Assortment policy

Our assortment policy contains all the conditions that apply to the offer of bol. Let's make it a shared effort to ensure that bol stands for reliability and quality. Only then will customers order from us with peace of mind.

Garden

Find all information around assortment policies for the Garden category here.

CE marking

The so-called CE marking indicates that your items comply with safety, health and environmental requirements. For most items marketed in the European Union (EU), this marking is even mandatory.

Is CE marking also mandatory for you?

CE marking is mandatory for items in the following product groups (please note that this does not mean you are allowed to sell all these items via bol):

  • Explosives for civilian use
  • Pyrotechnic articles
  • Construction products
  • Toys
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Electrical, electronic and energy-related items
  • Medical devices (please note that these are subject to specific guidelines you need to comply with in addition to the CE markings. You can read about it in Medical Devices Policy)
  • Measuring and weighing equipment
  • Machinery and related items
  • Transport equipment

Which responsibilities you have regarding the CE marking depends on your role – i.e. whether you are the importer, distributor or manufacturer. It is your own responsibility to determine whether the articles you sell require CE marking. Use this overview from the RVO to check whether CE marking is mandatory for your item.

 

Take the following actions to ensure that your product range complies with CE marking:

  1. Complete the product information ‘CE marking’. You can find this below mandatory information in the seller dashboard. Via a dropdown menu you can indicate that the CE marking is ‘visible’ (on your item, on the packaging of your item or on a manual of your item). Should your item still not be covered by CE regulations, you can select ‘not applicable’ here. We will check this product information. For current offer it is not obliged to upload a photo.
  2. For new product ranges (this means offering a new item for which no product information is yet available), you must upload a photo (JPEG or PDF file type) of the CE marking as applied to the item. If this is not technically possible, a photo of the CE marking on the packaging or on the instruction manual will suffice. Instructions and examples for adding CE marking can be found here.
  3. The trade name and contact address of the manufacturer or importer in Europe:
    For existing and new ranges, we ask you to fill in the text attribute ‘Trade name and contact address of manufacturer or importer in EU‘ under optional information in the seller dashboard. You should fill in the name and contact address of the manufacturer or importer in EU. The information entered will not be visible on bol, nor will we search for the purchase channel. You hereby declare that the information entered is also visible/present on the product or packaging.
  • If you sell an item from a country outside the EU and sell it under that manufacturer’s brand name, then you are an importer, with the accompanying responsibilities.
  • Do you sell an item you bought from a party within the EU? For example, from an importer, a European manufacturer or another distributor? Then you are a distributor.

We will check the product information for completeness and accuracy.

    • If the item is a toy and has safety warnings, add these in the textual product information below ‘Veiligheidswaarschuwingen’ (Safety warnings).
    • Make sure you have the documentation and the declaration of conformity (conformity statement) accompanying the item available. Both bol and the authorities could ask for these.

    Should you need help for the above, we recommend you consult the following resources:

    How to use the CE mark?

    You can recognise the CE marking by the familiar CE mark. It must be affixed to the product or the attached data plate. If this is not technically practicable, you may affix the CE marking to the product packaging or to an accompanying document (you can find the appropriate image here).

    What if you do not fulfil this obligation?

    The (safety) rules are set by law – and so you need to be able to prove that you have the necessary CE mark(s). If not, you are breaking the law. If you do not comply with our policy, your product will be taken offline. We do this to prevent customers from being put at risk by potentially unsafe items.

    Want to find out more?

    To meet all product safety requirements, our service partners are happy to help you on your way. They also offer advice and guidance on testing, certification, marking, quality assurance, labelling, manual writing and packaging design. Read more about our service partners and how they can help you on our product safety Partnerplatform.

Non-retractable knives and catapults

Due to safety reasons, you can only offer knives at bol that are collapsible, such as Stanley knives and pocketknives. Axes are also allowed. With collapsible knives we mean knives that you can make smaller by hinging or sliding and where you fold the blade into the handle to store it safely in your pocket. Non-folding knives include machetes (including those intended for gardening), daggers and hunting knives. When you offer a knife, we ask you to indicate whether or not your knife is collapsible. 

