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Need To Get Your Frustration-Free Packaging Certified By Amazon? There's a Guide For That.

by The Dieline on 09/13/2019 | 3 Minute Read

Did you fail to get Frustration-Free Packaging certified? 

Amazon’s latest packaging initiative may cost your brand an additional $1.99 per box. Amazon provided a 1-month buffer from their initial August 1st date allowing resellers and brands until September 2 to get FFP certified to avoid penalties.

The race is on to learn how having your packaging certified can save you or your clients the $1.99 per shipment penalty. 

The new tiered packaging requirements for e-commerce aims to increase recycling rates, reduce material wastage, and streamline fulfillment touchpoints. Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS) was created to support brands, manufacturers, and Amazon sellers in certifying their products. 

The process includes Tier 1, 2, and 3 certifications for your product; Tier 1 is known as Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP), Tier 2 is a product that Ships In Own Container (SIOC), and Tier 3 is Prep-Free Packaging (PFP). We know, that's a lot of acronyms, but they become essential in eliminating inefficiencies, delivering a consistent unboxing, and protecting your product through the rigors of global distribution.

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Working closely with Amazon, Veritiv’s teams of engineers has attained APASS certification allowing Veritiv to support brands, design agencies, and Amazon sellers in maintaining their position at the forefront of e-commerce. Should any aspect of your current packaging fail the certification process, Veritiv’s team of packaging engineers and brand specialists can design packaging within the certification guidelines. Veritiv is positioned to support agencies and brands with engineered design, manufacturing, logistics, and kitting that provides you and your clients an end-to-end solution.

Partnering with Veritiv to certify your packaging will ensure your product (and the packaging it comes in) arrives to deliver your initial design intent, without damage and preserving your out of box experience. 

It will also protect the product, reduce returns due to damages, and allow for curbside recycling once consumers are ready to toss the box. In short, it makes shipments from Amazon faster, cheaper, and easier - and who doesn't like that? 

So, what exactly do these tiers mean?

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Tier 1 FFP

The Facts:

Certified FFP packaging is recyclable and comes without excess packaging materials. The product inside is the same, and everything gets included in the Certified Frustration-Free Packaging that would be in the original manufacturer's packaging.

The Gist:

Your product comes in a box that, once it opens, has the product packed so that a consumer can use it without excessive time spent unwrapping, unpacking, and disassembling the packing materials to get to the goods.

Good For:

Children’s toys, kitchen tools, sturdy products.

Tier 2 SIOC

The Facts:

Ships In Own Container does not require Amazon to package it in their warehouse, as well as packages that only need an Amazon overpack box and light padding.

The Gist:

Your product will come in the box you design, test, and package it in. Amazon pulls it out of the warehouse, slaps a shipping label on it, and off it goes to your customer.

Good For:

Unboxing experiences, large items, highly gifted or expensive goods.

Tier 3 PFP

The Facts:

Prep-Free Packaging (PFP) is designed to ship effectively without the need for Amazon to apply the additional prep to prevent any damage or leakage.

The Gist:

Amazon isn’t going to add excess packing material to prevent leakage from your package.

Good For:

Grocery items, detergents, cleaning products, and cosmetics.

Is APASS certification mandatory? 

Not yet. However, if your packaging meets the requirements to be compliant and you choose not to receive your APASS certifications, you may be financially penalized.  \

So, if you or your clients are selling on Amazon, it might be time to talk about APASS certifications. Drop us a line, and we can walk you through the compliance requirements, penalties and incentives, as well as how we can help you get certified to avoid a costly hiccup down the road.

Find out if your packaging needs to get certified with Veritiv, to learn more about APASS, testing, and certification.