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This article applies to selling in: Canada

Packaging and Prep Requirements

Learn about the general preparation requirements for sending inventory to Amazon Fulfilment Centres as well as the specific product categories that require specialized prep.

Important: Failure to comply with FBA product preparation requirements, safety requirements, and product restrictions may result in the refusal of inventory at the Amazon Fulfilment Centre, disposal or return of inventory, blocking of future shipments to the fulfilment centre, or charging for preparation or for noncompliance at the fulfilment centre.

Before sending products for fulfilment by Amazon, it's important to know what is suitable for our fulfilment process and what is not. Make sure you review the other sections below for additional product requirements and restrictions:

Note: Your products should be sent to FBA with a scannable bar code and ready to be fulfilled. Any products that require additional prep or labelling upon receipt at the Amazon Fulfilment Centre will experience a delay in receiving and may be subject to charging for preparation or for non-compliance.

  • Please download the Prep matrix document to print and use as a quick reference when preparing products for shipment to Amazon Fulfilment Centres.

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 Amazon Fulfilment Centres. Certain products have other specific requirements. Amazon may refuse, return, or repackage any product delivered to an Amazon Fulfilment Centre with inadequate or non-compliant packaging at your expense, and you may also be subject to non-compliance fees.

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, wheel barrows where the handles and legs are in separate packages).
  • Units that are not contained in secure packaging (like loose sleeves or pouches) require bagging, or need to be 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 Amazon Fulfilment Centres.
How to prep loose products (available in English)

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, will have a different FNSKU.

  • Each Unit must have an exterior label that is easily accessible and that includes a scannable barcode and corresponding human-readable numbers.
  • For stickered inventory, one FNSKU.
  • For qualifying stickerless, commingled inventory, one UPC, ISBN, or EAN.
  • 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.

Sold as set

Units that are sets (for example, a NASCAR set of six unique Hotwheel cars, sold as one unit) must be marked as sets on their packaging. Add a label to the unit that states: "Sold as set" 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 Amazon 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 require covering. 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 be completely sealed with tape, glue, or staples and not easy to open.
  • Must not collapse when medium pressure is applied to any of the sides.
  • Must not have perforated sides or openings.

Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in Amazon 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 12.5 cm or larger must have a suffocation warning in both English and French. For example: "Plastic bags can be dangerous. To avoid danger of suffocation, keep this bag away from babies and children."
  • The thickness of the bag must be at least 2.3 micrometres.
  • The poly bag must be transparent.
  • The poly bag must have a label that is scannable through the bag or have a label on the outside of the bag.
  • Poly bags must be completely sealed.
  • Poly bag or shrink wrap must not protrude more than 76 mm past the dimensions of the product.

Case-packed items

  • All items in a box will have matching SKU and condition and will have been previously packaged together by the manufacturer.
  • All boxes with the same item will contain equal quantities of that item 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.
Watch this brief video for examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in Amazon 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 will contain one or more items of varying quantities and conditions. Case-packed products: All items in a box will have matching SKU and condition. All boxes with the same item will contain equal quantities of that item in each box, and will have been previously packed by the manufacturer.

Expiration dates

  • Products that expire must include the expiration date on the master carton in 36+ point font and on the individual units. Lot numbers alone are insufficient.
    • Expiration dates must be displayed in the format MM-DD-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.
  • For more information about requirements for products with expiration dates, please review FBA product restrictions – Date- and temperature-sensitive products.
  • Perishable items are not allowed.

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

Use safety knives with covered blades when packing products. This helps prevent sharp objects, such as blades, from being accidentally left in boxes and potentially injuring an Amazon associate or Amazon customer.

Prep for specific products

The following products require specific prep in order to protect the units from dust or damage in the fulfilment centre or during shipment to the customer.

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