FAA Proposes $350,000 Civil Penalty Against Amazon.com, Inc

Monday, June 13, 2016

SEATTLE – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $350,000 civil penalty against Amazon.com, Inc. of Seattle, Wash., for allegedly violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations.

The FAA alleges that on Oct. 15, 2014, Amazon offered to United Parcel Service (UPS) a package containing a one-gallon container of “Amazing! LIQUID FIRE,” a corrosive drain cleaner for transportation by air from Louisville, Ky., to Boulder, Colo.

While being transported, some of the Liquid Fire leaked through the fiberboard box. Nine UPS employees who came into contact with the box reported feeling a burning sensation and were treated with a chemical wash.

The FAA alleges the shipment was not properly packaged, was not accompanied by a Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods and was not properly marked or labeled to indicate the hazardous nature of its contents. Furthermore, the FAA alleges Amazon failed to provide emergency response information with the package, and that Amazon employees who handled the package had not received required hazardous materials training.

Amazon has a history of violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations. From February 2013 to September 2015 alone, Amazon was found to have violated the Hazardous Materials Regulations 24 other times. The FAA is continuing to investigate Amazon’s compliance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to air transportation. 

Amazon has 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.