Action required to maintain pesticide listings on Amazon.com


#41

I sell pheromone moth traps, which do not require EPA registration, and none of my messages explaining this are being listened to by seller central. I am repeatedly getting the same 3 copy-paste messages. I have dealt with this Kafka-esque nightmare before, and it really does seem like there’s no hope. One thing you have to keep an eye on is: how long has your inventory been stranded? Cos they may start destroying it without notifying you after 30 days.

The biggest spit in the face is that there are dozens of people selling the exact same product as mine, they were just lucky enough to not get picked up by the bot.


#42

How long is it taking for Amazon to respond to your reinstatement requests? 24-48 hours seems like a very bold faced lie.


#43

They respond faster, but they send the same copy-paste message which shows that they’re not even pretending to read your actual case details.I managed to escalate one case to a higher team, and waited 7 days for the exact same copy-paste response that the first agent sent. That email even asked me to to take the pesticide awareness course despite having done so several months ago.


#44

We are having the same problem too. Has anyone had any luck lately in understanding exactly what the problem is or finding a work around? If there is still a concerted effort to onboard legal representation we would be interested in pitching in to figure out the solution.


#45

Hello,

Our products were reinstated after 14 days of the initial case being opened. We provided a short PDF with the following attached documentation for EACH ASIN: document (proof) from EPA that the product is in fact registered and active with the EPA, trademark documentation for brand name and product, front and back label with EPA registration clearly visible and we took a screenshot of our manufacturing website with the product visible.

For the ASINs that are not registered and contain zero claims we submitted front and back labels and our entire product listing so they could easily read that we made zero claims, we cited exact EPA guidelines for non registered products and we submitted a screen shot from our website along with trademark information. No idea what combination or what exact documentation worked but something clicked with them and our products are now live.

Hopefully this helps fellow paying and abiding EPA folks.

Best of luck.


#46

Which document, did you submit? The product I’m having issue with is a sub-registration label, I’ve submitted the PPLS link and explained that it is active.


#47

We took a screen shot from the EPA website on active registrations and then we submitted the ‘Notice of Supplemental Distribution of a Registered Pesticide Product’. Hope that helps.


#48

That is almost the same information (different format) that I submitted so hopefully… in another week I will be back in business.

Thanks, for the positive update.


#49

best of luck and take care. This was a helpful thread.


#50

Final Update: I received an email from merch-services late last night that they were reviewing my case. This morning I was informed through case log in Seller Central

Hello from Amazon Selling Partner Support,

Thank you for your patience. The review of ASIN B0147OQQ84 is complete and the product does appear to meet the criteria outlined in our “Restricted Products” Help topic.

We have started the process of reinstating the product detail page, and you may relist the product. Please note that the reinstatement may not take effect immediately but the process should be completed within the next 1-2 business days.

My listing is again live. So for now the situation appears to be resolved. I am marking @Bluewater_Chemgroup answer as the solution. Hope that this thread has been helpful to others.


#51

UPDATE: After and lengthy two weeks back-and-forth with Amazon support, our listings have been restored and inventory is back live this morning. Anyone who is still having this issue and getting the same formatted responses from Amazon support should continue to stay with this. Be sure to submit everything you have. We submitted 36 state registration proofs (with Department of Agriculture in those states) and the labels from both of our pesticide products that were removed. We sent our trademark certificates that prove we own the product names and brand. We sent a letter from our agent who works directly with the EPA to register our products. He has been working with FIFRA 25(b) exempt products since their inception in 1996. Assure them that you make no claims about the products both on the labels and in your listings. Once you do all of that, it’s in their hands. If you have inventory is stranded and shows “appeal” next to it, that’s a good thing. It means their internal team is working on it. The from line support people are gate keepers so to speak. They truly don’t know any details about what is going on. I figured that out quickly on the phone. They are our connection to the team that does the actual work and makes the decisions. We didn’t remove any inventory that was stranded because we believe doing so would have hurt our chances to get the product reinstated. I don’t offer anyone legal advice for obvious reasons. I encourage you to stay on this. It can be resolved by supplying the information they have requested. I honestly believe they have far fewer support people (like the internal team) working right now in house because of the virus for safety reasons. That has slowed this process down to a crawl. While I understand and appreciate that, it’s tough when a small business like many of ours depends on Amazon for a bulk of their sales, and the jobs of people we truly care about depend on it being live. Hope that explanation helps and is an encouragement to those who are still working on this.

