• List of Restricted Products on Amazon: An Overview

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    Cosmetics

    Amazon requires that all products sold by third-party sellers comply with mandatory safety standards and regulations in each respective country they sell. However, Amazon also has its own requirements for certain product categories and substances.

    Keep reading, and learn what you must know about product restrictions applicable to cosmetics, packaging, jewelry, furniture, medical devices, and more.

    Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

    Amazon requires that cosmetics and personal care products listed in its platform must comply with several requirements, in regard to the ingredients, labeling, packaging, and more. These requirements include the following categories of cosmetic and personal are products:

    • Lipsticks
    • Eyeshadows
    • Mascaras
    • Eyeliners
    • Blushes
    • Lotions
    • Hair dyes
    • Hair spray
    • Deodorants

    Ingredients

    Amazon requires sellers to follow the ingredient requirements and restrictions for cosmetic and personal care products laid down by the FDA.

    Also, when products are sold in a state or jurisdiction that enforces special legislation for cosmetics and personal care products, Amazon also demands sellers of its platform to abide by the rules in such situations.

    Below, we provide a non-exhaustive list of substances and materials that are restricted or banned in cosmetics imported, marketed, or sold in the United States, including on Amazon.

    Banned or Restricted Substance/Materials Relevant Products Motivation
    Bithionol Shampoos

    Creams

    Lotions

    Foundation

    May cause photocontact dermatitis
    Chlorofluorocarbon propellants Aerosol-spray products Lead to the depletion of the ozone layer
    Chloroform Nail products Causes cancer in animals and serious eye irritation, fertility to human
    Halogenated salicylanilides Body care products May cause serious skin disorders
    Mercury compounds (limits are dependant on the specific product) Whitening cream

    Masks

    Eye serum

    May cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or neurotoxic problems
    Methylene chloride Aerosol cosmetic products May cause cancers in animals
    Prohibited cattle materials Body care products May cause skin irritation
    Vinyl chloride Aerosol cosmetic products May cause cancer and other health problems
    Zirconium-containing complexes Aerosol cosmetic products May have a toxic effect on the lungs of animals and other dermal problems
    Kohl Eye make-up products May cause lead poison
    Henna Tattoo inks

    Note: FDA does not ban henna used in hair dyes

    May cause serious skin irritation
    Microbeads (dia. <5 millimeters) Toothpaste

    Exfoliator

    Facial cleanser

    May harm aquatic animals
    Ingredients derived from sharks, whales, dolphins, or porpoises are prohibited from sale N/A Endangered species
    Hydrogen peroxide (content >12%) Hair dyes

    Hair bleaches

    Toothpaste

    Mouthwashes

    May cause ulcers, or perforated gut, mouth, throat, or stomach
    Acetone (volumes more than 16 oz) Nail polish remover May cause irritation on the nose, throat, lungs, and eyes
    Volatile organic compounds (limits are dependant on the specific product) Hairsprays

    Fragrances

    Nail polish

    Cause environmental pollution
    N/A Corrective and cosmetic contact lenses Not meet the checklist requirements
    Minoxidil (content >5%) Hair growth products May cause severe scalp irritation and headache

    Amazon also requires that cosmetics must not contain substances regulated by the Controlled Substances Act enforced by the US Department of Justice.

    Labeling

    Amazon requires that cosmetic labels and detail pages must not:

    a. Falsely claimed that the products have therapeutic functions unless proven by the FDA. Such products should also be labeled as both cosmetic and drug

    b. Contain description or statement like “FDA approved” when it is not the case

    c. Contain description or statement like “tester,” “not for retail sale,” or “not intended for resale”

    Packaging

    Amazon lays down the product packaging rules for cosmetics listed in its platform. Requirements are as follow:

    • Cosmetics must be sealed in the original manufacturer’s packaging
    • Cosmetics must be new and unused
    • Cosmetics packaging must contain traceability codes such as matrix codes, lot numbers, or serial numbers from the manufacturers or distributors

    Learn more: Click here

    Jewelry

    Amazon provides examples of prohibited jewelry listings, including:

    a. Gold or silver jewelry that is not stamped in compliance with relevant regulations, such as the National Gold and Silver Stamping Act of 1906

    b. Jewelry that violates FTC’s Guidelines for Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries

    c. Irradiated gemstones not authorized by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    d. Diamonds that do not comply with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

    e. White diamonds treated with clarity-enhanced techniques

    f. Glass-filled rubies

    Learn more: Click here

    Medical Devices

    Amazon’s prohibition policy for medical devices can be summarized as:

    a. Medical devices that have not been approved by the FDA

    b. Prescription medical devices

    c. Medical devices with inappropriate labeling information

    Here some examples of prohibited products:

    • Ear candles
    • Testers
    • Certain menstrual cups
    • Psoriasis lamps
    • Metal detection test kits
    • Testosterone test kits
    • Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) test kits
    • Unauthorized diabetic test strips
    • Mercury thermometers
    • Industrial laser devices

    Learn more: Click here

    Composite Wood Products

    Amazon requires that composite wood products listed on its platform must conform with the formaldehyde restrictions, testing, documentation, and labeling requirements set by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

    These requirements are elaborated in the Toxic Substances Chemical Act (TSCA) Title VI, Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products.