Furthermore, your offer must comply with the applicable laws and regulations. Items in the product category ‘knives’ are regulated in the Netherlands by the Wet Wapens en Munitie (the Weapons and Ammunition Act). You are not allowed to sell any of the items covered by this law via bol. Not even if the law allows certain weapons to be sold to licensees. We cannot allow this because it is impossible to check if customers have a valid license. 

*The above applies to the Sport, Camping & Outdoor range. This means that cooking knives and dinner knives are, however, allowed for sale when offered in the appropriate category. 

It is the responsibility of every partner to know the Weapons and Ammunition Act, if you sell assortment that qualifies for it. In order to best enforce the Weapons and Ammunition Act, it has been decided to provide additional clarification and/or guidelines within a number of categories: 

The following items are not allowed to sell on bol: 

  • Butterfly knives / Balisong
    Neither is it allowed to sell so-called training knives / trainers of this type via bol. 
  • Stiletto knives, also known as drop knives and switchblade knives
    Neither is it allowed to sell so-called training knives / trainers of this type via bol. 
  • Knives that are ‘concealed’ by resembling an innocuous item such as a pen, comb, bank card, etc.
    Also described as blank weapons that, in appearance, resemble an object other than a weapon.
  • Throwing knives and throwing stars (also known as shuriken, ninja stars)
    Including trainers. Excluded are costume accessories that fall under the toy directive and are therefore in terms of target group intended for children under 14. 

Precursors for explosives

European regulation on explosives precursors 

Home-explosives are weapons commonly used by terrorists and other criminals. This is due to the accessibility of some raw materials for explosives. The availability of these substances is restricted by European regulations. As of February 1, 2021, the new European Regulation 2019/1148 applies for explosives precursors. This may have implications for you as an entrepreneur and partner of bol. 

The implications for you as an entrepreneur 

The regulation brings new obligations for sellers of assortment that may contain raw materials for explosives, so possibly also for you as a business owner. These obligations are described in European Regulation 2019/1148. You can read more information on the website of the NCTV (note: this website has not yet been updated to the new regulation). Bol, as an online platform, is legally obliged under the Regulation, among other things, to report suspicious transactions, disappearance and theft of items containing certain raw materials to the Suspicious Transactions Chemicals Disclosure Office. Please note that this reporting obligation does not only apply to online platforms like bol, but also to you as an entrepreneur. 

The implications for your offer on bol – provide additional information 

Bol will only allow the sales of items in which concentrations of the specific raw materials are below the limit for (license-free) sales as specified in the regulation. To make this possible, from February 1, 2021, it will be compulsory at bol to fill in the concentrations of the specific raw materials at product attributes. If you do not fill in this information before 1 February, the relevant article will be taken offline. This will also happen if the concentrations of the specific raw materials are above the limit mentioned above. The annexes of the European Regulation 2019/1148 describe the specific limit values of the raw materials. You can find the regulation here. 

Which product attributes are mandatory? 

Below you can find the raw materials that are mandatory to add to your product attributes, depending on the type of assortment:

These items, among others, may contain these raw materials:

Adhesive strips and glue boards

The use of adhesive strips or glue boards for catching rats and mice is prohibited in the Netherlands unless an exemption has been granted by the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO). Moreover, the use of glue boards is animal unfriendly. Therefore, these items are not wanted on both the Dutch and Belgian platforms. 

Mouse and rat poison

Since June 29, 2023, it is no longer permitted to sell mouse and rat poison based on anticoagulants in the Netherlands. Alpha chloralose, however, is permitted. If you want to offer mouse and rat poison through bol, you must always mention the approval number for the relevant country in the product information. More information about approval numbers can be found below.

Authorisation number Chemical pesticides

Items in this category are only released on the market after they have been extensively tested. Independent authorities check whether the product is safe enough for humans, animals and the environment. All approved products are given an approval number. We ask you to include this approval number in the product information. Without an approval number, you cannot offer any products in the ‘Pesticides & Biocides’ category. 

You can find the admission number in 1 of the following 3 databases: 

  • To be sold in the Netherlands: Ctgb 
  • To sell in Belgium: Phyto 
  • To be sold in all European member states: ECHA 

Click here to edit your product information. 

