While historically, some marketplaces saw themselves as “just the middle-men” in transactions, the DSA aims to drive online marketplaces' accountability while establishing a level playing field for businesses. Among the many provisions introduced by the DSA; one will change how marketplaces operate dramatically. Article 24c, requires online marketplaces to collect and verify information on their sellers, also known as "Know Your Business Customers" or "KYBC."
KYBC for marketplaces
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In practice, the new KYBC obligations mean that online marketplaces have to collect, where applicable, the following information on their existing and new sellers:
- Name and contact details, such as address, telephone number, and e-mail address
- A copy of the ID. document or any other electronic identification
- Bank account details
- Registration number if the seller is registered in a company register or similar public register, and
- A self-certification by the seller committing to only offer products or services that comply with the applicable EU law.
Online platforms covered should make reasonable efforts to verify the reliability of the information provided by the traders concerned.
The DSA provides guidance on how.
- Marketplaces can use official online databases (VIES, Official Company Registers, BORIS) that are freely available.
- For other sources or services not freely available, online marketplaces can also request certified copies of documents from sellers to reduce the burden on marketplaces. Such documents include certified copies of identity documents, certified bank statements, company certificates, and trade register certificates.
- Other private sources are also available should the online marketplace want to avoid burdening the seller.
The paradigm shift for marketplaces
The Digital Services Act, which entered into force on November 15, 2022, imposes new duties on online platforms and further define their liability - particularly affecting online marketplaces. Read more here.
Legal analysis of KYBC
Deep dive into the Quarterly Financial Law Review to understand what the KYBC obligation entails. Available here.