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In this help center, you can find content for both Merchant Center Next and the classic Merchant Center experience. Look for the logo at the top of each article to make sure you're using the article for the Merchant Center version that applies to you. 

Local legal requirements and safety standards

A custom icon for Merchant Center Classic and Merchant Center Next.

This policy applies to Shopping ads and local inventory ads

As a retailer, you are always responsible for ensuring that you comply with all applicable laws and regulations, in addition to Google’s Shopping ads policies. The guidelines below are intended to help highlight some areas where we’ve seen retailers run afoul of legal requirements in the past. However, this is not an exhaustive list of legal issues you may need to consider, and you must do your own research regarding appropriate promotional practices for the place where your business operates, as well as for any other places where your listings are showing.

In cases where you are promoting products that appear to violate local laws or regulations, we may notify you that your ads or free listings appear to violate legal requirements and are therefore not showing. We generally err on the side of caution in applying this policy because we don’t want to allow content of questionable legality.

As with all violations of our Shopping ads policies, when we find content that violates these requirements, we may block it from appearing, and in cases of repeated or egregious violations, we may ban you from promoting products with us.

See below for some examples of areas where promotions may be in violation of local legal requirements:

  • Regulated products: A variety of restrictions may apply to your product depending on where in the world you promote or sell it. You should make sure you understand any restrictions that apply to the products you are promoting. Some examples include the following:
    • Infant food products in India
    • Radar detection products in France, Belgium, or Germany
    • Scientology in Germany or France
    • Gender determination in India
    • Information products with no age rating in Russia. Refer to the title attribute in the feed specification for specific details on how to comply with this requirement.
    • Military equipment in South Korea
    • Non-registered cell phones in South Korea
    • Religious content promoting conversion in Vietnam
       
  • Recalled products: Google may disapprove items that have been subject to recall by the manufacturer or these government agencies:
    • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
    • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
    • Rapid Alert System for non-food dangerous products (RAPEX)

Safety standards restrictions

In addition to restricting regulated and recalled products, we also ban or limit certain kinds of products that might pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety, or property. For example, we have safety restrictions around the sale of hazardous materials and the transportation of live animals. We may disapprove items that violate health and safety standards or other regulatory standards.

What you can do

Here's what you can do if your product is disapproved or if your Merchant Center account is impacted:

Product disapproval

Products that don't comply with our policies may be disapproved. When a product is disapproved, it won't be eligible to serve. 

  1. Read our policies to learn what we don't allow.
  2. Update your website. If your ad or listing leads to content that violates a policy, update your website to meet the requirements and be in compliance with our policies.
  3. Remove the violating products from your product data. You’ll receive an email with details about the violation. 
    • If you have products in your product data that violate the policy (or policies), you'll need to remove the offers from your feed.
  4. Update your product data in Merchant Center. If you created a schedule for automatic uploads, update your product data manually or wait for your product data to be automatically updated before requesting any reviews.
  5. Request a review of your products or appeal the decision taken on this issue.
    • If the violating products are removed, you won't need to request a review or take any additional action.
    • If you fix your product-level issues by editing your product data via your chosen upload method (such as a file) or directly in Merchant Center, your products will be re-reviewed.
    • For certain issues, you can disagree with the issue but you may need to complete additional steps such as provide an appeal reason and/or upload required documentation.
    • If you use a third-party platform to list your products, you can refer to your third-party if you want to request a review. You won’t be able to do this in Merchant Center.
    • If a review or appeal is successful, the issue will disappear from Merchant Center.
Account disapproval

For most violations, we'll send you a warning email detailing the policy violation and give you 7 or 28 calendar days to fix your issue.

  1. Read our policies to learn what we don't allow.
  2. Update your website. If your ad or listing leads to content that violates a policy, update your website to meet the requirements and be in compliance with our policies.
  3. Remove any violating products from your product data. You’ll receive an email with details about the violation. If you have products in your product data that violate the policy (or policies) you'll need to remove the offers from your feed.
  4. Update your data in Merchant Center.
    • Review your account and submit any missing information or complete any unfinished steps.
    • If you created a schedule for automatic uploads, update your product data manually or wait for your product data to be automatically updated before requesting any reviews.
  5. Request a review of your account or appeal the decision taken on this issue.
    • If your account is still within the warning period, it will automatically be reviewed again at the end of the warning period. If the violating products are removed, you won't need to request an account review or take any additional action.
    • If your account is suspended and you've taken actions to resolve the issue, request an account review.
    • For certain issues, you can disagree with the issue but you may need to complete additional steps such as provide an appeal reason and/or upload required documentation.
    • If you use a third-party platform to list your products, you can refer to your third-party if you want to request a review. You won’t be able to do this in Merchant Center.

Note: Account reviews typically take 7 business days, but may take longer for complex reviews. If you remove violating products, the warning will be removed. If a review or appeal is successful, the issue will disappear from Merchant Center. In the case of account suspension, we will approve the account and allow products to be displayed again.

Account issue that limits product visibility

Your account has an issue and is operating with reserved functionality, therefore your products have limited visibility. An email was sent with a notice on what to do and the steps needed to resolve your account issue.

  1. Read our policies to learn more about our requirements.
  2. Update your website. If your ad or listing leads to content that violates a policy, update your website to meet the requirements and be in compliance with our policies.
  3. Fix any other open policy violation in your account. Review your products and your account details.
    • If products aren’t supported, remove them from your feed.
    • If account details are missing, complete them in Merchant Center.
  4. Request a review of your account or appeal the decision taken on this issue.
    • If your Merchant Center account is still within the warning period for certain policies, it will automatically be reviewed again at the end of the warning period.
    • If your account is affected and you've resolved the issue, request a Merchant Center account review.
    • For certain issues, you can disagree with the issue but you may need to complete additional steps such as provide an appeal reason and/or upload required documentation.
    • If you use a third-party platform to list your products, you can refer to your third-party if you want to request a review. You won’t be able to do this in Merchant Center.

Note: Account reviews typically take 7 business days, but may take longer for complex reviews. If you remove violating products, the warning will be removed. If a review or appeal is successful, the issue will disappear from Merchant Center. In the case of account suspension, we will approve the account and allow products to be displayed again.

To ensure a safe and positive experience for customers, Google requires that retailers comply with all applicable laws and regulations in addition to our policies. It's important that you familiarize yourself with and keep up to date on these requirements for the place where your business operates, as well as any other places your ads are shown. When we find content that violates these requirements, we may block it from appearing. In cases of repeated or egregious violations, we may ban you from advertising content with us.

If you’re working with a third-party platform, some of these instructions may not apply to you. Refer to your third-party platform for instructions on how to resolve the issue and request a review. Learn how to find support if you use a non-Google platform.

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