Thanks,
Tony
Supreme Growers LLC


All my pesticide listings just went down
#52

Thanks, I’m glad that it worked out for you guys too! I know that Amazon was making a good faith effort to combat ‘bad actors’ in our industry, but I will admit that the process was poorly implemented, awkward, slow, and somewhat painful.

Everyone’s input was helpful and much appreciated. Knowing that we weren’t alone dealing with the issue was comforting.


#53

This is helpful feedback. We just submitted another rendition of a letter from our EPA compliance expert. However, we do not have any state licenses. Is there any hope for those of use who do not register in the states that require it and only sell in the states that readily honor 25(b) exemptions? We have been providing our labels as well as a “declaration of exemption” letter detailing how we comply with 25(b) regs.

Thank you


#54

Per Amazon policy your product must be legal to offer and sell in all 50 states.

I believe that you will need to register your product in the states that require you to do so if you wish to sell on Amazon.

Depending on your exact product it may only be a handle of states and most states are $50 or less.


#55

Hey all – just want to echo many of the same complaints we have regarding Amazon delisting our products.

I recently spoke with Daniel V at Amazon earlier today, relayed the confusion and invalid delisting on their part, and a response is pending. Back in February, Amazon delisted several of our products citing it needed EPA registration or an exemption. We promptly provided proof that we are exempted according to both EPA (FIFRA 25-b) and California Title 3, California Code of Regulations (3 CCR) section 6147. This proof was subsequently accepted, in writing, by Carlo V from Amazon.

Shortly after in March, we were promptly delisted AGAIN. Amazon kept stalling (all as we are losing lots of business revenue!) and then cited labeling violations, asking us to state percentages of inactive ingredients. This is taken directly from the EPA’s website as of July 15, 2019: “Under federal law, the identity of inert ingredients is confidential business information. The law does not require manufacturers to identify inert ingredients by name or percentage on product labels. In general, only the total percentage of all inert ingredients is required to be on the pesticide product label.” Linked here: https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/basic-information-about-pesticide-ingredients

Not only is it false to require us to list percentages of inactive ingredients, but we have seen numerous listings live on Amazon that are from large companies, while small companies such as ours have been inappropriately discriminated against. We in fact have seen competitors with similar formulations and similar label format, still have listings that are currently live. We have screenshots of this as well.

We’ve reached out to a lawyer who has experience in this, as we are not entirely in the know about what our options are. Also, interesting – Amazon was just hit with a class action antitrust suit just a few weeks ago. https://www.law.com/2020/03/20/amazon-hit-with-antitrust-class-action/?slreturn=20200308174100


#56

You should read that again, or post the exact text from Amazon. The law clearly states that ALL Active Ingredients must be listed as percentage, and inactive ingredients must be listed as OTHER and a percentage in the ingredients table the Total must equal 100%. The format should also be in a table

Example of an acceptable ingredients table:

PESTICIDE NAME

ACTIVE INGREDIENT:
Chemical Name ……….……96.2%
OTHER ……….…….………3.8%
TOTAL…………….……….…100%

This table is also required for most exempted pesticides as well. Amazon is finally trying to do the right thing regarding pesticide sales on it’s platform (albeit for the wrong reason, ‘the government made me’ instead of ‘protecting the lives and health of customers’). Let’s be perfectly honest that FIFRA is a confusing jumble of waste, and the EPA and FDA are constantly trying to follow the law while not stepping on each others toes (Yes, the Congress needs to look at completely overhauling, modernizing and combining a lot of health safety, and environmental regulations and agencies. Since those most honorable elected thieves in Washington, won’t (and lacking common sense, wisdom and intelligence probably shouldn’t) we and Amazon must work through it together.

