While it's quite obvious that you can't sell hazardous materials like radioactive waste on Amazon, some of the products that are considered to be Hazmat are actually every day products.
And if you're wondering what the difference is between hazmat and Amazon's dangerous goods classification, there isn't any differences. Hazmat products are simply classified as dangerous goods by Amazon, but they technically mean the same thing.
More often than not, the term 'dangerous goods' actually sounds a lot worse than it is, but it is still to be taken seriously.
Let's review what the Amazon FBA dangerous goods program is all about so you can be well equipped to handle any potential issues that may arise.
What is the FBA Dangerous Goods Hazmat Program?
Hazardous materials, or Hazmat goods as they are often called, generally contain materials that may post a health and safety risk to people if not handled correctly. That's why Amazon created their FBA dangerous goods program, to ensure the protection of their workers and customers when coming into contact with potentially harmful products.
As we mentioned at the start of this guide, many items that are considered to be hazmat products are normal, every day items that we all own and use. Regardless of this fact, Amazon has a duty of care to ensure hazmat products are stored, handled, and shipped in a safe manner, which is the main reason the FBA dangerous goods program exists.
Products Classified as Hazmat or Dangerous Goods
There are 9 different classes of hazardous materials, with each class containing different products and materials sorted into divisions.
- Flammable Gases
- Flammable Liquids
- Flammable Solids
- Toxic & Infectious
Not all classes are prohibited on Amazon, but there are many divisions within each class that are considered dangerous goods and cannot be sold at all on Amazon.
Let's get into the specific details about what Amazon FBA sellers can and cannot sell on the platform.
What Counts As Hazmat Products on Amazon?
Anything explosive, toxic or highly flammable is almost certainly classified as hazardous materials, but there's also a lot of products, that are generally harmless, that come under the same category.
Products that may be considered hazmat, dangerous goods include:
- Laptops, cameras, cell phones, tablet devices, tools and chargers.
- Products that contain magnets such as speakers, headphones, and children's toys.
- Chemical based products like glue, dyes, and aerosol products.
One great example here is Lithium batteries. When doing a quick ASIN search inside of seller central, which we will cover in the next section of this guide, it was revealed that the Ryobi Lithium batteries are considered to be dangerous goods, however, it is still ok to sell these items on Amazon.
You can see by the warning message above, the battery is able to be sold through FBA, with some minor requirements. The good news for this product is that you do not need to be part of the FBA dangerous goods program in order to sell it.
How do I Know if my Product is Classified as Hazmat?
There's a couple of ways to work out if your product is going to be classed as dangerous goods by Amazon. The first way is to ask your supplier for documentation such as a safety data sheet (SDS) and second, do a search for the ASIN inside seller central.
If you need finding the ASIN, you should check out the Keepa extension. This makes it easy to grab the ASIN right from the product page.
Once you have found your ASIN, go to this page inside seller central and about half way down, you'll find a section wher eyou can search using an ASIN
Once you've searched, you will get an instant response. Similar to the previous example where we searched with the Ryobi lithium battery ASIN, we grabbed a popular lighter fluid ASIN to see the response.
In this instance, it can still be sold on Amazon but the seller must be in the FBA Dangerous Goods (hazmat) Program.
Below the message, it gives you the option to ask to join the program.
What Are All The Amazon Hazmat Products?
Amazon has a lot of useful articles on this inside of seller central, and the table below lists some of the possible products in popular categories that may be classified as dangerous goods.
Items like hats or vests with rechargeable batteries, hat stiffener and stain remove products.
Various engine, tire and paint or interior care products. Oils and engine fluids, batteries, airbags.
Antibacterial products and grooming and skincare items.
Beauty and Personal Care
Spray deodorants, hair sprays, colors, dyes, perfumes, tanning oils, essential oils, aftershave, insect repellent, nail polish an many more.
Song books (contains batteries) and e-book devices.
Cell phones, power banks, speakers with magnets.
Food and Beverage
High alcohol content products, aerosol food products, essential oils.
Health and Household
Cleaning, laundry and dishwashing products.
Pest control products, grill products.
Printer inks and toners, glues and adhesives, various markers and pens.
Eye and ear care, flea or tick control, deodorants, remedy creams and various cleaning products.
Light up shoes and shoe cleaning or polishing products.
Sports and Outdoor
Airsoft supplies, camp stoves, e-bikes and scooters, batteries, life-saving vests.
Kits with paints or sprays, chemistry or building kits, battery operated toys.
