Amazon Seller Central FBA Hazmat Dangerous Goods Program, Waitlist, and Approval

Adam Wilkens

Published:

As of late 2022 Amazon has close to 110 Active Fulfilment Centers in the United States, however a much smaller percentage of those warehouses can handle or store Dangerous goods AKA Hazmat. Hazmat is an acronym for for “Hazardous Materials” and generally refers to any items or their components, including ingredients, which may be poisonous or flammable.

How Does this Impact You As a Seller?

In 2019 there was a widely known incident where several amazon employees were poisoned by an unmarked bear spray which led to more strict screening and policies formed around Hazmat. These new company policies have led Amazon to funnel any items classifies as Hazmat (based on SDS, ingredients, components, and general review of detail page info) into a review process which determines the items classification. Many items must go through this mandatory review, and then the seller and or item is put on a waitlist for Hazmat inventory allocation via FBA. You are free to sell these items via FBM, however you can expect prioritization otherwise. We have many sellers waitlisted for space at a Hazmat center for months, sometimes over a year. The sad truth is you can do nothing to speed up this process. The review denial (or waitlist) issue is the result of not enough Hazmat / Dangerous Goods Centers existing; simply put Amazon does not have the infrastructure in place to store growing demand for these types of products. Simultaneously they cannot be mixed with other FC’s because the check-in and handling processes for these types of items differ. Local codes and regulations may also have an impact on changes to the existing building from fire suppression systems to worker safety systems. The other thing many people do not know is some standard FC’s still do not have air conditioning. They are not refrigerated and during the year temps can get very hot. This is the same reason why Amazon FBA stopped accepting chocolates, candles, and other products which can melt. They don’t have the systems in place to offer climate control equally around the country in an general assorted facility which has every day items. Placing hazmat goods in there which are highly flammable can be a serious safety issue.

Where Can I Check To See If I May Be Classified As a Dangerous Good?

The below Amazon link has a list of products which can be sold through FBA as a dangerous good.

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/help/hub/reference/201003400

This link also explains the types of items which CANNOT be sold through the FBA dangerous goods program. Which include explosives, toxic gas, infections substances, and radioactive materials. EEK!

What Can You Do?

A few things are always important. The first is honesty, always be honest and truthful when submitting your SDS (safety data sheet) to Amazon. Sometimes the SDS can actually clear the hazmat flag. You can upload these documents for each asin here:

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/fba/compliance-dashboard/index.html

Generally the review process takes 3-4 days and you will receive notice that the item is Classified (which means it is a dangerous good) or if its unclassified and you are free to sell it. Some items which contain batteries will be classified hazmat and fulfillable via FBA. We are seeing battery operated items pass the classification and waitlist process far faster than chemicals themselves, which tend to face greater challenges. We believe some of this is because not all HAZMAT materials are created equally and some are at greater risk for fire and sensitivity to heat than others. The same goes for known toxicity levels.

Another strategy to consider is FBM. If you can increase your sales on the ASIN, drive up demand it will make your ASIN(s) more of a priority for Amazon to allocate space for your items classified as dangerous goods. You can accomplish this by several means, discounts, and advertising. When you change the sell through of the item by increasing traffic and sales, amazon can re-evaluate the importance of the asin. Try this for 30 days or so and then create a case asking for an update.

If you are a retail vendor you are in luck because there are zero restrictions for you. Amazon will prioritize the Vendor Central suppliers for Hazmat space, this is another issue that puts pressure on the limited space available through the dangerous goods program network for 3rd party sellers.

What Do I do if I am Classified As a Dangerous Good Which I am not?

If Amazon incorrectly classifies your product or ASIN as a dangerous good and is it not there is a formal process for disputing the classifications. In the same link previously provided there is a button to Dispute Classification. You will need to provide component or ingredient list, the contents, safety testing from a lab or other 3rd party testing facility or approval by some governing body stating otherwise. I would expect hurdles from this process, especially if Amazon claims the rejection is the result of EPA/FDA/CPSC website language. The Amazon bots do not have sophisticate enough intelligence to read or interpret legal language from an agency website that may be “grey” or open to interpretation.

Below is a list of items Which Are Frequently Considered Hazmat:

Apparel

• Hats and vests with rechargeable batteries • Hat stiffener • Apparel stain remover

Automotive

• Engine and tire care • Interior and paint care • Oils and fluids • Lead-acid batteries • Spillable and non-spillable batteries • Airbags

Baby

• Baby grooming and skincare • Antibacterial products

Beauty and personal care

• Spray deodorants • Hairspray • Hair colors • Hair dyes • Perfume • Essential oils • Self-tanning lotions and sprays • Antiseptics and disinfectants • Verruca and wart treatments • Insect repellents • Aftershave treatments • Cleaning cartridges (electric shavers) • Hair removal solutions and treatments • Shaving creams or foams • Nail polish

Books

• Songbooks • Magazines with beauty product samples • E-book devices, e-readers

Consumer electronics

• Powerbanks • Cell phones • Chargers and batteries • Darkroom supplies • Speakers

Food and beverages

• Aromatic essential oils • Products with high alcohol content • Foods in pressurized container/aerosol format (for example, whipped cream) • Spirits

Health and household

• Cleansers and cleaners • Dishwashing liquids and powders • Laundry liquids and powders

Home improvement

• Grills • Pest and insect control

Office

• Cartridges and toners • Equipment cleansers • Tape, adhesives, and glue • Markers, highlighters, pens, and refills

Pet products

• Ear and eye care • Flea, fly, mosquito, lice, and tick control • Itch remedies • Deodorizers • Aquarium glass cleaners • Aquarium water treatments and test kits

Shoes and bags

• Light-up shoes • Sole and shoe stain remover • Shoe polish

Sports and outdoor

• Airsoft supplies • Camp stoves • Hand warmers • E-bikes and e-scooters • Bike tools and equipment • Spillable and non-spillable batteries • Lifesaving vests

Toys

• Battery-operated toys • Arts and crafts • Building kits • Chemistry sets • Painting and repair kits • Kits with sprays • Crackers

Video games

• Controllers • Wireless and Bluetooth headsets • Gamepads

For Additional Help With Hazmat Products Please contact us or learn more about our services