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What You Need to Know About Amazon Restricted Products
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Evident through Amazon’s introduction of a dangerous goods fulfillment fee, the company does not want to run the risk of having illegal, unsafe, or other restricted products available for purchase on their platform. The sale of these items, including products available only by prescription, is strictly prohibited and if you are operating on the platform, need to ensure compliance with all of Amazon’s restricted product laws and regulations. Before listing any items online, review the Restricted Products Help pages for proactive best practices and actionable guidance.
Restricted products are a sensitive topic for the e-commerce leader and the details surrounding these types of items are not to be taken lightly, as selling restricted goods has the ability to upend a lucrative Amazon storefront, seemingly overnight. You should be immensely cautious that the items in your portfolio do not contain any of Amazon’s restricted items. If you have any doubts, err on the side of caution and always have thorough details about where your items are sourced from and go through quality assurance before they are listed on Amazon.
Amazon states that if you “supply a product in violation of the law or any of Amazon’s policies, including those listed on the Restricted Products pages, we will take corrective actions, as appropriate, including but not limited to immediately suspending or terminating selling privileges, destroying inventory in our fulfillment centers without reimbursement, returning inventory, terminating the business relationship, and permanent withholding of payments. The sale of illegal or unsafe products can also lead to legal action, including civil and criminal penalties.”
If Amazon somehow discovers a restricted item or ingredient in an item that you are selling, you can face any of these consequences, and at the very least will need to stop selling the item. You will receive a notification from Amazon that an item may have triggered a restricted product policy. They may even have let you sell a certain item in the past and decided to make it a restricted item moving forward, and will request that you remove the inventory as soon as possible or they will do so themselves.
Certain product categories require pre-approval from Amazon before you can list items in those categories, and some require additional information and/or a supplemental guarantee. Some of these items are specific software products, laser pointers and related products, and hoverboards. Additionally, if you are operating via an FBA model, you should also review the FBA Product Restrictions page, which lists the items that are not eligible for the FBA program.
Examples of items that are not allowed to be sold through Fulfillment by Amazon are alcoholic beverages, sky lanterns or floating lanterns, vehicle tires, gift cards or certificates, loose packaged batteries, damaged or defective items, or products that have been illegally replicated, reproduced, or manufactured. If you are selling items for international purchase, you are responsible for conducting the research to ensure that the items listed are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Here is the complete list of Amazon restricted products, with examples of permitted and prohibited product listings by category:
- Animals & Animal Products
- Art – Fine Art
- Art – Home Decor
- Automotive and Powersports
- Composite Wood Products
- Cosmetics & Skin/Hair Care
- Currency, Coins, Cash Equivalents, and Gift Cards
- Dietary Supplements
- Drugs & drug paraphernalia
- Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items
- Export Controls
- Food & Beverage
- Chilled and frozen foods
- Gambling & Lottery
- Hazardous and Dangerous Items
- Human Parts & Burial Artifacts
- Jewelry & Precious Gems
- Laser products
- Lock Picking & Theft Devices
- Medical devices and accessories
- Offensive and Controversial Materials
- Organic Products
- Plants, Plant Products, and Seeds
- Postage Meters & Stamps
- Recalled Products
- Recycling electronics
- Sex & Sensuality
- Subscriptions and Periodicals
- Surveillance Equipment
- Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products
- Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees
- Other Restricted Products
Amazon encourages you to report listings that violate their policies or applicable laws by contacting them and they will investigate each one thoroughly and take appropriate action. Amazon makes it clear on their Help pages that they include the guidelines for informational purposes only, and the lists are not all-inclusive or intended as legal advice. They recommend that you consult with legal counsel for specific questions about the laws and regulations concerning your Amazon product listings.
If you are in violation, you may receive penalties such as cancellation of listings, limits on listing privileges, and suspension or removal of listing privileges. Amazon has the right to restrict an item that may have been allowed previously, so do your due diligence and check all of the SKUs in your portfolio regularly to ensure compliance.