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This article applies to selling in: Canada

Expiration dates on FBA products

Before listing expiration-dated inventory, ensure that you adhere to the policies and requirements below. Failure to comply may result in removal of your listings, disposal of your inventory or deactivation of your Amazon selling account.

Expiration-dated product definition

Amazon considers any product with a shelf life, or that loses effectiveness with time, to be subject to expiration, even if an expiration date is not indicated on the product packaging.

Products subject to expiration include but are not limited to:

  • Any product that has an expiration date printed on the product or its packaging
  • Consumable products such as potato chips, tea leaves and nutritional supplements, whether for human or animal consumption
  • Topical products such as skin creams, soaps, shampoos, hair sprays and cosmetics that are intended for human or animal use
  • Cleaning products such as disinfectant wipes, cleaning sprays and solutions, and detergents
  • Products that include components that can expire, such as a coffee machine that is sold bundled with coffee
  • Any product with a period-after-opening (PAO) symbol (image below)

Shelf life requirements for expiration-dated products

At the time of check-in at the fulfilment centre, all products must have a remaining shelf life that allows sufficient time for the product to be consumed in full plus an additional 90 days. For example, a bottle of supplements with 240 daily servings must have a remaining shelf life of 240 days plus an additional 90 days at the time of check-in at the fulfilment centre.

The table below lists products that Amazon considers subject to expiration, along with their respective shelf-life guidelines.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list and is intended as a guide only.
Product Shelf life
Chips and other snacks 90–180 days
Dried fruit 180–270 days
Baby formula 180–365 days
Cereal and granola bars 180–365 days
Pet food and treats 180–540 days
Beverages such as coffee, tea, soda, and juice 270–540 days
Salad dressings and oils 270 days
Flour, spices, and baking supplies 270–365 days
Peanut butter, jams, and preserves 365 days
Pasta 365 days
Condiments, including salt, pepper, and sugar 365–730 days
Candy 540 days
Canned food 540 days
Natural health products, including herbal or mineral supplements 730 days
Cleaning supplies 900–1,825 days
Personal care and beauty products (shampoos, soaps, lotions, makeup, fragrances) 900–1,825 days

Labelling expiration-dated products

Expiration-dated products must follow these labelling requirements.

  • All ingestible products (including animal products) must be clearly labelled with an expiration date or manufacturing date. Lot numbers alone are insufficient.
  • All baby food and baby formula products must have a clearly labelled expiration date.
  • Any expiration date must be clearly labelled. A best-by or sell-by date is considered the equivalent of an expiration date.
  • Any manufacturing date must be clearly labelled. A manufacturing date is the equivalent of a production date.
  • Failure to specify the manufacturing date or expiration date on a product might cause delays in receiving your products, or it may cause products to be received as expired at the fulfilment centre.
  • All medical devices must have expiration dates. They must be clearly labelled using YYYY-MM-DD format.
  • For prepackaged food products, identify the durable life dates using the words “best before” and “meilleur avant.” For the date, show the year first, followed by the month expressed in French, in English, or in the bilingual symbols listed by the Government of Canada, and then the day. Separate the year, month and day with hyphens.
  • All over-the-counter drugs (including disinfectants that require a drug identification number) and natural health products (including mineral and herbal supplements) must be labelled with an expiration date expressed at a minimum as one year and one month.
  • All case packs, multipacks and display boxes must have the expiration date on the box or bundle, as well as on each individual item inside the box or bundle.
  • Do not conceal the original expiration date or other information on the product packaging (such as ingredients, drug facts, net contents or distributor information).

In addition to meeting the requirements above, all expiration-dated FBA inventory requires an Amazon barcode label. For more information, go to Use an Amazon barcode to track inventory and FBA Label Service.

  • Our system stores the expiration date information in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Due to time-zone conversions, the date on the box label might differ from what you originally entered.
  • Items that are past expiration at the time of arrival at Amazon fulfilment centres will be marked for disposal. Inventory subject to disposal cannot be returned to you.
  • When shipping products to our fulfilment centres, each box can have only one expiration date per ASIN. You can ship multiple ASINs in the same box as long as each ASIN has only one expiration date. If there are multiple expiration dates for the same ASIN, the products with different expiration dates must be shipped in separate boxes.

Prepping expiration-dated products

Expiration-dated products must be fully enclosed and sealed in packaging suitable for shipping. Expiration-dated products that require additional preparation, such as poly-bagging or bubble wrap, must have labels with expiration dates applied to the outside of the product prep or packaging to ensure that the expiration date is accessible to Amazon associates during the check-in process.

Inventory control at Amazon fulfilment centres

Once products have arrived at our fulfilment centres, we monitor their shelf life to protect our customers from receiving products past expiration. Unsold inventory that passes its expiration date, or is close to exceeding the shelf life of the ASIN, is set to unsellable status. To have your unsellable products sent back to you automatically, ensure your inventory settings are set to do so. For more information, go to Remove inventory automatically.

Helpful links

FBA labelling video tutorials

FBA product barcode requirements

Remove inventory (overview)

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