We have already reported some time ago that Amazon, like other marketplaces, is now obliged to check the EPR number of sellers. In reality, this leads to problems for many sellers, especially when it comes to electronic devices. The WEEE Reg. Number, which Amazon requires as proof, is often not accepted. So, what to do when Amazon suddenly blocks the listing due to an incorrect or missing WEEE number?
Overview of content:
- Wrong brand registered at Stiftung ear
- Incorrect type of device registered at Stiftung ear
- Amazon blocks the listing even though it’s not an electronic device
- Our WEEE & EPR Services for Online Sellers
Firstly, anyone selling electronics on Amazon who prefers not to deal with WEEE and EPR can contact our team at ecosistant directly. We passionately support online sellers with all topics and processes around recycling and producer responsibility. Click here to contact us. Otherwise, please continue reading to tackle the problem yourself:
Amazon does not accept the WEEE number due to wrong brand
Registration is carried out with a brand and a type of equipment (§ 6 paragraph 1 clause 1, § 37 clause 1 ElektroG). The brand is the decisive characteristic with which electrical and electronic equipment can be allocated to a producer. Should your company wish to be registered with several brands, or respectively place electrical and electronic equipment of several brands on the market, then registration for each brand and type of equipment must be applied for.
The brand need not be a registered brand according to trademark laws. You can use the company name, for example, if there is no registered brand. […]
The brand stated in the registration procedure must be on the electrical and electronic equipment itself according to § 9 ElektroG.
Amazon also checks whether the WEEE-Reg.-No. provided by the seller matches the brand registered with Stiftung ear. If there are deviations, Amazon will reject the WEEE number and block the listing.
Since the review process is automated, it’s crucial to ensure that the brand is identical in the listing and at the authority. Simple deviations, like a missing space (iPhone vs. i_Phone), could lead to a block. Moreover, there are often problems when, for instance, “Apple” is registered as a brand with Stiftung ear, but the products are sold on Amazon under the brand “iPhone”. Although legally legitimate, the Amazon algorithm is quite rigid in this regard.
Affected Amazon sellers can apply the following strategies:
Send the WEEE Registration Notice to Amazon
After successful brand registration, the seller or their WEEE authorized representative receives a registration notice (Registrierungsbescheid) from Stiftung-ear. On this official notice, the authority confirms the seller’s legally compliant registration of the brand for their device type.
If Amazon rejects the seller’s WEEE number, sending the WEEE registration notice to Amazon’s support or direct contact person often helps. It’s advisable to include product photos proving that the registered brand is also on the product. This is often the simplest and quickest solution to the problem – of course, only if the brand matches the registered brand.
Change the brand for the listing on Amazon
For every product, Amazon asks for the brand name when creating the listing. The brand selected here must also necessarily match the brand registered with Stiftung ear.
This means that if someone has listed an iPhone on Amazon under the brand “iPhone” but has registered the brand “Apple” with Stiftung ear, they are theoretically compliant with the German ElektroG but will still encounter problems selling on Amazon.
In this case, a quick fix can be to change the brand for existing listings so that it matches the registered WEEE brand. The Amazon Seller Support, Amazon Consultants, or possibly the following video can help with this:
For new listings or sellers just starting to list on Amazon, it’s very important to heed this advice. The brand on Amazon must always match the brand registered with Stiftung ear, and this must correspond to the brand or manufacturer designation that must be placed on the device.
Register the same brand with Stiftung ear as on Amazon
Strategic reasons might dictate not to change the brand on Amazon post facto, for instance, for SEO or to be ranked higher on Amazon.
In this case, it might help to additionally register the brand(s) with Stiftung ear. To continue with the Apple example: If “Apple” is already registered but the products are listed under more specific brands like “iPhone”, “MacBook”, etc., on Amazon, then these brands can also be additionally registered with Stiftung ear. Generally, there’s nothing against it, as long as the requirements of §9 ElektroG are met.
However, sellers should note that fees are charged per brand and additional administrative effort may be required. Also, a brand application can take several weeks to months. To avoid unnecessarily long waiting times and loss of sales, it pays to plan ahead and consult with an expert early.
The WEEE number is registered under the wrong Device Type
Sellers often mistakenly categorize their devices under the wrong type. This occurs especially with items that illuminate, as well as devices that, due to their dimensions, are small appliances but have a screen larger than 100 cm².
Amazon also seems to – at least according to many sellers – often make incorrect assumptions about device categories. In such cases, it’s worthwhile to contact either Amazon or Stiftung ear, or again, to send the WEEE registration notice to Amazon.
When in doubt, it’s always worth seeking professional help from experts or WEEE representatives before registration.
Amazon suspends the listing although it's not an electronic device
Many sellers, especially in the Seller-Central Forum, report cases where listings are blocked due to missing or incorrect WEEE Reg. No., even though the products do not have electronic components and do not fall under the ElektroG.
A common cause seems to be selling products from brands or manufacturers that mainly offer electronic devices. For example, a PlayStation keychain could be mistakenly classified as an electronic device by Amazon.
Similar cases also arise when selling non-electronic accessories for electronic devices under one’s own brand. Caution is advised when selling items like laptop carrying cases, screen protectors, or other non-electronic accessories.
In such cases, the only sensible solution seems to be contacting Amazon support and providing product photos and information as evidence that the suspension is erroneous. If the products do not fall under the ElektroG, unfortunately, neither we nor Stiftung ear can be of much help.
However, sellers should carefully check beforehand whether their products indeed do not require a WEEE number. Often, products contain the smallest components that necessitate registration under the ElektroG. Common examples include products equipped with an NFC chip, small LED lights, or other electronic “gimmicks.”
Our WEEE and EPR service can help
Is all this too complicated? Don’t want to deal with WEEE yourself? Or looking for a WEEE representative?
At ecosistant, we offer various services to make your life easier. In addition to numerous articles in our blog, we offer a digital EPR advisory service, which helps you comply with EPR and WEEE regulations across Europe with simple step-by-step instructions.
Furthermore, our team can also manage your EPR and WEEE compliance in Germany and across Europe, assist with your environmental labeling obligations, or act as a WEEE authorized representative for foreign companies in Germany. Whatever your concern, feel free to contact us!
We understand how overwhelming such regulations can seem! But don’t worry, we are here to help. Feel free to inquire without any cost! Our team of experts will get back to you promptly!