A Seller’s Guide to Restricted Products and Gated Categories on Amazon

Amazon has been called the Everything Store for good reason. But of course, you can’t really buy everything from the online platform mainly because Amazon restricts a few products and gate some categories.

In this article, we’ll look at what these products are and why they are restricted.

Disclaimer: Each country may have different laws as to what products can be sold or promoted online, so the list may vary from one Amazon marketplace to another. In this article, we will focus on restricted products on

What Are Restricted Products on Amazon?

Amazon’s restricted products may be one of two things:

  • Those that are allowed to be sold but has additional requirements for it to get approved and
  • Those that are absolutely not allowed to be sold on the platform.

These are the two general categories of restricted products, but if you’re selling using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you should know that there are additional restrictions there as well. For example, while car tires are allowed to be sold on Amazon, it can’t be fulfilled through FBA because it’s an FBA restricted product.

There are listings for car tires on, but they are prohibited from being fulfilled through FBA.

Aside from prohibited FBA products, you also need to consider expiration dates as well as the meltability of your products.

Amazon requires a minimum arrival time at the fulfillment center for items with expiration dates. For example, if you’re selling pet food and treats, when your product arrives at one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers, they should have at least 180 days before expiration.

As to meltable FBA inventory, note that there’s a predetermined period within the year when FBA fulfillment centers will accept them. In particular, products categorized as meltable will be accepted only between October 16 and April 14. Those that are stored outside of this time will be disposed of by Amazon for a fee and are considered unfulfillable.

Products that tend to melt like chocolates and gummies may be fulfilled through FBA but only during certain times of the year.

Aside from FBA restrictions, there are also restrictions that are specific to certain places. For example, there are products that are subject to additional regulations in California.

Product restrictions for Amazon in general may be placed on brands, categories and sub-categories, as well as individual ASINs.

Note that there’s also a possibility that a product has overlapping restrictions. This means that you may have to submit multiple applications to be approved to sell the product. For example, a product might be restricted in terms of the brand as well as the category.

Why Does Amazon Restrict Products and How Can You Tell If a Product Is Restricted?

Amazon restricts products to protect its customers, sellers, and, of course, itself. There are legal and safety requirements that must be met, and there are real consequences for failure to do so. 

Some items don’t need to be declared restricted or prohibited for you to know that they are. For example, some of the obvious prohibited items include animals and human parts (if you’re looking for a kidney donor, Amazon is not the place for you).

But what about those products whose restrictions are not so obvious? There are a couple of ways to figure it out.

The first way is to check out the list of Amazon’s restricted products. But note that this may change from time to time, especially if there are new legal restrictions in a certain state.

As of writing, here are the restricted products on

  • Alcohol
  • Animals & Animal-Related Products
  • Art – Fine Art
  • Art – Home Decor
  • Automotive and powersports
  • Composite Wood Products
  • Cosmetics and Skin and hair care
  • CPAP Cleaning and Disinfecting Devices
  • Currency, Coins, Cash Equivalents, and Gift Cards
  • Dietary supplements
  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Electronics
  • Explosives, weapons, and related items
  • Export Controls
  • Food & Beverage
  • Gambling & Lottery
  • Hazardous and prohibited items
  • Human Parts & Burial Artifacts
  • Jewelry & Precious Gems
  • Laser products
  • Lighting
  • Lock Picking & Theft Devices
  • Medical devices and accessories
  • Offensive and Controversial Materials
  • Other restricted products
  • Pest control products and pesticides
  • Plant and Seed Products
  • Postage meters and stamps
  • Prohibited Product Claims
  • Recalled products
  • Recycling electronics
  • Refrigerants: Ozone-Depleting Substances and Substitutes
  • Strike anywhere matches
  • Surveillance Equipment
  • Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products
  • Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees
  • Upholstered Furniture, Bedding, & Other Quilted Products
  • Federal Emissions – Products requiring EPA Certificate of Conformity
  • Children's footwear
  • Children's apparel
  • Automotive tires, wheels, and rims
  • Washington State expanded polystyrene

Another way is to look up existing products on Amazon. Search for the product you want to list. You can do this by going to Seller Central and clicking on Inventory → Add a Product.

Next, search for the product. Click on “Show limitations” to view the requirements. You can then follow the steps and prepare the requirements as indicated.

But what about those products that are not yet sold on Amazon? For example, you may have developed a new product and are into private labeling. How do you determine if it’s restricted or not?

To do this, Amazon recommends that you look up similar products on the platform by clicking on Add a Product (same as the previous method). You can then see the restrictions for products similar to yours. This is helpful when you’re still researching what products you want to sell.

You can also know if your product has restrictions when you create your listing and select a product type.

How to Sell Restricted Products on Amazon

Follow the steps outlined in the previous section to find out if a product is restricted and what the requirements to sell are. You can simply click on “Apply to Sell” and start uploading your documents.

When it comes to gated categories, we have a dedicated article on applying for category approval on Amazon.

Consequences of Selling Restricted Products on Amazon

For a majority of the products sold on Amazon, restrictions are properly placed and requirements are submitted. However, the imperfect system allows for gaps for restricted products to be listed and sold on the platform.

In February 2024, the Federal Communications Commission investigated Amazon when it was found out it allowed the sale of jamming equipment, which is an illegal product in the United States.

If you deliberately or even inadvertently sell a prohibited product on Amazon, you may suffer the following consequences:

  • Listing removal (this is especially true for illegal products)
  • Suspension of listing privileges
  • Additional limitation on your listing privileges

Tips for Selling Restricted Products on Amazon

As mentioned previously, not all restricted products on Amazon are not allowed to be sold on the platform. For most of them, you just have to apply to sell and market it like you would any other product.

But to be on the safe side, here are some tips for selling restricted products on Amazon:

Prepare and upload all required documents correctly. Sellers can be rejected for not complying with the requirements to sell certain products or categories. Make sure that you read the instructions carefully and prepare the proper documentation to make the application process smoother.

Check Amazon’s list of restricted products before listing. As mentioned previously, the list may change from time to time. This usually comes after policy and regulation updates. A non-restricted product may eventually become regulated, so make sure to check before you list or decide on a product to sell.

Observe federal and state regulations. Amazon is just another company that is subject to the laws of the state, so make sure you also do your research in that area.

Is It Worth the Fuss?

You can sell products on Amazon that are not restricted, so why bother with products or categories that require additional steps?

There’s a huge market for a lot of the restricted products on Amazon. Completely brushing off these products just because of the additional requirements can make you miss out on potential profits. Remember that there are thousands of sellers who are already selling under these categories.

Have you sold a restricted product on Amazon before? How easy was it to apply to sell?

Christine Gerzon

As EcomCrew's content writer, Christine has developed a love for all things e-commerce and a constant need to imagine Jeff Bezos with hair.

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