Frequently asked questions about updates to our Partner Program Agreement

On June 30th , 2021, Shopify sent an email to give notice of new updates that are coming to our Partner Program Agreement ("PPA"). These changes impact how Shopify Partners and developers interact with the Shopify platform, and offer products or services to merchants.

These updated terms will come into effect on August 1st, 2021.

The following are some frequently asked questions related to these changes, and how they affect partners and developers.

Why is Shopify introducing new PPA terms?

We're updating our Partner Program Agreement with new terms to support the growth of Shopify partners and developers while maintaining the security and integrity of product and services offered on the Shopify platform.

Why was a new Shopify App Store revenue share model introduced? How can I learn more?

Details regarding the new Shopify App Store business model can be found in the updates to revenue share for Shopify App Store developers.

When will Shopify open the Theme Store for new submissions? How can I submit a theme for review?

The Shopify Theme Store will open for submissions on July 15, 2021. Partners will have the ability to submit a theme to the Theme Store for review through their Partner Dashboard. Ensure that you familiarize yourself with Shopify's Theme Store requirements before you submit your theme.

Why can themes that are accepted for listing on the Shopify Theme Store only be sold to Shopify merchants through the Shopify Theme Store?

To keep our merchants on an upgrade path and to enable quality assurance, as of August 1, 2021, all themes sold in the Shopify Theme Store can't be sold anywhere else. This includes theme marketplaces and personal websites. You're free to advertise and promote your theme on your own website, but the purchase transaction of a theme sold in the Theme Store must always go through the Theme Store.

Will the Shopify Theme Store introduce a new revenue share model?

Yes. The Shopify Theme Store will update its revenue share model on September 15th, 2021. Details will be shared in the coming weeks, and you can learn more in the launch announcement roundup.

What is the Payments Platform? How do I get access to it? How do I build a payments app?

To learn more about the Payments Platform, refer to the payments apps overview and developer guidelines.

What's the difference between the Payments Platform and HPSDK?

The Payments Platform delivers a more robust payments infrastructure compared to the legacy HPSDK. The Payments Platform allows partners to deliver a payments solution that's optimized to work with Shopify's latest Checkout technology stack.

What are the new developer requirements regarding U.S. economic sanctions?

Shopify has updated its Partner Program Agreement to require app developers to certify to Shopify that they are not targets of U.S. economic sanctions, that the supply, sale, download, transfer, exportation and/or reexportation of their apps generally do not require a license under U.S or other export control regulations, and that the U.S. Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) of each app is EAR99, or to submit a different ECCN to Shopify. Learn more about reporting an ECCN for your app.

What is an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)?

An ECCN categorizes items based on the nature of the product. If an app developer is uncertain about the ECCN of an app, including an app that constitutes encryption software, then they should obtain expert advice or refer to the website of the Bureau of Industry and Security of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

How do I provide Shopify with the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) for my app?

On August 1, 2021, a new field will be launched in the Partner Dashboard in the App setup page where you can manage your ECCN number. More details will be shared closer to August 1, 2021.

What happens if an app or partner operates in a manner that is not compliant with the new terms following August 1, 2021?

Partners that are found to be not in compliance are subject to being actioned by Shopify's Partner Governance team.