I know it is frustrating, I felt like crawling into a small ball in the corner and wimpering multiple times getting my product relisted. And being frustrated is okay, getting angry, threatening legal action (BTW, I’m fairly certain that with the EPA/Amazon master settlement agreement anyone selling ‘pesticide related’ products as determined by Amazon has no legal recourse (if they did to begin with). Keep your case alive, remember that for our own protection Amazon Support staff have little to no authority. Repeat the the law and statutes, cite your references (if you know you are right). Eventually, someone will run it up the flag pole and get a determination, (for all we know they may have to go all the way to the EPA office in Virginia). We know from the past and some accidentally leaked documents that the EPA prefers that a product be delisted if there is any question (Just ask the guy selling ‘how to grow mushrooms in your basement for fun and food books’).


#57

Thanks for your reply, @The_Sawle_Mill! We are completely with you on that, our label is in the table format that you shown. We display all active ingredients with their respective percentages and list each inactive ingredients under the “OTHER” alongside the percentage of the total inactive (“OTHER”) ingredients. Amazon wrote to us that our ASIN’s could not be reinstated due to not having the individual percentages of the inactive ingredients, to which we sent them EPA regulation stating that only the percentage of the total inactive ingredients needed to be listed, with the total in the table equaling 100%.

I appreciate the sentiment, we as well are glad that Amazon is at least taking action against the bad actors on the platform — we are trudging on through to keep our cases open and just hoping to reach resolution soon.


#58

@Pyur_Solutions, Just a quick check do you have the applicable EPA mandated notices and disclaimers right below your Ingredients table? I know, for example cedar oil, must say “excluding ticks”. And I recall everything on the exempt list must say, something about not reviewed by the EPA (I might look up the exact verbiage later, maybe).


#60

are you required to have supplemental epa registrations in all 50 states or just your official home address…as i cant seem to find the answer?


#61

You are required to have an EPA registration to manufacture and sell in the United States. You are required to register your product (this are NOT supplemental) in a state prior to transferring, storing, marketing, using, or offering. So you must have at a minimum the Federal Registration and a single state registration (i.e. the State you are in). Many pesticides have such low volume in a region or cannot comply with a particular state statute or regulation, that the manufacturer will only have some registrations. For example if I think I will only sell $3,000.00 worth of pesticide into a State that Charges me $2,000.00 per year per registration then it makes sense to not register in that State. Another example would be California passes a law banning a specific chemical, such as they did with creosote many years ago, I simply stopped registering my creosote based pesticide in California.

However, the offering or advertising of the pesticide not registered in that state is now illegal. So I must either ensure that any such efforts are never seen by residents of that State while they are in that State. And I will be legally responsible if someone purchases my product outside the State and brings it into the State and uses it (of course they will be fined too, which isn’t comforting). So most manufacturers will print in red, bold font, one or two points larger than the rest of the label or advertising text, “This product not available in CA, MI, CO, NY, & MA.” in a very prominent place.

Specific to selling on Amazon, any listing must be legal to posses, use, and sell in ALL 50 States. So without a The Federal EPA Registration and Registrations in all 50 States, you can’t list your product on Amazon. Remember that you can be fined, and possibly imprisoned, for selling an unregistered pesticide. Years ago, the EPA didn’t spend much time on enforcement, instead individual States would do the enforcement, and the EPA would act like a clearing house and provide authoritative guidance. Back then one State would begin enforcement and seek assistance from the EPA, the EPA would inform all other States of the enforcement along with all information obtained. Back then the EPA would only ‘Make a Federal case out of it’, if it was especially egregious, after the other States had already gone to court and gotten convictions or settled, the exception was illegal imports. Today, the EPA is more likely to take the lead in enforcement and investigation, with the States tacking on after.

It doesn’t really matter if the EPA or a State starts an investigation or takes enforcement action, you should be aware that if you get caught in one state every other state and the EPA will know about it and will also begin their own investigation and/or enforcement.