Virus claims

It is not allowed to make virus claims in the product information of biocides. Some examples of claims that are not allowed are:

  • “Kills and/or controls bacteria and viruses”
  • “Eliminates viruses”
  • “Provides protection against corona virus and/or viruses”

Second-hand & Refurbished

Second-hand 

Second-hand items or margin goods can only be offered in the book, music and film categories. You cannot apply for selling rights for the other categories. It is therefore not possible to offer second-hand items other than books, music and films at bol. 

Refurbished 

The sale of refurbished range at bol has unfortunately been discontinued for the time being. This is because it is our responsibility to clearly show customers whether an item is refurbished, which is currently not technically possible. And we cannot solve this in the short term either. Refurbished items were allowed in a closed group until January 2022. It is not allowed to offer refurbished items.

CLP Safety warnings

Some consumer products hold safety information on its packaging. To ensure the safety and quality of our collective range and to comply with European directives, this safety information must also be displayed on the product page. This obligation is stated in European Regulations. More information on these regulations can be found here: CLP.

Mandatory safety information can be found on the item’s packaging. Comprehensive safety information can be found on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). You can request the SDS from the supplier of the item.

This applies to product groups with items containing hazardous substances. Examples include items such as superglue, detergent and washing-up liquid. For your assortment, make sure the following attributes provide information, corresponding with the safety information on the product packaging’s label:

  • SIGNALING WORD: ‘Danger’ or ‘Warning’.
  • DANGER INDICATIONS: on the label, these can be found under the heading hazard statements. They can be identified by the h-codes on the SDS.
  • PRECAUTIONS: these are the recommended precautions. They can be identified by the p-codes on the SDS.

Food and beverages for human consumption

To ensure that all food and drink products on our platform are safe and do not contain health risks for our customers, all legal requirements and regulations must be met. This applies to all consumer target groups.

Which items do we allow?

  • Food products with a shelf life of at least 100 days after arrival at our customers’ premises.
  • Foods for which there is an appropriate product category.
  • Mandatory food information should be displayed on the label in the language of the destination country. This means at least in Dutch for items for the Dutch market and in French and Dutch for items for the Belgian market.

Which items do we not allow?

  • Own-brand items from other supermarkets. For example, Albert Heijn private label items.
  • Food to be refrigerated or frozen.
  • Fresh or dried animal products intended for human consumption.
  • Items, including compound food packages, where there is no mention of what exactly is in the package.
  • Food and beverages in which CBD is present. CBD is only allowed in supplement form. See the CBD policy for more information.
  • Alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content higher than 0.1%. See the Alcoholic  beverages policy for more information.

In addition to the above guidelines that apply on the bol platform when selling food, you should also be aware of the legal obligations you need to comply with as a provider. Pay close attention to the following points:

  • The GTIN/EAN of the item should be registered with GS1. Also, the full label information should be available in a GS1 GDSN data pool. This is GS1 Data Source (the Netherlands) or GS1 My Product Manager (Belgium). For more information, go to our  page  at GS1 Netherlands or here  at GS1 Belgium.
  • For articles containing animal ingredients, the manufacturer must be registered as a food business in the EU (issued by NVWA in the Netherlands or the FAVV in Belgium).
  • Food products outside the EU will also need to be available in a GS1 GDSN data pool and meet the conditions for imported products outside the EU. More information is available here to find.
  • Only approved food improvers and additives may be used in items. More information is available from the NVWA here.

Food supplements
Food supplements are allowed only if they comply with the obligations and guidelines above. Additional laws and regulations also apply:

  • Food and beverage products may only contain permitted amounts of certain food supplements (and may not become a medicine). This also applies to food and drink products for specific consumer target groups, such as babies and toddlers, people with allergies or illnesses and people losing weight. This is subject to stricter rules on permitted amounts of certain food supplements.
  • Please note that it is prohibited to claim on the label, packaging or advertising that the dietary supplement prevents, treats or cures any disease.
  • Selling nutritional supplements in Belgium? See the self-care policy for more information.

