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This article applies to selling in: India

Expiration Dates on MFN 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.

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.

Shelf Life Requirements for expiration-dated products

  • Food and beverage products, and products that ship with food or beverages must be lot-controlled and must be received by the customer with sufficient time for use.
  • For all other items, expiration-dated products intended for regular application or consumption, or sold in bulk/bundles packages must be received by the customer with sufficient time for use. For example, a bottle of daily supplements with 240 daily servings must be received by the customer more than 240 days before expiration.
  • Please see below for a list of products that Amazon considers subject to expiration with respective shelf life guidelines. This is not an exhaustive list and are intended as guidelines 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

Expiration-dated products must follow these labelling requirements.

  • All ingestible products (including animal products) must be labelled clearly 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.
  • 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 the 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.
  • Expiration dates must be displayed in the format DD-MM-YYYY. If the expiration date is printed in a different format, then a sticker with the correct format must be applied, covering the original expiration date.
  • 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.
  • Please 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.

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