Ask Amazon: Pesticide Product Listings

ask

#1

Hi Sellers, today we’re excited to launch a new series in Seller Forums, Ask Amazon! From time to time, we’ll pick a specific topic that is top of mind for Sellers and answer as many questions as possible on the subject.

Our first Ask Amazon topic is pesticide product listings. We have previously announced in Seller News that listings of pesticides and pesticide devices require the Pesticide Marking attribute to be completed by adding an EPA Registration number and/or EPA Establishment number, or a certification that the product is exempt from EPA regulations. We recognize that both the Amazon policy and the EPA regulations are complex, so we’ve got members from our product assurance team on hand for the next day to answer questions you post about pesticide product listings.

Here’s how it will work: we’ll leave this topic open today until 8 pm PST. You can post any questions you have as a reply, we ask you to keep it to one question per reply. If a question you have has already been posted, give it a like and we’ll make sure to prioritize the most popular questions first. We’ve got moderators keeping tabs on this topic throughout the day, and they may merge posts with similar questions so we can answer them all in one place. In the meantime, our team is reviewing your questions and we’ll respond to them by 5 pm PST tomorrow (February 24th).

As you’re thinking about any questions you might have, here are the links to the news article forums posts that we’ve published over the past few months:

Reminder: Action required for listings on Amazon classified as pesticides

Action required for listings on Amazon classified as pesticides

And here are a few of the help and policy pages on this topic:

Compliance ID Attribute - Pesticide Marking

Pesticides and Pesticide Devices

Prohibited Product Claims

Finally, please note that while we will strive to provide helpful and tailored responses to our selling partners, Amazon is not able to provide legal advice or otherwise interpret regulatory requirements on situations specific to individual sellers. For information about EPA regulations, please see epa.gov/pesticides.

Alright Sellers, now ask away!


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pinned globally #2

closed #3

unpinned #4

opened #5

#6

Why can’t your developers code rules disabling listings due to being potential pesticides to ignore categories like books to begin with? It seems so obvious to all sellers, so there must be a technical reason or a default to a one size fits all approach on the dev side. Thank you.


#7

I’ve seen mixed answers to this question on the forums here, will marking an ASIN as “Not a pesticide” absolve you from the need to avoid “pesticide language” (for example “mildew resistant”) and if not, why can’t you guys simply release a guideline that includes specific language to avoid? Even taking and passing the FIFRA module would leave anyone short of an environmental lawyer constantly guessing at what may or may not trip the bots.

I understand telling us what the bots are looking for opens up doors to people using creative language to sidestep the rules but as things stand now seller support is almost no help whatsoever when it comes to actually pointing out WHAT is wrong with a listing. We’re left to do constant guessing and resubmitting until we get the green light, and each attempt takes an enormous amount of time.

Surely at the very least if you can program a bot to flag an ASIN as non-compliant you can provide seller support with that same set of criteria to automate telling sellers what the offending language/content is?


#8

Susan, perhaps a little bit of background on how we arrived here is in order along with an official statement on exactly what control Amazon has in this regard. The EPA/Amazon Master Settlement is public record, and while you can’t discuss certain things for legal reasons, it might help some Sellers if they knew that Amazon isn’t at full liberty.

Also, I would like to know if the attestation that a Seller can make declaring that their product is not regulated by FIFRA is reviewed manually (particularly, if the EPA is reviewing these declarations, as that could have serious ramifications for Sellers who just do what they need to do to keep selling).


#9

First as Sawie noted some background on the settlement would be appreciated by all as giving some sense of where the pesticide debacle started and why .Amazon rolled out the violations. Helpful.
Second why no means was implemented to resolve the violations for books even after testing and passing.
Third is this also related to the CPC requirements for toys and games even when such are not for youth under the minimum age for usage?
Fourth is Amazon going to be more Proactive in messaging sellers when such actions have these unintended consequences?
On a side note will Amazon address or stop the High Price De-Listings for books? Or are such Alerts driven by Publishers instead of by poorly written Bots?


#10

While there are tons of comments about books, I haven’t seen anyone talking about the segment that has caused us hundreds, if not thousands, of ASINs - shoes, clothing, and other soft goods. Colors like “Mushroom”, “Washed Black”, etc. have been inappropriately flagged as well as many seemingly random “normal” items.

We have scrubbed the pages for any potential verbiage and there is nothing remotely “pesticide” related. Even after wasting hours going through each ASIN to fill in the Compliance tab for “NOT a pesticide or pesticide device”, we continue to receive dozens of emails with old or new “affected products.”

I know this will probably receive a standard copy/paste reply like most official Amazon correspondence, but we had to add our voice to the complaints regarding the poorly tested and implemented bot usage surrounding not only pesticides, but also restricted products, CPSC claims, and suspected IP “violations” that are devastating so many businesses on Amazon.


