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This article applies to selling in: India

Expiration dates on FBA products

It is important to adhere to our policy before listing expiration-dated inventory. Failure to comply may result in removal of your listings or deactivation of your Amazon selling account, or disposal of your inventory as per applicable law and the Business Solutions Agreement.

Expiration-dated product definition

Amazon considers any product that has an end of shelf life or loses effectiveness with time to be subject to expiration, even if an expiration date is not indicated on the product packaging. This includes products that have components that can expire, such as a coffee machine that is sold bundled with a coffee set.

Products subject to expiration include but are not limited to:

  • Any product that has a clear printed expiration date.
  • Consumable products such as potato chips, tea leaves, and nutritional supplements whether for human or animal consumption.
  • Topical products such as skin cream, 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).


Expiration date legislation

As per the amendments to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules in 2011, the Government of India has made it mandatory to display certain product information, including “'Best before or use by date, month, and year" in case of packages that contain a commodity which may become unfit for human consumption after a period of time, on online e-commerce marketplaces. Display of 'Best before date' rule was rolled out in phases to all Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) products starting September 20, 2018.

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 to consume the product in full and additional 90 days. For example, a bottle of daily supplements with 240 daily servings must have a remaining shelf life of 240 days and an additional 90 days at the time of check-in at the fulfilment centre.

See below for a list of products Amazon considers subject to expiration with respective shelf life suggestions. This is not an exhaustive list and are intended as suggestions 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, Juice 270-540 days
Salad Dressing and Oils 270 days
Flour, Spices, Baking Supplies 270-365 days
Peanut Butter, Jams and Preserves 365 days
Pasta 365 days
Condiments including salt, pepper, sugar 365-730 days
Candy 540 days
Canned Food 540 days
Herbal/Mineral Supplements 730 days
Cleaning Supplies 900-1825 days
Personal Care and Beauty Products (Shampoo, Soaps, Lotion, Makeup, Fragrances) 900-1825 days

Labelling and prepping expiration-dated products

The Amazon fulfilment centre will accept the items having an expiration date only if they comply with the below packing requirements.

  • All ingestible products (including animal products) must include the expiration date on the primary carton and on the individual units. Lot numbers alone are insufficient.
  • All baby food and baby formula products must have a clearly label expiration date.
  • All medical devices must have expiration dates and must be labelled clearly.
  • Any expiration date on the product must be labelled clearly as an expiration date. A best-by or sell-by date is considered as th8e equivalent of an expiration date.
  • Any manufacturing date on the product must be labelled clearly as a manufacturing date. 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.
  • DD-MM-YYYY is the preferred format to display expiration dates.
  • Numerical date formats are preferred. However, dates that are stated with an alphabetical abbreviation for the month (for example, DD-JAN-YYYY) are 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: ingredient labels, drug fact box, distributor information, and net contents.
  • Products that expire and are contained in packaging that requires additional prep, such as glass jars or bottles, must be prepped to ensure that the expiration date is accessible for Amazon associates during the receive process.

For examples of how to prep your products for shipment to and storage in Amazon fulfilment centres, watch this video.

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

Note:

  • Our system stores the expiration-date information in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Due to the time-zone conversion, 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 warehouses will be marked for return to you. If you refuse the return of the expired items, the inventory will be marked for disposal as per applicable laws and the Business Solutions Agreement.

Note: When shipping products to our fulfilment centres, each carton can have only one expiration date per ASIN. If there are multiple expiration dates for the same ASIN, then they must be shipped in separate cartons. You can ship multiple ASINs in the same carton as long as each ASIN has only one expiration date.

Inventory control at Amazon warehouses

Once products have arrived at our fulfilment centres, we monitor their shelf life to protect our customers from receiving products past expiration or near expiration. Unsold inventory that passes its expiration date or is close to expiration date will be set to unsellable status at our fulfilment centres.

At the time of check-in at the fulfilment centre, all products must have a remaining shelf life that allows sufficient time to consume the product in full and additional 90 days.

For automated returns of your unsellable products, set your inventory settings as appropriate. To learn more, visit remove inventory automatically.

Helpful Links

FBA Product Barcode Requirements

Remove Inventory

FAQ

How is the ‘Best Before Date’ displayed on the Detail page?

When a perishable product is inbounded to our fulfilment centre, we track the production date or expiration date printed on the product. If ‘expiration date’ is mentioned, then we track this date against the new shipment batch. If manufacturing date is mentioned, then our systems compute the expiration date by adding shelf life. We then display the expiration date of the product batch to the customer on the Detail Page.

Will the ‘Best Before Date’ be updated when a new shipment is sent to the fulfilment centre?

Yes, the “Best Before Date” will be updated when a new shipment is received after the older inventory is out of stock. If you have older inventory in stock, then the date shown to the customer will be based on the expiration date of the old inventory.

Which categories will show the expiration date for a product?

Grocery, HPC, Baby, Beauty, Prestige Beauty and Pets categories from Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) will show the expiration date of a product.

How can I update expiration attributes associated with my ASIN?

Please refer to the Updating Expiration Attributes Help page.


Expiration dates on FBA products


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