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Amazon’s ISTA Packaging Certification Program Explained

Amazon’s ISTA Packaging Certification Program Explained

Amazon’s ISTA packaging certification program is aimed at increasing customer experience by:

  1. Minimizing distribution product damages
  2. Minimizing the amount of packaging used and its environmental footprint
  3. Improving the ease of opening

Amazon’s program is voluntary.  However it provides its suppliers with opportunities to:

  1. Save 2.00 US$/box prep chargebacks
  2. Reduce packaging costs
  3. Reduce Transportation costs

Amazon classifies its packages in three certification tiers.  Each tier is divided in Fragile/non-fragile products:

  1. Tier 1 – FFP (Frustration Free Packaging) (minimum size requirement of 9”L X 6”W X 0.375” H)
  2. Tiers 2 – SIOC (Ships in own container) (minimum size requirement of 9”L X 6”W X 0.375” H)
  3. Tier 3 – PFP (Prep Free Packaging)

Tier 1 & 2 packaged products are to be tested to ISTA 6-Amazon SIOC whereas Tier 3 are to be tested per ISTA Over Boxing.  Packaged products tested per ISTA SIOC are then separated by packaged product test type using 4 criteria: shipment method, handling method, weight and dimensions.  TV/monitors can fall into 2 additional categories.  If products are deemed non fragile, only one sample needs to be tested.  For fragile products, five samples of each format are to be tested and yield a positive outcome.  Fragile products are defined as products containing glass and any other easily breakable materials.  All products containing liquids are deemed to be fragile.  

Corrugated cartons are the preferred packaging method.  There are specific packaging sealing, printing and identification and product-to-packaging volume ratios requirements to comply to.  Finally if the same product gets sold in various sizes (e.g.: shoes) the “Form-factor Certification Main Rules” apply so that not all sizes are to be tested, however this is not applicable to “fragile” products.

Amazon Table

For more information, please refer to our ISTA testing services.  Micom offers ISTA testing as part of its Package testing services. Furthermore, Micom is also part of Amazon’s packaging support and supplier network (Amazon APASS testing).

Establishing a proper test plan will save time and money for your customers.  Contact us or call 514-633-0078 and ask for Joseph.

Michel Comtois

Michel Comtois

Michel Comtois is an accomplished founder and CEO of Micom Laboratories Inc., an ISO/IEC 17025 (2017) A2LA-accredited independent laboratory specializing in product and material testing services. Before establishing Micom Laboratories in 1999, Michel, who also holds a Master’s degree in Physical Chemistry, gained extensive experience over a 14-year tenure managing departments spanning physical chemistry, physics, mechanical and material testing in research and contract laboratories. This exposure granted him a profound understanding of the intricacies of development and material testing processes.

In addition to his practical experience, Michel has played influential roles on various voluntary technical committees. He notably, served as the chairperson for CAN/CGSB 44.227 and the Head of the Canadian Delegation for ISO TC 136. He also contributed to the following technical committees: CAN/CGSB 44.229, CAN/CGSB 44.232, ANSI/BIFMA X5.1, ANSI/BIFMA X5.5, ANSI/BIFMA X5.6, ANSI/BIFMA X 5.9 ANSI/BIFMA X5.11, ISTA Certification Council.

Leveraging his unique expertise, he has led Micom Laboratories to become a renowned name in its niche, now operating out of a 16,000-square-foot test facility in Montreal, Canada, and serving a diverse customer base with an array of material and product testing services. Follow Michel on LinkedIn

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