The complete guide on how to get an approval for any restricted category on Amazon India with an example from grocery and gourmet food category
Each product goes through the approval process at Amazon India but the certain category of products needs an extra documentation and approval. Requesting an approval is simple and easy enough if one knows what needs to be done.
So, let us understand with an example from “Grocery and Gourmet Food” Category as well as see which category requires what kind of approval.
Categories Requiring Extra Approval
If you are planning to list and sell items that fall under the below-mentioned categories, you will have to take category approval from Amazon India.
- Clothing & Accessories
- Fashion Jewellery
- Grocery and Gourmet Food
- Health & Personal Care Appliances
- Luxury Beauty
- Pet Supplies
- Shoes and Handbags
Each category has a different set of documents needed for approval. Products will be listed in the marketplace only after the seller has completed the approval process and all his documents are uploaded and verified by Amazon India. The complete list of each product in each category as allowed by Amazon India is here.
There are categories which are prohibited. Each category has a detail as to what is banned in that category. Like there are some books that are banned to be sold in India, those are only prohibited or for that matter in the clothing category, one can’t sell used clothes. So here is the list of prohibited categories.
- Animals & Animal Products
- Automotive and Powersports
- Books, Pamphlets, Booklets, Periodicals, Films (Banned Books)
- Coins and Paper Money Collectibles guidelines and examples
- Used Clothing and Shoes
- Cosmetics & Skin/Hair Care
- Currency, Coins & Cash Equivalents
- Dietary Supplements
- Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia
- Entertainment Product Guidelines
- Fine Art
- Food & Beverage
- Gambling & Lottery
- Hazardous & Dangerous Items
- Human Parts & Burial Artifacts
- Jewelry & Precious Gems
- Large Appliances
- Medical Devices and Accessories
- Offensive Products
- Plastic and Thermocol
- Postage Meters & Stamps
- Recalled Products
- Sexual Wellness
- Surveillance Equipment
- Stolen Property & Lock Picking Devices
- Sports Collectibles Guidelines and examples
- Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products
This list will be updated by Amazon. Check here for the complete list of prohibited products.
Common FAQs For Restricted Categories
Here are some of the common question among new sellers that I will like to address first.
What is the Difference Between Restricted & Prohibited Categories?
There are certain products banned in India. Amazon India doesn’t allow the selling of such products. Apart from those, there are certain sensitive categories like Alcohol or Gambling products. So products that aren’t permitted to be sold on Amazon India are termed as “prohibited“. Typically these products are illegal, unsafe or banned by Indian laws including products available only on prescription.
On the other hand, there are certain products that are allowed to be sold but with proper documentation and licenses. These products fall under “restricted” categories.
What Happens When I list a Product in Restricted and Non-restricted Category?
Sellers can list their products in multiple categories but if any one of the categories is restricted, the approval has to be taken for the product before it will be listed in the marketplace. It means, the product will be listed in the non-restricted category only when the approval for the restricted category is cleared.
Here is a step by step guide on How to add a new product on Amazon India.
How long does it take to get a category approval?
One cannot determine a fixed time for a restricted category to get approved, decision-making time varies depending on the category. However, the standard turn around time for an approval (No official confirmation from Amazon India) is 7 to 10 working days.
Common List of Necessary Documents for Restricted Categories
Before going into the approval steps for each category here is the list of common documents necessary for all restricted category. Depending on the category, the actual documents will vary.
- Purchase Invoice (at least 1)
- Government license (depending on products)
- Product images
- Email address
- Contact number
Now, there are certain conditions to be fulfilled while preparing the above documents before submitting them to the team Amazon. Let them understand one by one.
1. Purchase Invoice Criteria
This is common for all restricted category of products.
- It must not be older than 180 days
- It must include your Amazon India registered business name and address
- It must include the name & address of manufacturer or distributor
- It must show a minimum purchase of certain units
- The invoice shall include either the model number, size, quantity, material or weight along with product name.
- It must also include your GST number or any government registered license number as per the requirement of the category.
- It must have product expiration date (must for food category)
- Price is not mandatory in the purchase invoice. It can be omitted.
2. Government License, Certificate or Report
There are different kinds of license required in distinct categories. Below is the list of government license that may be required initially to submit while requesting for approval. Submit the one which is required for the category you wish to sell. It is not compulsory to have all the below-listed certificate for a seller.
- Cosmetics license for cosmetics manufactured in India
- Cosmetics registration for imported cosmetics
- Ayush drug license (for ayurvedic products)
- National accreditation board for testing & calibration laboratories (NABL) accredited lab reports for food products.
- Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) manufacturing license
- Indian standard institute certificate (ISI)
- ISO 9001 Quality Management Standards Certificate
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) License (for food)
- Memorandum of Association (MOA)
- Local Municipality Registration Certificates
- GST Registration Certificate
3. Product images
If your product packing is in the form of a pouch then back and front 2 sides images and if it is in a box then 4 sides images will be required with clear logo, brand name, manufacturer’s address, contact details, barcodes etc.
If you are requesting approval for food items the FSSAI and green vegetarian logo must be clearly visible on product packings with expiry and manufacturing dates. Price is not mandatory on product packings.
4. Contact Details
Sellers contact details like email address and phone number shall be required. It is advised to give the contact details that are registered with Amazon India.
So, let’s see with an example step by step how to apply for a restricted category approval.
How to Get Approval For Grocery and Gourmet Food Category on Amazon India?
Log in to your Amazon India seller central account. Click Add a Product under Inventory tab on the seller panel. (If you aren’t a registered seller on Amazon India read our step by step guide for Seller Registration Process.)
You are on Add a Product page. Type the product name or category name you are willing to apply for approval in the Search bar under List a New Product title. We will use the food category as an example. See the image below.
Upon searching for ready-made food you get a whole list of food products that are already listed on Amazon India. Click on Listing Limitations Apply. Readymade food falls under the main category Grocery & Gourmet Foods. Click on Request approval. You will be taken to the Selling Application page. Click again on Request approval.
Now, you are on the Question & Answer Page. Select the appropriate option for the questions asked. Refer below.
Depending on your business type (reseller/distributor, manufacturer or both) you will be asked for the documents to submit. As in here, I have selected both, so the documents that are to be submitted will be:
- BIS/ISI license or Government approval certificate
- At least 1 purchase invoice from a manufacturer or distributor
- The FSSAI License
The document list and requirement differ depending on the product that you are seeking for approval. Amazon India team may or may not ask for certain documents. For example, while requesting approval for watches they only ask for the purchase invoice from a manufacturer or distributor.
Finally, after providing your contact details click Agree and Submit. Although Phone is optional here it is advised to give in so that Amazon team can contact you in case of a query.
Once you submit the approval request, Amazon team will review it and let you know about their decision via email. If in case they reject your request, they will provide an explanation as to why they did so and help you with how to reapply again. Before re-applying rectify the errors in your documents if any.
How to Check the Request Approval Status?
Sellers can monitor the status of the request in seller panel under Manage Your Case Log. A case log will be generated with a unique ticket number in the case log section and the same will be emailed to you. Refer the image below.
Further Reading …