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US: Amazon.com tightens rules for laser pointer sales

Amazon.com has recently tightened its rules for selling laser pointers and related products. This comes after studies showing Amazon and other online retailers were selling lasers which were often far above the claimed power. For example, a December 2012 study tested 24 laser pointers purchased on Amazon. Although they were advertised as being 5 mW or less, the average power was 41 mW.

The new Amazon.com policy requires pre-approval of laser pointers and related products. The products are limited to Class 3R (5 mW) or less and must be branded; examples include Kensington, Quartet, 3M and Logitech. Products must have a testing report from Intertek, UL or SGS.

It is not known if this is a U.S.-only policy or if it extends to other non-U.S. Amazon sites.
From Amazon.com’s Laser Pointers and Related Products page. The text as of August 13 2013 is reprinted below. Thanks to Capt. Daniel Hewett of the FDA/CDRH for bringing this to our attention.

Laser Pointers and Related Products

Amazon limits the sale of laser pointers and related products to ensure that customers are able to buy with confidence from all sellers on Amazon.com. The requirements for selling laser pointers and related products reflect buyer concern for product quality, product branding, and consumer safety.

Laser pointers and related products must meet the requirements listed below in order to be listed for sale on Amazon.com. Please read this list of requirements and consult our Help pages if you have questions about specific policies. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee that Amazon will approve a laser pointer or related product to be listed for sale by a seller. Amazon reserves the right to perform an audit of each seller's products, including checking that products and listing data meet the requirements below. Amazon may remove your selling privileges for failure to meet these requirements.

General Requirements
  • Only Class I lasers (e.g. CD players), Class IM lasers (e.g. DVD players), Class II lasers (e.g. bar code scanners limited to 1 mW), and Class 3R lasers (e.g. laser pointers limited to 5 mW and under) can be listed.
  • Laser pointers and related products must be branded (e.g. Kensington, Quartet, 3M, Logitech, Kong, Ethical, and Sergeant's Pet).
  • If you would like to list your product and your listing has been removed or is a new product, you must submit a testing report. Testing reports are accepted from the following sources only: Intertek, UL, and SGS. You must also submit an image of your product and the product warning label.

Next Step
If you have a laser pointer or related product that meets all of the above requirements, please contact Seller Support using the Contact Us form:

  1. In the left-hand menu of the Contact Us form, click Inventory.
  2. Under Inventory, click Permission to sell new products.
  3. Under the heading "Don't see the right category for your product, or need help with a previous request?" click Tell us about your issue.

You will need to provide the following information when submitting your request for approval:

  • Product title
  • Product ASIN (if already uploaded to your inventory)
  • Copy of the test reports showing compliance (attach file)
  • Photo of the product's warning label (attach file)