#11

Why are jewelry charms that are meant to look like mousetraps (and other similar items) being removed for being a pesticide listing? Why cannot a person look at the product and tell that a small solid piece of metal looking like a mousetrap is not a pesticide item especially when it is on a necklace? Why is it impossible to win an appeal on something so obviously not a pesticide item?


#12

We have also received pesticide claims for one of our products. We have closed the listing and deleted it without knowing we can just change the “compliance” issue since the product is not pesticide. We have also completed our training in 2019. Will the policy violations stick and how can we remove them since we do not want them to damage our account. We do not want to appeal to open the products back up since we have already removed them and did not sell them. Keep in mind they were just paper bowls.


#13

The pesticide rules are heavy-handed. It seems like the system is operating on an overabundance of caution rather than a good-faith effort.

We had a listing marked as a pesticide because we used the word “deodorize” - which is obviously not a term for a pesticide.

It wouldn’t be as big of a problem if it didn’t take an eternity to get relief. I opened a case on my product last week and have been editing the content trying to figure out what the trigger words are so I can get the product reinstated. That’s not how I should have to do business to fix your errors.

In fact, most of my time is spent telling Amazon support that my products don’t violate the rules and providing proof as to why. It takes 30-50 days at times to get them to read a 510k correctly, and even longer if there is a word they don’t understand. I haven’t clocked a pesticide issue because I’ve yet to get one resolved; they continuously provide new ways to fail to communicate.

That’s ultimately the biggest problem - you have a heavy-handed policy and a response speed that tortoises would mock.

I forgot the question - “How can we encourage Amazon to enlist seller support and deal with these issues efficiently to minimize the damage, if we’re never going to see competent policy?”

[Moderator edit: SEAmod removed/edited out biased language targeting seller support]


#14

We simply do not argue it anymore. Amazon takes us off a listing then we simply delete it from our upload and move on. It is entirely too much effort and frustration and sometimes rage to try to get ANYTHING fixed regarding a listing.

We recently had makeup and a skin cleanser declared as having pesticides in them. Really? Makeup as a pesticide? And as for the skin cleanser… We took the danged course and it calmed for a while and now the declarations are happening again. So, what changed?

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing again and again and again and again and expect a different result each time. Sadly, Amazon is our insanity


#15

Q2: I received the following email, and yet not one of these disabled listings was reactivated. They remain Inactive… Does “reinstated” mean able to be made active again, rather than automatically done so, the latter of which is implied?

"Hello,

You recently received a notice from us regarding one or more of your ASINs that may have been incorrectly identified or restricted as a pesticide. These requirements do not apply to books. We have taken steps to ensure that all incorrectly restricted ASINs are promptly reinstated.

We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Amazon Services"

…glad I saved the emails stating which were deactivated.


#16

I would like to know what research is done by Amazon before sending these complaint to the sellers and how does a children’s book or make up remover get considered pesticide?


Pesticide issue
#17

Amazon: Research? What is that?

Seller: …

Seriously though, Amazon is basically protecting itself by taking down ANYTHING that matches its criteria and then the sellers have to prove that whatever was taken down was taken down incorrectly. I don’t really have an issue with that, to be honest. What I have an issue with is the difficulty in getting it fixed. We can speculate on the takedown criteria, but we suspect it is largely related to keywords and the keywords can mean different things based on what category that you are looking at. We do not sell books so I can only speculate here, I would say that someone took all the synonyms that they could find related to the various pesticide words and simply took everything down that fit that extremely expanded set of descriptors.

Apologies for my venting. Much of what is so irritating has happened over the last four years and has simply come to a head here. The pesticide take downs have not effected us much at all, but it has hit a few of our listings and has become the straw that broke the camel’s back. We simply are not going to spend any energy on fixing Amazon’s catalog issues for pesticides or anything else for that matter.


#18

I’m genuinely concern with regards to the pesticide claims. We received over 235 emails from the bots.
Some ASIN’s are duplicates. There is a major disconnect between Amz retail catalog and standard catalog dept. Majority of these senseless emails are coming from the Retail Catalog Team.
There is no real human look. Senseless moronic feebleminded entities can’t and will not write a proper SQL statement to exclude words.


#19

I have also received the pesticide notice for some listings. All of the listings are children’s shoes. I followed the directions given by Amazon to edit the listing under the compliance page, marked it as “not a pesticide” but I am still being asked for an Pesticide Marking number What do I put in that field so that I can save?


#20

I have four PARENT asins sitting on my account health page for being a restricted product (pesticide). They are shoes. I’ve gone through the listings as well as all the children connected to the parents and have not found any words that might trigger a pesticide bot.
I have gone through the pesticide training and changed the pesticide information in the listing to “not a pesticide” for the parent as well as all the children. The warnings on our account health are not going away. I have opened cases about this and the reply I get is simply “this is a parent asin.”
What do we do when the pesticide bots pull a parent asin?