 or more in gross revenue in a continuous 12-month period during the previous 24 months.
Amazon’s INFORM Consumers Act Verification
If your brand needs to submit information, Amazon will email you with specific instructions. You can also visit your Account Health page, Account Information page, and Seller Central for updates.
If Amazon has completed verification for the required information, you will not need to resubmit it if it hasn’t changed.
If you receive an email confirming that you passed verification, trust that this email is accurate. Since updates to your Account Health page can take up to 24 hours, Amazon advises you to check your Account Health periodically. If the update still has not appeared after 24 hours, contact Seller Support. Also note that verification pass emails relate to a specific type of information, such as seller identity or bank account, so you may receive requests to verify additional information after receiving a specific verification pass email.
If you have not yet verified but have received a banner and/or alert, you will need to provide the requested information. To comply with INFORM, Amazon needs to verify multiple pieces of information about your business: (1) identity, (2) bank account, (3) phone number; (4) business address; and (5) tax identification number. Go to your Account Health page or Account Information page to see which pieces of information Amazon has verified and which are still outstanding. Amazon recommends submitting the requested information and documents soon to ensure your information can be verified before the law takes effect and avoid disruptions to your Selling on Amazon privileges.
If you do not provide the information, documents, or certifications requested by Amazon for verification by the dates requested, Amazon may temporarily deactivate your selling account as required by the new law. Amazon may also hold your disbursements as permitted by Section 3 of your Business Solutions Agreement.
What Brand Information Does Amazon Share with Customers?
To ensure that customers have the best information at their disposal when making shopping decisions, Amazon maintains a seller profile page for every brand that sells on Amazon. This page includes their name, address, optional customer-service phone number, and a link to Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging chat service. Since this page satisfies some of the new requirements under the INFORM Consumers Act, Amazon is not changing it.
To comply with the new law, Amazon will begin notifying customers in shipping confirmation emails when an item in their order was supplied by a different seller than the one they ordered from. Amazon will also provide a link to the supplying seller’s profile page in the customer’s order-history invoices. This will mainly occur for sellers who have not opted out of FBA’s virtual tracking program.
Channel Key Takeaway
Congress passed the INFORM Consumers Act to add more transparency to online transactions and deter online criminal activity such as acquiring and selling stolen, counterfeit, or unsafe items. As the largest online marketplace in the U.S., Amazon must comply with the new law or face potentially severe penalties. In doing so, the ecommerce giant must contact every seller on its platform that meets certain sales criteria. If your brand sold 200 or more products and generated $5,000 or more in gross revenues within the past 24 months, you might need to submit information to Amazon to keep your account active. The good news: in most cases, submitting this information is easy and can be done directly through your Amazon seller account dashboard. Channel Key recommends that all brands check their account to make sure they have complied with Amazon’s INFORM Consumers Act verification as soon as possible.