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This article applies to selling in: United States

Expiration-dated FBA inventory

It is important to adhere to our fulfilment process, product preparation requirements, and review FBA product restrictions before listing products for Fulfilment by Amazon.

Important: 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.

For additional product requirements and restrictions, ensure to review the following as appropriate:

Expiration-dated inventory requirements

All topical and consumable products (including nutritional supplements), whether for human or animal consumption, are considered by FBA to be subject to expiration, even if an expiration date is not indicated on the packaging. Inventory in the Health and Beauty category with a Period After Opening (PAO) symbol (example below) is marked to expire 900 days after the date that it is processed at the fulfillment center.


Amazon considers a best-by or sell-by date the equivalent of an expiration date.

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.
Important: Expiration-dated products intended for regular application or consumption or sold in bulk/bundles packages must have a remaining shelf life that includes the consumption period in addition to the 90 days. For example, a 240-count bottle of daily supplements must have a remaining shelf life of 240 days + an additional 90 days at the time of check-in at the fulfillment center.

Please follow these guidelines for expiration-dated products:

  • Expiration dates must be displayed in the format MM-DD-YYYY or MM-YYYY. If the expiration date is in a different format, you must cover the existing date with a printed label with the expiration date in the correct format. Lot numbers alone are insufficient.
    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.
  • 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.
  • Any printed manufactured date must be clear that it is a manufacturing date or you must covered the date with a label that specifies the manufacturing date and the expiration date in the correct format. 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.
  • All expiration-dated products must have the expiration date printed in a font that is 36 point or larger. 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.
  • When you ship expiration-dated inventory to a fulfillment center, only one expiration date per ASIN is allowed in the same shipping box. Multiple ASINs with differing expiration dates can be shipped in the same box only if all of the units of each ASIN have the same expiration date.

Some selling categories have different expiration date requirements than the ones described above.

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. Lot numbers are sufficient.

Note: Each cartoon can have only one expiration date per ASIN. Multiple ASINs can be shipped in the same cartoon as long as each ASIN has only one expiration date.
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.

Labeling expiration-dated products

All expiration-dated inventory requires an Amazon product label. For more information, see Use an Amazon product label to track inventory.

In addition, Amazon barcodes must be applied to all products that are not tracked using manufacturer barcodes. This category is comprised of:

  • Products with an expiration date
  • Consumable products
  • Topical products such as skin creams, 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 Amazon can print and apply them for a per-item fee. For more information, see Use an Amazon barcode to track inventory and FBA Label Service.

If your inventory requires an Amazon barcode, you can sign up for FBA Label Service and Amazon will apply barcodes to your eligible inventory with a per-item fee.

Downloads

Packaging and Shipping Inventory to Amazon (PDF)

How to Label Products (PDF)

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