    In order to list composite wood products on Amazon, sellers must ensure their products meet the formaldehyde restrictions:

    • Hardwood plywood: Formaldehyde < 0.05 ppm
    • Medium-density fiberboard: : Formaldehyde < 0.11 ppm
    • Thin medium-density fiberboard: Formaldehyde < 0.13 ppm
    • Particleboard: Formaldehyde < 0.09 ppm

    According to the definition of EPA, composite wood products include hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, thin medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard.

    Here are some examples of products that can partially or fully be made with composite wood products:

    • Tables
    • Bunk beds
    • Flooring
    • Wooden toys

    Upholstered Furniture

    Amazon sellers of upholstered furniture, beddings, and other quilted products must comply with applicable federal or state laws regulating these products, including:

    • Fire safety
    • Substances restrictions
    • Labeling requirements

    When it comes to labeling Amazon suggests that sellers of upholstered furniture should be especially careful with the following:

    • Text font size
    • Fiber and filler material composition
    • Uniform Registry Number (when necessary)

    Learn more: Click here

    Lighting Products

    Amazon prohibits the sales of light bulbs and other lamps that do not conform to applicable energy efficiency standards, such as the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).

    Also, Amazon does not permit the sale of some type of adapters or converters for lamps.

    Learn more: Click here

    Electronic Products

    Amazon forbids the listing of certain types of electronic products and components, mostly according to the applicable rules set by the FCC and CPSC.

    Examples of banned electronic products on Amazon:

    • Blocker devices
    • Wireless microphones that operate in the 600 or 700 MHz Band
    • Programmed smart cards
    • Holiday lights not compliant with 16 CFR 1120.3(c)
    • Extension cord products that are not compliant with 16 CFR 1120.3(d)
    • Certain streaming media players, voice assistant devices

    Learn more: Click here

    Batteries

    Amazon categorizes batteries as “Hazardous and Dangerous Items”, which means that sellers of batteries or products that contain batteries must conform to the platform’s safety policies for dangerous items, from the perspective of the product specification and transportation requirements.

    Specifically, Amazon forbids batteries that contain mercury, except for alkaline-manganese button cell batteries containing mercury lower than 25 mg), according to the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act of 1996 administered by the EPA.

    Also, the following cylindrical lithium-ion cell batteries are forbidden:

    • 14500
    • 16340
    • 18650
    • 20700
    • 21700
    • 26650

    Learn more: Click here

    Power Banks

    Amazon requires power banks, hand warmers, mobile phone cases that are used to charge mobile electronic devices or other devices that serve the same functions to conform to the following standard:

    • UL 2056 Outline of Investigation for Safety of Lithium-ion Power Banks

    Alternatively, different safety standards can be used for the battery and the device:

    Battery standards

    • UL 2054
    • IEC 62133-2
    • UL/CSA 62133

    Device standards

    • IEC 60950-1
    • UL 60950-1
    • IEC 62368-1 or UL 62368-1

    In addition, safety documentation for power bank products may be requested by Amazon at any time to confirm compliance.

    Learn more: Click here

    Laser Products

    Amazon requires that laser products listed in its platform conform to the requirements set by the FDA.

    According to the hazard classes, Amazon requires that the following types of laser products and their variations be pre-approved before being sold in its platform:

    • Laser presentation remotes
    • Self-stand laser pet toys
    • Toys embed with laser lighting
    • Laser light shows and stage lighting
    • Outdoor laser projectors
    • Security equipment with infrared illumination lasers

    In particular, for most laser products, one of the following two certificates is required:

    • 21 CFR 1040.10
    • IEC 60825-1

    Laser pointers are generally forbidden.

    Learn more: Click here

    Products Containing Hazardous Substances

    Amazon has placed strict substance restrictions on the product listing that can be listed on its platform, especially when it comes to substances that might be carcinogenic, toxic, or mutagenic.

    In recent years, Amazon has drawn up its Restricted Substance List, which currently contains 54 chemicals.

    Phthalates

    Amazon’s Restricted Substance list includes 11 kinds of phthalates, such as for example:

    • Butyl benzyl
    • Di-2-ethylhexyl
    • di(N-hexyl)
    • Dibutyl phthalate

    Bisphenol-A

    Amazon prohibits the sales of any products that contain Bisphenol-A.

    Learn more: Click here

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    Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided for general information only. The content includes summaries written by our team members based on publicly available information about product safety standards, labeling, documentation, testing, processes, and other product compliance related topics. However, we don’t guarantee that we cover every single relevant regulation/standard/requirement, or that the information is free from errors, or covering every single scenario and exemption. We do make mistakes from time to time. We never provide legal advice of any sort.

    Changes/Updates: Product standards and substance restrictions are subject to frequent updates and changes. In addition, new regulations, standards, and/or requirements may also become effective at any time. We don’t update our articles whenever new standards/regulations/rules are added or changed. We recommend that you consult a lab testing company or other professional to get the latest information about mandatory standards/regulations in your market, country, or state. Lab testing companies generally stay up to date on new and updated standards and regulations.

    National/State-Level Standards/Regulations: Many articles don't cover all European national and US state standards, regulations, and requirements. We recommend that you consult a testing company or other professional to confirm all relevant (and current) national/state level standards and regulations.
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