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Sellers Should Heed Regulatory Actions against Amazon

Amazon is in trouble again for shipping dangerous goods, this time in the UK, and there’s a lesson there for all sellers, even if they aren’t shipping lithium batteries.

Amazon was fined this month 65,000 pounds for breaching dangerous goods regulations and was ordered to pay 60,000 pounds in costs to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, which stated, “Dangerous goods found in Amazon UK Services Ltd shipments included lithium ion batteries and flammable aerosols.” You can find Amazon’s reaction on the Guardian website.

In June, the FAA had harsh words for Amazon, with the US agency alleging Amazon had sent a one-gallon container of “Amazing! LIQUID FIRE,” a corrosive drain cleaner, via UPS.

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Small- and medium-sized sellers may not realize that shipping items as harmless-seeming as nail polish can be cause for concern – on the USPS website, it explains:

Nail Polish Collapse FAQ question
If the nail polish you want to mail is flammable, you are responsible for knowing its flashpoint and toxicity. Flammable nail polishes may be mailed if they are a consumer commodity. Some nail polishes may only be sent by ground transportation and may not be shipped internationally.

The UK’s Royal Mail also has a guide to restricted goods (PDF format).

As small sellers increasingly broaden the types of goods they sell online, including those who purchase goods from brick and mortar retail chains, they should keep in mind regulations about shipping what can even seem like harmless household goods.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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