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This article applies to selling in: United States

Expiration-dated inventory

It is important to adhere to our policy before listing expiration-dated inventory. Failure to comply may result in listings or account enforcement.

Important: For FBA sellers, failure to comply with FBA product preparation requirements, safety requirements, and product restrictions may result in the refusal of inventory at the Amazon fulfillment center, disposal or return of inventory, blocking of future shipments to the fulfillment center, or charging for preparation or for noncompliance at the fulfillment center.

Expiration-dated product definition

All topical and consumable products (including nutritional supplements), whether for human or animal consumption, are considered by Amazon to be subject to expiration, even if an expiration date is not indicated on the packaging. This includes:

  • Consumable products
  • Topical products such as skin creams, soaps, shampoos, and cosmetics
Amazon considers a best-by or sell-by date with the equivalent of an expiration date.

Inventory in the Health and Beauty category with a Period After Opening (PAO) symbol (image below) is considered expiration dated.

Important: Expiration-dated products intended for regular application or consumption or sold in bulk/bundles packages must be received by the customer with sufficient time for use. For example, a 240-count bottle of daily supplements must be received by the customer at least 240 days before expiration.

For FBA items, the remaining shelf life must include the consumption period in addition to 90 days remaining. For example, a 240-count bottle of daily supplements mut have a remaining shelf life of 240 days + an additional 90 days at the time of check-in at the fulfillment center.

Prepping expiration-dated products

Expiration-dated products must be fully enclosed and sealed in packaging suitable for shipping.

Expiration-dated products that require additional prep, such as poly bagging or bubble wrap, must have labels with expiration dates in 36-point font or larger applied to the outside of the product prep or packaging.

Note: Each carton can have only expiration date per ASIN. Multiple ASINs can be shipped in the same carton as long as each ASIN has only one expiration date.
Note: If your product does not have enough room to stick 36-point font label, you may use additional prepping like Poly bagging or Bubble Wrap. For more information please refer to Packaging Small Products.

Labeling expiration-dated products

Please follow these guidelines for expiration-dated products:

  • Expiration dates must be displayed in the format MM-DD-YYYY or MM-YYYY. Lot numbers alone are insufficient.
  • If the expiration date is in a different format, you must print a label with the expiration date in the correct format without covering the original expiration date.
  • Any printed manufactured date must be clear that it is manufacturing date or you must label the product specifying the manufacturing date and the expiration date in the correct format.
  • Numerical date formats are preferred. However, expiration dates that are stated with an alphabetical abbreviation for the month (for example, DD-JAN-YYYY) are acceptable.
  • All case packs, multi-packs, and display boxes must have the expiration date on the box or bundle, as well as on each individual item inside the box or bundle.

The remaining information is for Sellers utilizing Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)

All expiration-dated inventory requires an Amazon Barcode label. This category is comprised of:

  • Products with a n expiration date
  • Consumable products
  • Topical products such as skin creams, soaps, shampoos, and cosmetics
  • Products that are prepped so that the barcode cannot be scanned
You can print Amazon barcodes and apply them to your products yourself, or sign up for FBA Label Service and Amazon will apply barcodes to your eligible inventory with a per-item fee. For more information, see Use an Amazon barcode to track inventory and FBA Label Service
Important: Failure to include the expiration date on the outside of the prepped item may result in the item being re-labeled at additional cost to you.

Please note:

  • Our system stores the expiration-date information in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Due to the time-zone conversion, the date on the box label might differ from what you originally entered.
  • Failure to specify the manufactured date or expiration date on a product might cause delays in receiving your products or it may cause products to be received as expired.

Note: To be eligible for FBA, food and beverage products and products that ship with food or beverages must be lot-controlled and have a minimum remaining shelf life that is greater than 90 days.

Items within 50 days of the expiration date at the time of arrival will be marked for disposal by Amazon. Inventory subject to disposal cannot be returned to you.


Packaging and Shipping Inventory to Amazon (PDF)

How to Label Products (PDF)

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