Global Ecommerce December 2, 2020

Advocating for Etsy Sellers in Upcoming EU Platform Regulation

These days, it feels like everyone is discussing the impact technology companies have on society and the need for new regulations better suited for the digital economy.

We agree. We believe that marketplaces like ours have a responsibility to help protect consumers from goods, services, or content that violates regulatory policy, including unsafe products. Our sellers — and Etsy itself — will not succeed unless buyers believe that Etsy is a safe place to shop. That’s why we continue to invest in the people and technology that underpin our marketplace trust and integrity functions, and move quickly to identify and remove potentially harmful content.

Yet, for all the talk of platform regulation in Europe these days, you don’t hear much about how the upcoming proposals will specifically help the self-employed microbusinesses who sell goods on Etsy. That’s why we continue to work hard to educate lawmakers about the needs and concerns of our community.

In fact, we recently responded to the European Commission’s public consultations on the upcoming Digital Services Act (DSA) and the review of the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD), where we argue that any upcoming measure should avoid imposing overbearing compliance burdens on small and microbusinesses.

Etsy sellers need legal certainty and transparency. For example, the idea that all businesses must designate an economic operator established in the EU must recognize that microbusinesses do not have the resources to find, appoint, or pay a representative to manage their compliance obligations. For this reason, we urge policymakers to enable Etsy sellers to comply with EU legislation in a simplified manner, and provide educational resources tailored to their unique circumstances.

All in all, while it is increasingly clear that all parties in the online ecosystem must collaborate to ensure safety online, the upcoming legislation and corresponding obligations will only succeed if they are designed with small businesses in mind.

We’ll keep encouraging lawmakers to prioritize the needs and concerns of Etsy sellers, and to adopt meaningful legislation that makes it easier for our sellers to start and grow their creative businesses.

You can find more detailed information on our recent positioning on the upcoming DSA and the review of GPSD here and here respectively.

  • Digital Services Act
  • Economic Impact
  • European Union
  • Microbusiness
  • Platform regulation
Althea Erickson

Althea Erickson