Chapter 2 – Product Regulations
The Most Heavily Regulated Category
The Toys & Games category on Amazon is among the most heavily regulated, along with Baby and Health and Personal Care. At Basilio Inc, we strongly advise seeking assistance from specialists when introducing new products in this space. Failure to prepare the required documents or submit information accurately can lead to significant delays or even disrupt sales for extended periods.
Requirements in the Toys & Games category vary depending on the type of product. Any item marketed for children aged 12 and younger is classified as a children’s product. Amazon mandates that all children’s products undergo safety testing following the guidelines established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Specific standards apply to each product type, and sellers can find a comprehensive breakdown of requirements on the CPSC’s website.
One critical requirement introduced by Amazon is the need for sellers to provide a Child Product Certificate (CPC) when creating new listings in the Toys & Games category. A CPC is a self-written document that certifies a product’s compliance with all relevant rules and regulations for that specific category or product type. This certificate demonstrates that the product has been thoroughly tested and adheres to safety standards, providing peace of mind to both sellers and customers.
Amazon Product Safety Compliance
When selling products on Amazon, ensuring compliance with safety regulations is crucial for both customer satisfaction and legal requirements. When creating your Amazon product listing, you must include certain important details to demonstrate your product’s safety compliance.
- Product Description and ASIN: Start by providing a clear and detailed description of your product, including its features, specifications, and intended use. Additionally, include the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) to uniquely identify your product within the marketplace.
- Importer Information (if applicable): If you are an importer and not the manufacturer of the product, it’s essential to provide accurate importer information, including your name, contact details, and address.
- Citations for Tested Standards: Clearly cite each safety standard to which your product has been tested and complies with, such as 16 CFR Part 1303, which addresses lead content limits for children’s products.
- Contact Information: Include your contact information, such as email or phone number, so that customers and Amazon can reach you if needed.
- Manufacturer Information: Provide details about the manufacturer of the product, including the name, location, and contact information. This information is essential for establishing the product’s origin and authenticity.
- Third-Party Lab Information: Include the name and address of the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) approved third-party lab that conducted the product safety tests. Also, mention the date on which the tests were performed to ensure recent and up-to-date compliance.
In addition to the above information, Amazon may request copies of safety testing reports to verify your product’s compliance. For products that contain liquid and/or are potentially flammable, such as science kits or craft items with glue, Amazon requires a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Including this information in your product listing helps provide transparency to customers and establishes your commitment to safety and compliance.
In response to growing concerns about counterfeit products on its platform and in light of legislative initiatives like the SHOP SAFE Act, Amazon has been making significant efforts to enhance consumer safety on its marketplace. The SHOP SAFE Act, introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020, aims to hold online marketplaces liable for counterfeit goods sold by third-party sellers. This and other regulatory investigations have prompted Amazon to take proactive measures to ensure the authenticity and safety of products available to consumers.
One of these measures is Amazon’s periodic listing reviews, which require sellers to provide additional documentation about product authenticity, safety testing, and certifications. Even if sellers have previously submitted such documents during the listing creation process, Amazon now demands them periodically to reevaluate product compliance. Failure to submit the required documents within the designated timeframe may result in listing restrictions until the documents are provided and reviewed. Amazon scrutinizes the documents to ensure they meet the guidelines established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Listings that fail to align with CPSC requirements will remain restricted until compliance is achieved.
Our marketplace compliance experts at Basilio Inc have observed that Amazon’s scrutiny during these reviews has become more stringent. Amazon has been known to request tests that go beyond CPSC requirements, such as flammability testing for products not mandated under the Consumer Product Safety Information Act of 2008. Disputing such requests can lead to listing suspensions until Amazon either retracts the demand or the brand complies with the additional testing. In our experience, advising brands to comply with Amazon’s requests, even when they seem excessive, is often more cost-effective than risking revenue loss from suspended listings due to prolonged disputes.
Few Safety Requirements for Ages 12+
Amazon’s commitment to safety standards has been evident in recent years, especially concerning children’s products. However, there seems to be a significant gap in the regulations for games and items targeted towards teens aged 12 and above. While Amazon has become more stringent in enforcing safety requirements for children’s products, products tailored to teens lack the same level of scrutiny and safety guidelines.
One prime example of this disparity can be seen with fidget spinners. Although commonly used by young children, these spinners are technically marketed towards teens and are not classified as children’s products. Consequently, they are exempt from certain safety standards that apply to traditional children’s items. This loophole raises concerns about the safety of young users, as fidget spinners can pose potential risks despite their teenage target audience.
It is essential for Amazon and other online marketplaces to address this issue and consider strengthening safety requirements for products aimed at teenagers. Proper safety protocols are necessary, given that items intended for teens often find their way into the hands of younger children, leading to unforeseen hazards. Striking a balance between appealing to the teenage demographic and ensuring child safety is imperative to create a secure and responsible shopping environment.
When it comes to selling products, regulatory compliance is of utmost importance. To determine the specific regulatory requirements applicable to your product, conducting thorough research is essential. Begin by identifying the federal agencies responsible for overseeing the industry your product belongs to. Understanding which agency has jurisdiction over your product is the first step in ensuring compliance.
Conducting lab tests on your product is another critical aspect of regulatory compliance. Seek out reputable and accredited domestic or foreign laboratories that align with the regulations your product must adhere to. Laboratories like CTT, BV Labs, and Intertek offer testing services for toys and games and can provide valuable insights into meeting compliance standards.
By partnering with a testing lab, you can access a comprehensive regulatory analysis that outlines all the necessary compliance requirements for your specific product or product category. This analysis can be invaluable in guiding your compliance efforts and ensuring you meet all the necessary standards.
In addition to lab research, you can leverage online resources to gain a better understanding of the regulations. A simple Google search can lead you to guidance documents issued by federal agencies, which often explain the regulations in more accessible terms. These documents can serve as a helpful starting point, providing valuable insights and setting you on the right track toward regulatory compliance.