Controllers, headsets and gamepads.
It is very important to note that this is not an exhaustive list, but it is just a summary of products that may be considered dangerous goods. You should always check the SDS from your supplier and check the Amazon ASIN lookup tool. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
How Can You Sell Hazmat Products on Amazon?
You can apply to join the FBA dangerous goods program inside seller central, but the wait times are generally unknown. Amazon also closes off the program entirely at times, and doesn't even accept people on to the wait list.
Inside our Facebook group there are people that have been on the waitlist for over 12 months and still have not had a response.
Let's hope this changes and more sellers are able to get approved to sell dangerous goods with Amazon FBA.
In the mean time there is a lot of opportunity if you are Hazmat approved, because the barrier to entry is higher. Most of the online arbitrage sourcing list vendors don't include hazmat products, so you will need to do some manual work to find potential products to sell.
You also may be able to Merchant Fulfill Dangerous Goods as long as they are profitable and you ship them properly.
What is the Amazon Hazmat Review Process
The Amazon hazmat review process is relatively straight forward, but the most critical part is ensuring that you have sufficient information about your products.
If you have an existing product that has been classified as dangerous goods, or you are listing a new product, you will need to provide Amazon with a safety data sheet (SDS). We go into further detail on the SDS's in the next section.
If you don't have a SDS available but the product qualifies for an exemption, Amazon provides two exemption sheets for products that qualify.
What is a Safety Data Sheet SDS and How Do I Get One?
A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is the documentation used to disclose the hazardous materials contained within a product. Product manufacturers should be able to provide you with the SDS for any products they produce.
This information is critical for FBA warehouses to ensure the safety of their workers and also the general public (Amazon customers).
The best way to get a SDS is to ask your supplier or the product manufacturer. In some instances where you cannot locate the SDS for a product you want to sell, you may need to get one created yourself by enlisting a SDS authoring service.
How Do I Apply for a SDS Exemption?
In order to apply for an exemption, you first need to fit into one of two categories.
- Battery and battery-powered products
- Products without harmful chemicals
Amazon also has a full policy on Lithium batteries, which can be found here inside Amazon seller central. You should read this if you plan on selling any form of Lithium battery product.
To apply for an exemption under one of the categories metioned above, you need to download the appropriate exemption sheet from seller central.
The exemptions sheets are quite easy to complete, but please make sure you take your time to read them thoroughly and complete them as required. Otherwise you may find that your exemption is rejected and you'll waste precious selling time!
How Does Hazmat Impact Your Sales?
If you're selling a product and Amazon notifies you that it is now classified as a dangerous good, unfortunately your sales will be impacted. Amazon generally pauses your listing while they request additional documentation from you.
This downtime can be a pain, but it is unavoidable.
If your listing is classified as hazmat products then you may lose around 4-5 weeks in total by the time it takes you to get the necessary approvals in place, and for Amazon to ship your products to one of their FBA facilities that is equipped to handle hazmat products.
How to Identify If Your Product is Hazmat
Apart from general common sense, there are a number of ways to work out whether the product you intend to sell is going to be considered a dangerous good. Hazmat labels are often shown on product packaging, but the absence of a label does not necessarily mean that the product does not contain hazardous materials.
You should always request a safety data sheet from your supplier and review the information. This will outline any potential hazmat concerns and it is wise to submit the SDS to Amazon, regardless of your own opinion on the product.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is entirely up to you as a seller, but FBA dangerous good sellers quite often do well because there is less competition.
If you fail to provide Amazon with a safety data sheet then your listing is likely to be suspended. You absolutely need to provide the SDS or the SDS exemption sheet when requested to do so.
The best way to resolve Amazon hazmat reviews quickly is to make sure you obtain all of the relevant information, like your SDS, and provide it to Amazon without delay. Ensuring that your product listing information matches the SDS is also a critical part of ensuring the review process is completed quickly and without rejections.
The Final Word on Amazon Hazmat and FBA Dangerous Goods
This topic really is a deep rabbit hole once you get into it, but it makes sense and it's something that all FBA sellers need to know about. It's not different to being aware of the Amazon restricted categories, really. It's just "one of those things".
Amazon provides so much information on this topic but its very easy to get overwhelmed with their seemingly endless seller central pages. This is why we created this handy guide, which we hope was helpful to you in your endeavor to find out more about Amazon FBA and hazmat reviews.
Feel free to continue the conversation in our Facebook group and join my email list below to stay ahead of the curve on all things Amazon!