Product Restrictions when Selling Cross-Border on Lazada

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Selling cross-border on Lazada gives you access to six, or at least five, rapidly growing nations in ASEAN (sure, we can exclude Singapore when using that term).

Yet, before becoming excited and going into detailed planning, it’s important that you assure whether your products can even be sold on Lazada.

Not only does Lazada have requirements due to internal policies. As a matter of fact, ASEAN countries are not equally developed, have different customs processes, import regulations, religions, and cultures.

In this article, I explain about product restrictions when selling cross-border on on Lazada.

Just a comment before we start: Keep in mind that regulations change frequently and you should contact Lazada, or sign up to become a seller, for up-to-date information.

What products are not allowed to be sold on Lazada?

I’ve divided the sections into general prohibited items by country, country specific prohibited items, counterfeit/replica goods, and second hand goods.

This is for us to have a better overview and the same structure Lazada uses when presenting their requirements. Let’s have a look.

1. General prohibited items in all ventures (not exhaustive)

As stated in the headline, there are general prohibited items that you cannot sell cross-border on Lazada.

First, let’s have a look at the product categories that are prohibited, then I’ll share my thoughts below:

General prohibited items
Certain food products, food supplements and health supplements as indicated in the country specific lists
Telecommunication equipment
Drugs
Tobacco, cigarettes and alcohol
Medical products including traditional medicines and medical equipment
Weapons including knives, guns, rifles, firearms or any of its components, ammunitions, rounds, cartridges, laser guns, knuckle dusters, gas sprays, bulletproof vests, corrosive substances and acids, nuclear technology and weapons of mass destruction
Fireworks and explosives
Gold jewelry, platinum jewelry and diamonds
Adult publications, goods, newspapers, films requiring censorship and adult toys
Seditious material
Children and baby products and toys that contain dangerous materials. Please refer to FDA standards for more detail
Pirate or duplicated goods
Animals and plants
Food supplements

Notice: The above list was issued by Lazada in 2016, therefore, product categories might have been added or removed.

My thoughts:

First of all, as stated in the headline, these are general guidelines covering six ASEAN countries that are not equally developed. Nor do these countries have the same national laws, import regulations, customs clearance processes, or cultures for that matter.

When checking the list, I don’t pay much attention to the import restrictions for adult publications, cigarettes, and fireworks.

The product categories that I’m concerned more about are:

  • Food products, food supplements, health supplements
  • Alcohol

We see a high demand for these products all over Asia. Many companies I’ve worked with sell everything from protein powders, vitamins, wine, and more.

Food and health supplements

lazada-food-products

When it comes to food products, Times Logistics (Lazada’s fulfillment centre in Hong Kong) doesn’t have any refrigerated storage.

Hence, perishable food and frozen food is a no-go if you plan to ship through Hong Kong and using Lazada’s FBL service.

For other food products, like crackers and canned food, I recommend you to contact Lazada as the regulations can differ, especially between ASEAN countries.

Keep in mind that Lazada states that certain food products and health supplements are banned, as indicated in the country specific lists.

When looking at the country specific prohibited items in the Philippines, for example, I merely found a couple of products that are prohibited. And it’s not the kind of products I normally see when selling cross-border…

As regulations change frequently, you should make an individual inquiry for up-to-date information. If you become a seller on Lazada, a list with the prohibited items is issued on a weekly basis.

Alcohol

Alcohol is rarely accepted by any fulfillment centres and shipping companies. I know this from my own experience when collaborating with fulfillment centres in Hong Kong and China.

Times Logistics (Lazada’s fulfillment centre in Hong Kong) currently doesn’t allow alcohol products.

It’s strictly prohibited to sell alcohol on Lazada and you’ll not be able to sell products like wine, beer, or whiskey.

2. Country-specific prohibited items

As it speaks, each country has its own list with country-specific prohibited items.

The page is updated on a weekly basis by Lazada and you can reach it when becoming a seller.

3. Counterfeit/replica goods

Alibaba is based in China and owner of both Tmall.com and Tmall.hk (Tmall Global).

Tmall and other Chinese marketplaces have been bashed on quite badly recently as the Chinese government pushes these websites to remove counterfeit products.

Alibaba has learned its lesson and we see stringer requirements when listing products on Lazada as well.

Products that don’t follow the below regulations related to counterfeit products or replica goods cannot be sold on Lazada.

  • Items that apply a trademark (e.g. a brand or character logo) on the product or the product packaging without authorization by the trademark owner
  • Items that contain specific design elements (e.g. cartoon characters or colorways) protected by a trademark without the authorization by the trademark owner
  • Items that bear such similarities with other products that they can deceive buyers into thinking they are made/sold by the owner of the actual product’s brand (e.g. a replica of a branded item with or without altered logos

4. Second-hand/used goods

Second-hand or used goods are not allowed on Lazada.

Thus, if you have a vintage shop or want to resell cars, then Lazada is probably not for you.

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