Amazon has been fined £65,000 for attempting to ship dangerous items by air.
The ecommerce giant was charged with four counts of causing dangerous goods to be delivered for carriage in an aircraft, following an attempt to ship lithium ion batteries and flammable aerosols which is in violation of air safety regulations.
Southwark Crown Court today found that three batteries, a small can of Dove deodorant and a Tresemme hair mouse were sent by Amazon in four shipments destined within and outside the UK in the past three years.
Amazon UK said after the packages were found by Royal mail and UPS that the breaches were “neither wilful nor reckless” and a result of human error.
Despite this the prosecuting Martin Goudie said that: “Under the right circumstances the batteries, even new, undamaged batteries, could overheat, potentially causing burns, explosion or a fire.”
Another seven similar charges were made against the retailer, however one was cleared and a verdict was unable to be reached on the other six. Royal Mail is reported to have sent letters to Amazon in 2013 about the possible breaches to its rules.
When he sentenced the company Judge Michael Grieve QC said while there were “few and comparatively minor contraventions” he had to take into account the “massive resources of the company”.
Stephen Spence who defended 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.”