Amazon sellers are being inundated with requests for compliance documentation on ASINs they sell. Some say they've been getting notices for weeks (or months), but on Wednesday, complaints from sellers skyrocketed.
Sellers report receiving the following notice:
Subject line: "Action Required: Compliance requirements for your product listings"
Hello from Amazon,
We are contacting you because you have listed products that require you to provide compliance documentation. Please click on (link) to see the list of affected products and submit the required compliance documents. If you do not submit the documents by the due date indicated for each product in this link, we may begin to remove the affected listings.
Why is this happening?
This requirement helps ensure products are compliant with local laws and safe for customers.
How do I continue to sell the affected products?
Please click on (link) to find out more information about the documents you need to provide for each product.
Was there an error?
If you do not believe that you need to submit documents for your products, click on (link) to view your listings, click the "Provide Documentation " button next to the product, and then click "Yes" on "Is this an Appeal?" question on the top left hand side of the page.
FOR FBA Offers: If you do not wish to continue selling the products concerned and have any inventory of these products remaining in our fulfillment centers, you'll have 30 days from the date your listing has been removed to create a removal order. Instructions for creating a removal order can be found on the Remove Inventory Overview at (link). If you do not request a removal, automated removal orders will be triggered. Standard removal fees apply.
One seller who contacted us about the problem wrote, "What's frustrating is that Amazon retail is often selling or has sold these items previously, so the requested documentation should be available internally. In this case, I have attached a screen shot for an ASIN that's an Amazon exclusive, so obviously they should be able to collect the information internally!"
Many of the sellers on a discussion board thread on Amazon Seller Central
reported selling toys and games. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA
) enacted in 2008 requires children's' products to "be tested for compliance by a CPSC-accepted accredited laboratory, unless subject to an exception."
Some sellers wondered if Amazon would be satisfied once a single seller provided the necessary information for an ASIN (unique product), or if it would require every third-party seller to supply the requested documentation.
An Amazon moderator replied in post 34
stating in part, "In the United States, all toys intended for use by children 12 years of age and under must meet federal safety standards. Amazon aims to provide a safe experience for both our buyers and sellers on the platform as well. Hence, Amazon may request toy safety documentation at any time to confirm compliance. We would like to extend our advance gratitude for our sellers' understanding for such reviews."
A seller said they believed the actions were based on a "risk management decision."
It's possible Amazon got notice of a crackdown by a regulatory agency, and it's also possible it's cracking down due to a shifting legal landscape.
For years, Amazon was found not liable for defective products sold on its marketplace, but in a recent case where a court found otherwise. PBS Frontline reported
on the decision last year, writing, "when it comes to items sold by third parties on the marketplace, the courts have largely sided with Amazon. That is until last year."