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Amazon Expands FBA Hazmat Pilot Program

Many’s the seller who sends items to Amazon’s warehouses only to find out upon arrival the marketplace considers the item to be hazardous material and slates the shipment for destruction. But Amazon has a pilot program that allow certain sellers to sell such items through Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) – with restrictions, of course – and it appears to be expanding the program.

EcommerceBytes has written about items Amazon considers to be hazardous, some as seemingly innocuous as plug-in air fresheners, and the unhappy fate of such inventory.

Sellers discussed the pilot program in October in this Amazon discussion thread. “I recently was informed by Amazon that they are allowing a select few FBA sellers to sell certain Hazmat products as part of a pilot program”, wrote a seller. “If things go well, then they will allow some to sell the Hazmat products through FBA. I don’t know if it would be open to all.”

A reader who was recently invited into the program told EcommerceBytes, “I think this is a great move by Amazon, always innovative.”

According to the email Amazon sent the seller inviting them to participate in the FBA Hazmat Pilot Program, sellers can fulfill products that meet the definition of “Consumer Commodity” according to Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which “are classified as ORM-D (ex: perfumes and aerosols).”

Among the other restrictions, shipments containing hazmat items cannot use Amazon Partnered Carriers, and hazmat shipments must be shipped separately from non-hazmat shipments.

There are only three Amazon Fulfillment Centers (FCs) participating in the program: IND5, PHX7 or PHL4.

Sellers should be aware that Amazon does not support removals for hazmat items and does not support Customer Returns on hazmat items. “During this phase of the Pilot Program, there is no additional fee for this program,” according to the email invitation.

We asked Amazon for confirmation about the hazmat pilot program; it declined to comment.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.