Amazon recently revealed it has over 100 million Amazon Prime members on its site, representing one of the largest potential markets available. Amazon has made a concerted effort to make cosmetics a larger part of its sales, seeing tremendous growth in the category each of the past three years. However, selling cosmetics on Amazon can often be a confusing experience for new sellers. Because of the nature of these products and the fact that they come into contact with skin, Amazon takes measures to make sure the health and beauty products on their site adhere to a safe standard for their customers. Some subcategories of the health and beauty section are thus ‘gated’ by verification steps to make sure products adhere to Amazon’s standards, which can include proof of a valid U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registration. One of the most frequently asked questions Registrar Corp receives is how to become eligible to sell cosmetics on Amazon. Here is a brief overview of the potential requirements and how Registrar Corp can help.
What Amazon Requires
Amazon ‘gates’ certain subcategories of cosmetics, such as ‘topicals’, which includes anything put on the skin (lotion, nail polish, etc). In order to remove these ‘gates’ Amazon requires additional levels of verification of the products to be sold. According to a seller forum, Amazon requires that if you are re-selling or distributing topical products, you must supply an invoice directly from the manufacturer that is dated within the last 180 days. In addition to the invoice, Amazon requests one of three things:
- Proof of FDA Registration- must include the manufacturer’s name, contact information, and valid registration number
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Certificate- proof that the manufacturer is making their products in a safe and consistent manner
- Certificate of Analysis (COA)- Proof that the product has been tested for safety and ingredients
According to seller forums, the most likely method of success is providing proof of a valid FDA registration for the manufacturer or packager of the product.
Registering Cosmetics with FDA
FDA does not currently require cosmetic manufacturers to register, but they offer a Voluntary Cosmetics Registration Program (VCRP). According to FDA’s website, cosmetic facilities located in the United States can register with FDA before or after their products are entered into commercial distribution and for sale to U.S. consumers. However, in Registrar Corp’s experience, FDA will sometimes request that facilities wait until after their products are in distribution. Cosmetic facilities in other countries can register only after their products are exported for sale in the U.S. FDA only allows manufacturers and packing facilities to register under VCRP. Distributors that intend to sell in these ‘gated’ Amazon subcategories can provide the FDA registration of the manufacturer of the product.”
The Future of Cosmetic Regulations
The recent growth of the cosmetics industry has prompted much thought on how U.S. cosmetics are currently regulated due to growing inconsistency and unsafe products flooding the market place. In the past few years, the U.S. Congress has introduced several new bills in an effort to reconfigure and update the current requirements for FDA cosmetics regulations. One of the major changes proposed in these bills is to make FDA registration mandatory for cosmetics manufacturers.
Although nothing is official yet, there is an obvious push to revamp cosmetics regulations. You could say Amazon is simply ahead of the curve by requiring these verifications now. As more and more cosmetic products are imported and the industry grows larger, consumers and regulators alike feel there needs to be more consistency and reliability in what they are buying. It makes sense to register now, given these trends.
Registrar Corp is a leading FDA compliance consultant that assists companies from all over the world in complying with FDA regulations. Registrar Corp can help cosmetic manufacturers and packers register with FDA. For more information, contact us at +1-757-224-0177 or chat with a Regulatory Advisor 24-hours a day at www.registrarcorp.com/livehelp.