Amazon HazMat stands for ‘hazardous materials’, and according to the global marketplace itself, these are dangerous goods and substances/materials that can mean risk to safety, health, property, environment. They may be flammable, corrosive, pressurized, etc. In any case, HazMat products are dangerous. Amazon FBA sellers are all afraid of receiving a HazMat Review. This issue has already been discussed on forums for hundreds of times, and many people are concerned about that, as Amazon HazMat Review may affect your sales! FBA sellers are especially frustrated. So here we are to tell you what to do and when it all will end.
Amazon HazMat stands for ‘hazardous materials’, and according to the global marketplace itself, these are dangerous goods and substances/materials that can mean risk to safety, health, property, environment. They may be flammable, corrosive, pressurized, etc. In any case, HazMat products are dangerous.
Such objects can be harmless while standing on a shelf but become dangerous in motion or under pressure or affected by high temperatures. Amazon takes this into consideration, as storing and shipping products are held within different conditions. This is very important for FBA sellers whose products are processed by Amazon.
Amazon states that sellers need to identify which products belong to the FBA HazMat category on Amazon, as employees, customers or carriers may be endangered by these materials.
It seems to us that Amazon did not have a list of products under dangerous goods HazMat Review from the very beginning. So, let’s connect the dots and explore what happened before and why Amazon introduced their HazMat Review.
There was an incident in 2014 when Amazon had to pay a fine of $350.000 due to the leaking package that injured UPS employees. This was not the first incident, as earlier, Amazon was fined for not accompanying flammable products containing gas and chemical liquids (rust remover) with necessary documents.
These were just shipping issues, still, Amazon has incidents on their warehouses, when something went wrong with butane cartridges and the whole warehouse had to move out.
Incidents on warehouses mean insurance problems for Amazon, issues with personnel and even government regulations.
Now, Amazon can issue an Amazon HazMat Review for any product, if there is at least a slightest suspicion that the product contains dangerous materials. The company continues updating their specs for HazMat products and always checks listings of third-party sellers to not let them sell something dangerous.
This policy is very aggressive, so once a product is identified for Amazon HazMat Review, there will be a strict inspection.
If you have worked as an FBM seller and decided to switch to FBA, your products can undergo Amazon HazMat Review.
You’ll need to complete online forms to specify whether your products belong to dangerous goods or not. Even if you answer ‘No’ to all the questions, Amazon can initiate the HazMat Review process which usually lasts for 3 business days. If you don’t follow up the process with support, everything can take you more than a week or two, only then your product will be allowed to sell on Amazon. If Amazon finds your product improper for selling, they can unlist it at any time.
The process of Amazon HazMat Review becomes more uncertain when products which have been successfully sold before, become suspected and defined and HazMat by Amazon. This can happen due to the fact that Amazon checks products from their database randomly from time to time. That is why you can notice that some of your already approved products became unavailable for sale or restricted.
Amazon has the list of examples of HazMat products. Surprisingly, but some items like video game controllers are assumed as HazMat too. Well, another Amazon’s detailed guide on what they mark as ‘dangerous goods’ may be useful. It helps us understand why some items are flagged as HazMat.
First of all, ensuring that products are not dangerous and can be processed by Amazon fulfilment centres is a seller’s responsibility. ANy legal requirements can be found out at the research stage.
Don’t panic if you’ve received a notice about Amazon HazMat Review. That means that Amazon wants to collect more information about your product and make sure it is safe for everyone. They just collect details about your product.
You can prepare for this kind of situations and prove that your items are not made of hazardous materials:
There is a HazMat Status Change Report in your Seller account. You can check notifications about newly added products there.
Once Amazon receives product to their fulfilment centres and marks them as hazardous or dangerous, a seller will get an email about that.
A time frame is notified in that email. If it has already passed, contact Seller support and tell them you are still waiting for a response to your products.
The best strategy when getting an Amazon HazMat Review is preparing to the worst. If Amazon collects enough information about your product and it is ok, you just keep selling that product. If they find out that your product containing hazardous materials, such a product can be rejected. Still, there are a lot of happy-endings when sellers pass the review and keep doing business on Amazon.
Sure, receiving a notice about Amazon HazMat Review is frustrating, but it makes sense, as Amazon doesn’t conduct any inspections for no reason. It is about safety.