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This article applies to selling in: United States

Personal flotation devices (PFDs)

If you list products on our store, you must comply with all federal, state, local laws, and our policies applicable to those products and product listings, including this policy.

Personal flotation devices (PFDs) covered by this policy

A personal flotation device (PFD) is a piece of equipment designed to help a person remain afloat in water. PFDs are a large category of items that includes life vests, boating vests, ring buoys, horseshoe buoys, and throwable cushions. The listing of all United States Coast Guard off shore, near shore, flotation or buoyancy aid, and recreational throwable personal flotation devices on the Amazon website must meet specified standards.

Off-shore life jackets: An Off-shore life jacket is a sleeveless PFD that may be used in open ocean, rough seas, or remote waterways. Commercial vessels and vessels carrying passengers must carry these life-saving devices. Life jackets may be inherently buoyant, inflatable, or hybrid-type PFDs. These are robust PFDs and are bright in color.

Near-shore buoyant vests: Near-shore buoyant vests are less bulky than Off-shore life jackets and may be worn for general boating and water activities. These vests may be inherently buoyant, inflatable, or hybrid-type PFDs.

Flotation aids or buoyancy aids: These PFDs may be used for general boating or specialized water activities (water skiing, hunting, fishing, kayaking, and so on). These PFDs can be inherently buoyant, inflatable, or hybrid-type PFDs. Personal flotation aids, such as flotation coats, are garments intended to provide both warmth and flotation assistance to the wearer.

Buoyant throwable personal flotation devices: Buoyant throwable PFDs are intended to be thrown to the user. A PFD marked as Type IV, or Type V with Type IV performance, is considered a throwable PFD. Buoyant throwable PFDs are made of a buoyant material (fibrous glass or plastic foam) or can be inflatable, and are often white or brightly colored.

Recreational ring buoy: A throwable, ring-shaped PFD that is used to keep a person afloat in water.

Recreational horseshoe buoy: A throwable, U-shaped PFD that is used to keep a person afloat in water.

Buoyant cushion: A throwable, square-shaped PFD that is used to keep a person afloat in water.

A throwable, square-shaped, PFD that is used to keep a person afloat in water.

Examples of personal flotation devices

Off-shore life jacket

Near-shore buoyant vests

Flotation aid or buoyancy aid (flotation vest)

Flotation aid or buoyancy aid (flotation coat)

Recreational ring buoy

Recreational horseshoe buoy

Throwable buoyant cushion

Our policy for personal flotation devices (PFDs)

Amazon requires that personal flotation devices have been tested to and comply with the specific regulation or standard requirements listed below:

Product Regulation or Standard requirements
Off-shore life jackets
  • USCG Approval Certificate; or
  • SOLAS standard; or
  • 46CFR 160.055; or
  • ANSI/UL 1177; or
  • ANSI/UL 1180
Near-shore buoyant vests
  • USCG Approval Certificate; or
  • ANSI/UL 1123; or
  • ANSI/UL 1517; or
  • ANSI/UL 1180
Buoyant cushions
  • USCG Approval Certificate; or
  • ANSI/UL 1175
Recreational ring buoys and recreational horseshoe buoys
  • USCG Approval Certificate; or
  • ANSI/UL 1123
Flotation aid or buoyancy aid
  • USCG Approval Certificate; or
  • ANSI/UL 1123; or
  • ANSI/UL 1517; or
  • ANSI/UL 1180; or
  • ANSI/UL 12402-5

Required information

We may request this information from you at any time so we recommend that you have it easily accessible:

  • Your company name (if applicable) and seller ID
  • Your contact information: email address and phone number
  • A list of all personal flotation devices that you list
  • Product images for all personal flotation devices that you list. Images must include all relevant:
    • Safety information
    • Compliance markings
    • Product hazard warnings
  • Product instructions and manuals for all personal flotation devices that you list
  • Test reports from an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory confirming each product was tested to applicable requirements listed above OR a USCG Approval number issued by the United States Coast Guard, if applicable.

Some labs provide special Amazon rates for testing. To find more information about these providers, visit Service Provider Network.

How to submit information

If you receive a request from us for compliance documents, complete the following steps to submit the requested information:

  1. In Seller Central, select the Performance tab and choose Account Health.
  2. Under Manage your compliance in the bottom right corner, click Product Compliance Requests.
  3. To add compliance or appeal for a single product, click Add/Appeal Compliance. To add compliance or appeal for multiple products, select each product on the left hand side of the product and click Action Selected Products at the top of the product requirement table to make a selection about how you would like to submit documents and information.
  4. Provide compliance documents and information in the Provide Documents section, or provide appeal information and documents in the Appeal Request section.
  5. Click Submit for Approval to send your submission for review by Amazon.

Note: Test reports must contain images of the tested products that are sufficient to demonstrate that the product tested is the same as the product listed on the detail page.

Policy violations

If you do not provide the required information by the applicable deadline, we may:

  • Remove the relevant product listings
  • Suspend your ability to add new products, listing privileges, or both
  • Withhold any payments due to you
  • Pursue legal action

We reserve the right to take any further actions that may be necessary in our sole discretion.

Additional resources


The information provided on this page, and anywhere else on this website, does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

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