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This article applies to selling in: Canada

Expiration dates on seller-fulfilled 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 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, 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

All expiration-dated products intended for application or consumption must be received by the customer with sufficient time for use. For example, a bottle of supplements with 240 daily servings must be sold to the customer more than 240 days before expiration. This requirement extends to all individual products sold in bulk, or as part of a bundle. In addition, food and beverage products—as well as products that ship with food or beverages must be lot-controlled and received by the customer with sufficient time for use.

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
Herbal or mineral supplements 730 days
Cleaning supplies 900–1,825 days
Personal care and beauty products (shampoos, soaps, lotions, makeup, and fragrances) 900–1,825 days

Labeling expiration-dated products

Expiration-dated products must follow these labelling requirements.

  • Clearly label all ingestible products (including animal products) with an expiration date or a packaging date that includes durable life information. Lot numbers alone are insufficient.
  • Clearly label the expiration date on all baby food and baby formula products.
  • Clearly label any expiration date on the product using the words “best before” and “meilleur avant.”
  • Clearly label any manufacturing date on the product. A manufacturing date is the equivalent of a production date.
  • All medical devices must have expiration dates. Clearly label them using YYYY-MM-DD format.
  • For products other than medical devices, the acceptable date format should follow YY-MO-DD, in which ‘MO’ is the bilingual symbol for the month.
    Note: Although the above date format is preferred, in cases where the durable shelf life is within the same year, the MO-DD format is acceptable.
  • All case packs, multi-packs, 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 cover up the original expiration date or other information on the product packaging (such as ingredients, drug facts, net contents, or distributor information).

Prepping expiration-dated products

Expiration-dated products must be fully enclosed and sealed in packaging suitable for shipping. Expiration-dated products that require additional prep, such as poly-bagging or bubble wrap, must have labels with expiration dates applied to the outside of the product prep or packaging.

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