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United States Tax and Regulatory Considerations

Important: Information on this page does not constitute tax, legal, or other professional advice and must not be used as such. You should consult your professional advisers if you have any questions.

Tax identity collection & validation (Tax Interview)

If you are a U.S. tax payer, by completing the tax interview in your seller account, you will be providing Amazon the appropriate tax identity in the form of a W-9 or W-8BEN form. For U.S. taxpayers, a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is required by the IRS for the administration of tax laws. In most cases, your TIN is either an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a Social Security Number (SSN).

If you are a foreign seller and not a U.S. taxpayer, you will still need to complete tax interview. The responses you provide to the tax interview questions will create the appropriate tax form on your behalf. IRS regulations require non-U.S. taxpayers to provide Form W-8BEN to Amazon in order to be exempt from U.S. tax reporting requirements.

Other resources

IRS Reporting Regulations on Third-Party (3P) Payment Transactions

Tariff and duty rates system

It is the seller's responsibility to comply with all U.S. customs laws and regulations, including applicable duty and tax requirements. Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into the United States whether by a private individual or a commercial entity. Some goods are not subject to duty. U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not require an importer to have a license or permit. Other agencies may require a permit, license, or other certification, depending on what is being imported.

Note: It is your responsibility to ensure all goods comply with applicable regulatory requirements.

Customs entry forms ask for your importer number. This is either your IRS business registration number, or if your business is not registered with the IRS or you do not have a business entity, your Social Security Number.

Customs brokers

Merchandise arriving in the United States by a commercial carrier must be entered by the Importer of Record (IOR). The IOR can be the owner, purchaser, his or her authorized regular employee, or by the licensed customs broker designated by the owner, purchaser, or consignee. Customs brokers are the only persons who are authorized by U.S. customs laws to act as agents for importers in customs matters, including customs clearance of imported goods. Customs brokers are private individuals or firms licensed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to prepare and file the necessary customs entries, arrange for the payment of duties owed, take steps to release goods from CBP custody, and otherwise represent importers (i.e. principals) in customs matters. The fees charged for these services may vary according to the customs broker and the extent of services performed.

To obtain a customs broker, visit the Ports section of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. Select the state you will be importing into, click on the city, then find a link for Broker listing below the city information.

Non-resident importer requirements

Entry of goods into the United States may be made by a non-resident (foreign) IOR. To become a non-resident IOR, the non-resident individual, partnership, or foreign corporation must:

  • Appoint a resident agent: A non-resident (foreign) IOR must appoint a resident agent to receive documents on their behalf. Typically, non-resident IORs designate their customs brokers as their resident agent. The non-resident IOR makes this designation through a written power of attorney.
  • Procure a customs bond: Customs regulations require that the IOR file an import entry bond (also known as a continuous entry bond) guaranteed by a resident surety company. The bond serves two purposes. First, Customs can execute against the bond if the IOR fails to pay assessed duties. Second, the IOR is bound by the conditions of the bond for any liquidated damages arising out of its breach of those conditions. The conditions of the entry bond include but are not limited to: payment of duties, taxes and fees; making or completing timely entry; and keeping and producing required documents and evidence related to the importation for 5 years. Customs keeps a list of approved surety companies. Sureties usually request certain financial information to ensure that the IOR has sufficient resources to pay customs duties and charges. A customs broker may assist with finding a surety for the bond and preparing the bond documents.
  • Obtain an IOR number: An IOR must apply for an IOR identification number from U.S. Customs (this is typically the company's IRS number for US companies or a number assigned by U.S. Customs for foreign entities). Customs brokers can also assist with obtaining a number.

Intellectual property rights

You should ensure that you have all intellectual property rights (for example, patents, trade marks, or copyrights) necessary for listing your products in the United States. In particular, your products must not be counterfeits. Listing prohibited intellectual property may result in the cancellation of your listings, or the suspension or removal of your selling privileges. Sellers are responsible for ensuring that the products they offer do not infringe the intellectual property of others.

If we determine that the content of a product detail page or listing is prohibited, potentially illegal, or inappropriate, we may remove or alter it without prior notice.

Product compliance

See Restricted products for import into the U.S.

Additional information for European sellers

Under European VAT rules, Amazon calculates and collects VAT on Selling on Amazon fees related to sales made by sellers on Amazon who do not have an EU or UK VAT registration number and are a resident of either an EU member state or the UK. Amazon charges the standard rate of VAT applicable to your country of residence and will provide you an invoice where it is required by local law. For more information, see this European Commission web page.

If you are a resident of an European country and have an European VAT registration number, provide your VAT registration number to ensure VAT is not applied incorrect;y to your Selling on Amazon fees. From Seller Central, click Settings, then Account Info, then click VAT Information in the Tax Information section.

For more information about VAT in Europe, see the Europe Tax and Regulatory Considerations help page.

Marketplace Withheld Tax Considerations

Based on the destination of your order, Amazon may be legally obligated to calculate, collect, and remit applicable national, state, or local sales or use taxes, goods and services taxes (GST), or value added taxes (VAT) (collectively referred to as “Taxes”). Learn more:

United States Tax and Regulatory Considerations

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