About Amazon’s Global Selling
Amazon has extended its influence to create “Amazon Global Selling,” a program that allows sellers to list and sell their products on its global marketplaces. Basing its operations on accessible processes, Amazon has given small businesses the chance to expand their selling horizons within its online marketplaces in 13 countries.
However, in the age of trade regulations, international taxes, and confusing compliance protocol, it has become an intimidating topic for eCommerce and online business owners to even consider mounting their goods and selling them in international marketplaces. This guide will simplify some of the steps to take when going global.
Which countries participate in Amazon’s Global Marketplaces?
Amazon currently operates 13 online marketplaces or websites in Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, and South America.
- Germany: amazon.de
- United Kingdom: amazon.co.uk
- France: amazon.fr
- Spain: amazon.es
- Italy: amazon.it
- India: amazon.in
- Japan: amazon.co.jp
- China: amazon.cn
- Australia: amazon.com.au
North & South America
- Mexico: amazon.com.mx
- Canada: amazon.ca
- United States: amazon.com
- Brazil: amazon.com.br
You need to create an individual seller account for every one of these countries. Of course, there’s an exception for what Amazon calls “Unified” accounts. After signing up for one of these online marketplaces, your account will get automatic access to selling the other countries within your Unified Account.
- Europe: U.K., Germany, Spain, Italy, France
- North America: U.S., Canada, Mexico
How to sell globally on Amazon?
This is the general selling process for Amazon sales:
1. Register: Consider which marketplaces you’d like to sell in, then register for that specific marketplace.
2. List your product: After registering, list all the items that you wish to sell. Your products now become available for customers to order.
3. Purchases: Customers can now make purchases. Whenever they do, you will be notified through your Amazon Seller Central account. The notification will include information about where to ship your products to.
4. Delivery: At this point, you have two options: ship the goods directly to your customers, or allow Amazon FBA to fulfill the order via Easy ship.
5. Receive payment: After the purchase and delivery are completed, Amazon collects its fees, then transfers it to your bank account.
Country-Specific Regulations & Conditions
Value-Added Tax (VAT) - Europe
The European Union generally requires people to register for the consumer spending tax, or what they call a “Value Added Tax” (VAT). Amazon’s Service Provider Network has many resources that you can use to manage VAT requirements and specifications.
Seller Identification Verification & Customer Verification- Europe
Upon registration, Amazon conducts what they call a “Seller Identity Verification” before they allow you to sell any products on any of the Amazon Marketplaces. Amazon will conduct a second verification after your sales reach 10,000 € in sales. This second phase of the verification process is an EU requirement called “Know Your Customer.”
All products listed for sale in Japan’s marketplace must be compliant with the country’s local laws. For example, certain products and goods sold on Amazon’s marketplaces in Japan, are subject to customs duties, consumption tax, and other fees. These are typically imposed on each shipment and must be paid right away without delay.
Local Business Address Japan
Japanese business authorities require Amazon marketplace sellers to obtain and maintain a local business address in the country, in the case that customers return products (both MFN & FBA). As specified in the Japanese Law “Act on Specified Commercial Transaction” you are required to list the business information on the seller profile in Amazon’s marketplaces.
Product Eligibility- Europe + Japan
The European Union and Japan have specific restrictions on what types of products can and cannot be sold in their countries. You can find information regarding this in the Amazon Seller Central. In Japan, for example, certain products may require legal approval to sell in the country.
Setting Up the Account
Register Your Brand
When you register your brand, you protect your registered trademarks on Amazon, creating an accurate and trusting experience for the customers.
Set up Payment Options
Amazon accepts payments in various currencies like Euros, Dollars, the Japanese Yen, Pounds, and others. When you register any local marketplace, you have an option in how you can set up your payments.
- You can use a local bank account in the local marketplace you sell in
- You can use the Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers (ACCS) service, to receive payment from your chosen bank, in your preferred currency. These funds are transferred every two weeks and Amazon takes care of the bank transfer fee.
Pricing + Listing Products
List Products- All new products must be listed on all of Amazon’s marketplaces that you sell in.
Japan Amazon Points- Japan’s Amazon marketplace utilizes a points system, where purchasers collect Amazon points as a result of a purchase that they made.
Fulfillment by Amazon- Importer of Record & Non-Resident Importer
Importer of Record (IOR)
An IOR is an entity that is responsible for payment of imposed import duties and taxes, as well as making sure that your imported goods comply with the regulations and laws of local governments that you’re importing to. The IOR has to be a person or an entity located in the given country in order to be your IOR. Amazon and its fulfillment centers normally do not serve as the shipper’s IOR for shipments of FBA inventory. An IOR is required in Japan and Europe.
In the case that you as the shipper do not have an entity in Europe or Japan to serve as your Importer of Record (IOR), you have to appoint an Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP) to pay the duties and fees on your behalf.
Fulfillment by Amazon
With Amazon’s fulfillment program, you send your products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, after which Amazon picks up, packs, and ships your product to customers. When creating product listings, you can select your preferred method of fulfillment.
Within Amazon’s FBA programs there are three international fulfillment packages:
- Pan-European FBA
- European Fulfillment Network
- Multi-Country Inventory
Sending FBA Inventory to Amazon
Your Seller Central account provides you with functions of selecting products, entering quantities, preparing and labeling your products and shipments, tracking and updating the shipment statuses.
It is important to know and to remember that you must be able to provide customer service in the official language of the country or marketplace you are serving.
Required Information for Quoting
- Incoterms with your supplier (EXW, FOB, etc)
- Factory address
- Delivery address (If delivering to Amazon FBA, please provide the 4-digit Facility Code)
- Description of goods (Include HS Code if available)
- Value of goods
- Advise if you have imported to the United States before
- Do you have a continuous customs bond?
- How often do you import to the U.S.?
- How often do you plan to import in the next year?