Amazon has been fined £65,000 for trying to fly dangerous goods

Amazon parcels and planeImage copyright
AP

Amazon has been fined £65,000 after being found guilty of attempting to ship dangerous goods by air.

The online giant tried to transport lithium-ion batteries and flammable aerosols between 2014 and 2015.

It was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of causing dangerous goods to be delivered for carriage in an aircraft in breach of air navigation rules.

An Amazon spokesman said: “The safety of the public, our customers, employees and partners is an absolute priority.”

The prosecution had been brought by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) under the Air Navigation (Dangerous Goods) Regulations 2002.

The items were destined for flights in and outside the UK in four shipments between January 2014 and June 2015.

Flight-safety risk

They were only discovered when the cargoes were screened by Royal Mail before departure, and seized before they could reach the aircraft.

The court heard that Amazon had tried to ship a lithium-ion battery to Jersey on a day before 7 January 2014, and a flammable gas aerosol to Romania on a similar date.

Another shipment, destined for Ireland on a day before 17 July 2014, contained another aerosol, while Amazon illegally tried to send two more lithium-ion batteries to Northern Ireland between 12 May and 3 June 2015.

The CAA’s general counsel, Kate Staples, said: “There are important international and domestic restrictions to prohibit the shipping of certain goods that pose a flight safety risk.

‘Everyday household items’

“These dangerous goods include lithium batteries, which are banned from being transported as mail or cargo on a passenger aircraft unless they are installed in or packed with equipment.”

Prosecutor Martin Goudie, told the court: “Under the right circumstances the batteries, even new, undamaged batteries, could overheat, potentially causing burns, explosion or a fire.”

Defending the online giant, lawyer Stephen Spence told the court: “We are not talking about Amazon lugging a propane canister onto a plane. They are everyday household items, and one should pay perspective to that.”

In a statement, Amazon said: “We ship millions of products every week and are confident in the sophisticated technologies and processes we have developed to detect potential shipping hazards.

“We are constantly working to further improve and will continue to work with the CAA in this area.”



comments powered by Disqus