Do you sell bulk packs?
Make sure you make this clear to the customer. For instance, by showing the article in bulk packaging in the main image and clearly stating ‘multipack’ or ‘bulk packaging’ in the product title. Also ensure that the product attribute ‘Packaging level’ is filled in, and that the official EAN is used that belongs to the bulk packaging (as registered with GS1).

Excise duty, deposits, VAT and levies
It is important to ensure that your items comply with obligations around excise duty, deposits, VAT and levies:

Deposit

  • In the Netherlands there is a deposit on both small plastic ‘pet’ bottles (< 1 liter) and large plastic ‘pet’ bottles (>1 liter) soft drinks and water and from 01-04-23 there is also a deposit on (metal) beverage containers (cans). This amount, 0.15 cents for small plastic ‘pet’ bottles and 0.25 cents for large plastic ‘pet’ bottles, is charged at the time of purchase of the bottle and is returned upon return at a collection point. Bottles sold on the Dutch market must bear a deposit logo.
  • From April 1, 2023, all metal beverage containers with a capacity of 3 liters or less must also bear a deposit logo and a new EAN code. These items must also be registered with Deposit Money Netherlands. The deposit obligation concerns cans for all types of beverages (such as soft drinks, water, milk and juice).
  • The deposit obligation does not apply to cans with liquids that are not primarily intended to be drunk (such as lemonade syrup, thick juice, soups or condensed milk). Likewise, the deposit obligation does not apply to (canned) cans for non-liquids such as crisps, vegetables, etc.
  • It is not possible to redeem deposit products at bol. More information about deposits is available here.
  • There is currently no deposit on Belgian plastic bottles and metal drinking containers.
    For this reason, it is not possible to offer these items without a deposit via bol on the Dutch market.
    However, it is possible to offer these items without a deposit via bol on the Belgian market.
    More information can be found on the website of Recycling Network Benelux.

Since August 1, 2023, the sale of cans without a deposit is no longer allowed in the Netherlands. Not even through bol. This is why all cans in the assortment are checked to see if they contain a deposit. To comply with the laws and regulations, cans of drinks without a deposit are taken offline in the Netherlands.

 

Excise duty


Production safety
To confirm that your items comply with guidelines and do not commit food fraud, among other things, we can request production documentation. This must demonstrate compliance with HACCP, such as the product manufacturer’s food safety plan and hygiene regulations. Once there is a serious suspicion that assortment is dangerous for the customer, your assortment can be (temporarily) offline while we assess the (potentially) dangerous items.

The European Quality Mark for Organic (Skal)

To ensure that our customers receive verified organic items, and we comply with the laws and regulations concerning organic items, we have set up a number of additional guidelines for the use of the Skal seal. 

What is SKAL and what does it mean for sales of organic items? 

SKAL is an independent administrative body that ensures that the production, processing and trading of organic items is done in a controlled and registered way. 

Within the food, food supplements, animal food, plants and flower bulbs product groups, the term organic is a protected term. It may only be used for items that have been evaluated. You can recognise these items by the European Quality Mark for Organic, also known as the green leaf. The quality marks Agriculture Biologique, Demeter and EKO also meet SKAL’s requirements. The quality marks, therefore, may also display the green leaf on items. Any company that offers these products to our customers through our platform will have to register. Bol may only offer and trade in demonstrably certified organic items. This means that both the middleman and the producer must be certified. 

Items must comply with: 

  1. EU organic regulation
  2. Dutch agricultural quality legislation
  3. The regulations and bases of SKAL Bio control

What are the additional conditions for selling on our platform? 

  1. Make sure your company is SKAL certified to trade organic items. 
  2. Make sure your storage of items meets SKAL storage requirements.
  3. Apply for the ‘European Organic Label’,Agriculture Biologique, ‘Demeter’ or ‘EKO’ sustainability label here so that your organic range is properly labelled on our website. 
  4. The SKAL code NL-BIO-01 must be visible on the invoice to customers. To get the SKAL code on the invoice, it is important to put the SKAL code (NL-BIO-01) in the title of the organic product. By putting the code in the title, the code will automatically appear on the invoice to the customer. We recommend putting the code at the back of the title.