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This article applies to selling in: Canada

Packaging and prep requirements

Before sending products to fulfilment centres, it's important to know what is suitable for the Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) process and what is not. For more information, go to FBA product restrictions and Shipping and routing requirements.

Note: Inventory that arrives at a fulfilment centre without proper preparation or labelling may incur a preparation fee. For more information, go to Unplanned services.

Packaging requirements

Note: A unit that falls under multiple categories must be prepped according to all applicable prep types. For example, if you are selling bottles of shampoo and conditioner as a set, both units must meet the prep requirements for liquid products and be labelled with a “Sold as set” sticker so they are not separated.

Follow these general requirements when shipping units to fulfilment centres. Certain products have other specific requirements. Amazon may refuse, return, or repackage any product delivered to a fulfilment centre with inadequate or non-compliant packaging at your expense.

  • Any FNSKU you use on a unit must be unique and must correspond to one unique product. For example, each assortment type, such as size or colour, must have a different FNSKU.
  • Each unit must have an exterior scannable barcode or label (which includes a scannable barcode and the corresponding human-readable numbers) that is easily accessible. For more information, go to FBA product barcode requirements.
  • Remove, cover, or render unscannable any existing scannable barcodes on the outside of shipping boxes. For example, cover existing barcodes with opaque tape or use a black felt-tip marker to render the barcode unscannable. This prevents the incorrect barcode from being accidentally scanned during the receiving process.

Loose products

Each unit, including multiple-volume set book publications, must be contained within a single, secure package.

  • Amazon does not accept units that would require Amazon to assemble multiple pieces from separate packages (for example, wheelbarrows where the handles and legs are separate, but are sold as one piece).
  • Units that are not contained in secure packaging, such as loose sleeves or pouches, must be bagged, or secured with a non-adhesive band or removable tape.
Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in fulfilment centres.
How to prep loose products (available in English)

Sold as set

Units that are sets, such as a set of six, unique toy cars that are sold as one unit, must be marked as sets on their packaging. Add a label to the unit that clearly states that the products are to be received and sold as a single unit. For example, “Sold as set,” “Ready to ship,” or “This is a set. Do not separate.”

Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in fulfilment centres.

How to prep products sold as a set (available in English)

Not permitted: Separate units within a set. Permitted: Units clearly labelled as a set and sealed so they cannot be separated.
Not permitted: Separate units within a set. Permitted: Units clearly labelled as a set and sealed so they cannot be separated.

Provide a unique ASIN for the set if the individual units in the set already have an ASIN. For bundled sets, the barcodes on the individual units must not face outward or the barcodes must be covered. This helps ensure that fulfilment centre associates scan the barcode for the pack, not the barcode for the individual units inside.

Boxed units

  • Must be six-sided.
  • Must have openings or a lid that will not easily open on its own. If the box can easily open on its own, use tape, glue, or staples to keep it closed.
  • Must not collapse when medium pressure is applied to any of the sides.
  • If the boxed unit has perforated sides or openings, the product must pass a 1-metre drop test, consisting of one drop on each side and one drop on a corner. If the product does not pass the drop test, it must be placed in a poly bag with a suffocation warning.

Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in fulfilment centres.

How to prep products with perforated packaging (English only)

Poly-bagged units

Poly bags used to protect Units must meet the following requirements:

  • Poly bags with an opening of 12.5cm or larger must have a suffocation warning, either printed on the bag or attached as a label, in both English and French. Failure to apply a suffocation warning may lead to the items being re-bagged.
    • Example warning:
      Warning: To avoid danger of suffocation, keep this bag away from babies and children. Do not use this bag in cribs, beds, carriages, or playpens. This bag is not a toy.
    • The warning should be printed or placed in a prominent location and in a legible font size for the size of the bag.
    • Print size of this warning should conform to the following table:
      Total length plus width of bag Minimum print size
      150cm or more 24 point
      101 to 149cm 18 point
      76 to 100cm 14 point
      less than 75cm 10 point
  • The thickness of the bag must be at least 2.3 micrometers.
  • The poly bag must be transparent.
  • The poly bag must have a barcode (such as a UPC or EAN) or X00-label that is scannable through the bag or have an X00- or ASIN label on the outside of the bag.
  • Poly bags must be completely sealed.
  • Poly bag or shrink wrap must not protrude more than 76mm past the dimensions of the product.

Case-packed items

  • All products in a box must have a matching SKU and condition, and must have been packaged together by the manufacturer.
  • All boxes with the same product must contain equal quantities of that product in each box. For example, a case pack of 24 units must always contain 24 units.
  • While receiving this type of shipment, the fulfilment centre scans one unit from the box and the box is placed in inventory. There is no need to scan every unit because they are all the same.
  • In some cases, a manufacturer or distributor may package more than one case pack into a larger box. These larger boxes do not qualify as a case pack and must be separated at the appropriate case-pack level.
Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in fulfilment centres.
How to ship case-packed products (available in English)

Note: For case-packed items, you must remove or cover any scannable barcode from the case. Only the units within the case can have scannable barcodes.

Individual items: Each box may contain one or more products of varying quantities and conditions Case-packed products: All products in a box must have matching SKU and condition. All boxes with the same product must contain equal quantities of that item in each box, and must have been packed by the manufacturer.

Expiration dates

Expiration dates must be displayed in the format DD-MM-YYYY. If the expiration date is printed in a different format, a sticker with the correct format must be applied, covering the original expiration date.

  • Expiration-dated products must include the expiration date on the outer box in 36-point font or larger and on the individual units. Lot numbers alone are insufficient.
  • Perishable items are not allowed.

For more information, go to Expiration dates on FBA products.

Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in fulfilment centres.

How to label products with expiration dates (English only)

Marketing materials

Amazon will not accept marketing materials such as pre-priced labels, pamphlets, price tags, or other non-Amazon labels.

Safety

To prevent injury resulting from sharp objects being accidentally left in boxes, use safety knives with covered blades when packing products.

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