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All you need to know about product selling restrictions on Amazon!


December 2, 2020
12 MIN READ
Vinculum
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Vinculum
Amazon
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Amazon as a marketplace today, sells above 600+ millions products. However, there is a long list of restrictions on what can you sell and what you cannot. Some of the products are banned for some obvious reasons where as some products are banned due to some limitations due to ecommerce business modelling. Products made of or related to endangered animals, explosive devices, or human remains (gross!) have certain reasons to get banned from the marketplace.

But products like baby formula, antique coins, or surveillance equipment? It gets more complicated. Sale of these items including the products taken only by prescription is prohibited and may deal with restrictions. You need to make sure the compliance with Amazon’s entire product listing norms and regulations. Thus, it’s important to review the Restricted Products Help pages for your proactive best practices and guidance before listing any items online.

What are restricted products on Amazon and why?

Amazon has its own guidance pages on each article or item for prohibited and permitted listings. Products which violate these laws and regulations are categorised as restricted products on the platform.

What can be the consequences for selling restricted products?

Restricted products are always a sensitive topic for the leaders of e-commerce and the description and information surrounding these items must not to be taken lightly as a seller. Selling restricted goods can flip over a profitable Amazon storefront, almost overnight.

If you violate these regulations by any chance, you may get penalties like cancellation of product listings, limits on product listing benefits, and suspension or removal of product listing privileges. Amazon has the authority and reserves all rights to restrict a product that may have been allowed previously, so you should do your due diligence and check all of the SKUs in your portfolio on a regular basis and ensure compliance.

Make sure you are immensely cautious that the items shown in your portfolio do not contain any of restricted items (as per Amazon). For any doubts, it’s always better to have thorough details about where your products are coming from or go through quality assurance before you list them on Amazon.

Here are some instances that will guide your seller journey on Amazon on what restricted and permitted listings include while you decide to sell your products on one of the biggest marketplaces of today’s world.

Instance 1

Alcohol

Except some exceptions for wine Amazon have restrictions and certain permission only approval on selling alcohol. You need to ensure that you must comply with laws of federal, state, and local judiciary as well as Amazon policies will be applicable to the products and product listings while selling any alcoholic product on Amazon.

Cases for permitted Listings

  • Wine which are sold by pre-approved sellers
  • Wine and beer making kits and products but do not contain alcohol
  • Accessories and products related to Alcohol including decanters, corkscrews and containers
  • Memorabilia and collectibles related to Alcohol but do not contain alcohol

Cases for Prohibited Listings

  • Beverages which are Alcoholic only except from pre-approved wine sellers
  • License of Liquor
  • Products which are marketed for the customers who are above 21 yrs of age
  • Edible product that contains raw alcohol

Instance 2

Animals & Animal Products

Amazon’s introduction of a dangerous goods fulfilment fee gives the clear evidence of the fact that the company has no intention to run the risk of having any illegal, unsafe, or other prohibited or banned products available on their platform for purchasing. Any product related to killing wild animal or any item which violates animal rights is restricted for selling.

Cases for Permitted Listings

  • Shellfish & crustaceans that are live
  • Insects or worms that are sold live and used for agricultural purposes, bait, or pet food
  • Products that are lookalike of prohibited animal parts or products, but must not made from animals. (The listing includes a clear title/description that the item is faux/fake/artificial is permitted)
  • Parts of animals or products made of Animal that are not otherwise restricted such as Shark teeth Jewelry etc.

Cases for Prohibited Listings

  • Feces of animals
  • Pets, livestock, or marine mammals etc. other most live creatures
  • Wildlife products that are Illegal
  • Animals/fish/wildlife that are Taken, possessed, transported, or sold illegally (in violation of the Lacey Act)
  • Insects or other creatures that are designated as “plant pests”
  • Parts of animals or products made of animal such as fur and feathers, (made from federally endangered or threatened species)

Instance 3

Composite Wood Products

Products that may contain certain types of composite wood such as medium-density fiberboard (including thin-MDF), hardwood plywood, or particleboard (together, “regulated composite wood”)—are subject regulation, including by the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

Composite Wood Products Permitted Listings

  • Products that contain regulated composite wood that fulfil U.S. EPA formaldehyde emissions standards and labelling requirements are included in permitted listing

Composite Wood Products Prohibited Listings

  • Products that contain regulated composite wood that do not fulfil U.S. EPA formaldehyde emissions standards and labelling requirements are included in prohibited listing
  • Products that contain regulated composite wood that are not separately labelled according to U.S. EPA formaldehyde emissions standards and labelling requirements are included in prohibited listing

Instance 4

Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia

Drugs Permitted listings

  • Drugs which are approved for over-the-counter purchase are not otherwise prohibited as per Amazon policies.
  • Drugs that are appropriately described and labelled are permitted

Drugs Prohibited listings

  • Drugs which are sold Illegally such as: Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB)
  • Items that trigger the effects of any illegal drug, such as marijuana, hallucinogens, and opium-based drugs are prohibited strictly.

Here’s a complete list of Amazon restricted products and their particular pages for permitted and prohibited product listings by category from where you can get a complete idea about restricted products on Amazon:

Some of the items are prohibited under certain U.S. jurisdictions and permitted in others. Make sure to include these shipping restrictions in your listing conditions of your products. These items may also not qualify for FBA, Import/export etc., so in case you want to list such products for cross-border purchase, you have to review the laws and regulations that pertain to each listing or item.

However, Amazon promotes reporting of illegal listings that violate their policies. They investigate each one carefully and take required action. Amazon clarifies it on their Help pages that they provide the guidelines for informational purposes only, and the lists are never all-inclusive or anticipated as legal advice. They suggest you to consult with legal counsel for any specific questions about the laws or regulations about your product listings on Amazon.

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