Prevent Amazon account suspension when selling internationally

by TaxJar November 1, 2023

Please note: This blog was originally published in 2018. It’s since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

If your Amazon sellers’ account was suspended after being accused of selling restricted products, you need to know how to obtain reinstatement of your selling privileges.

Amazon’s restricted product policy states that “[p]roducts offered for sale on Amazon must comply with all laws and regulations and with Amazon’s policies. The sale of illegal, unsafe, or other restricted products listed on these pages, including products available only by prescription, is strictly prohibited.”

When an Amazon Seller lists a restricted product, Amazon may take actions “including but not limited to immediately suspending or terminating selling privileges, destroying inventory in our fulfillment centers without reimbursement, returning inventory, and terminating the business relationship.” (Source)

Amazon sellers are charged with knowing all of Amazon’s policies even when Amazon does not give you notice of Amazon seller policy changes.

Successful reinstatement following product removal

We recently assisted a suspended Amazon seller in reinstating their account following a restricted product suspension.  The product was a pepper spray device.  While the device was permitted in the US, it was restricted in Canada.

An Amazon Seller, selling internationally, should never assume the product listing is permitted without first checking the restrictions of that country’s marketplace.

To obtain reinstatement of our suspended Amazon seller, we developed a persuasive Plan of Action.  The Plan of Action informed Amazon that our suspended seller removed the listing from their Canadian marketplace entirely. Removing the listing is essentially the only acceptable remedy for the reinstatement of a suspended Amazon seller when a product is restricted on the Amazon marketplace.  Pointing out to Amazon that a suspended Amazon seller removed a restricted item seems a bit silly when Amazon removed the ability to sell the restricted item anyway.  But, as a law firm that addresses Amazon sellers’ suspensions every day, we know that pointing out the obvious helps get suspended sellers reinstated.

Our Plan of Action for this suspended Amazon seller also provided Amazon with a list of preventative actions taken by our client to avoid selling restricted listing in the future. For example, our client implemented monthly retraining sessions to assure all staff and owners stay current on Amazon’s policies and restrictions.

Takeaway for Amazon sellers

Amazon Sellers should always ensure that each product they list is not restricted on whatever Amazon marketplaces you are selling. If an Amazon Seller is selling internationally, the seller must confirm the legality of the sale of the product in each country.

Listing a restricted product shows the Seller was not familiar with Amazon’s policy requirements or failed to check each country’s policies.  This is against Amazon policy.  Amazon policy requires all sellers to stay aware of Amazon’s policy changes.

When an Amazon sellers’ account is suspended, the suspended Amazon seller must demonstrate the efforts they have taken to stay current on Amazon Policies in addition to removing the restricted inventory. Lastly, suspended Amazon sellers should always remove any product restricted on the Amazon marketplace regardless if they have received an account suspension or not.

If a suspended Amazon seller is unable to successfully reinstate their account following a restricted listing suspension, the Amazon Seller should contact a law firm focused on Amazon sellers and seller account suspensions to assist them.

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