Online retailer Amazon UK Services Ltd has been found guilty of breaching dangerous goods rules, following a prosecution by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

On Tuesday 20 September 2016, a jury at Southwark Crown Court found the company guilty of four counts 'of causing dangerous goods to be delivered for carriage in an aircraft', offences under the Air Navigation (Dangerous Goods) Regulations 2002.

The four offences, covered a period from January 2014 to June 2015, and related to shipments destined for flights within and out of the UK. Dangerous goods found in Amazon UK Services Ltd shipments included lithium ion batteries and flammable aerosols. All the items were found and detained by Royal Mail screening staff, ahead of their intended departure.  
Following the nine-day trial, Kate Staples, the CAA's General Counsel, said:

“The safety of aviation and the public is paramount and that's why there are important international and domestic restrictions to prohibit the shipping of certain goods that pose a flight safety risk.

“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.

"We work closely with retailers and online traders to ensure they understand the regulations and have robust processes in place so their items can be shipped safely.

“Whenever issues are identified, we work with companies to make sure those issues are addressed appropriately. But if improvements are not made, we have to consider enforcement action and as this case demonstrates, we are determined to protect the public by enforcing the dangerous goods regulations.”

Amazon UK Services Ltd will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday 23 September 2016.

For media enquiries please call the CAA press office on 0207 453 6030 or email

Note to Editors

  1. The Air Navigation (Dangerous Goods) Regulations 2002), as amended, require that dangerous goods be carried by air in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air ('the Technical Instructions').   These included detailed requirements on sending dangerous goods by air, including how they must be classified, packed, marked, labelled and documented as well as on the dangerous goods training which must be completed by the persons sending them.
  2. The Royal Mail has a list of dangerous goods, and advice of whether they can be consigned using the mail service:
  3. Lithium ion batteries and Lithium metal batteries
    All lithium ion cells and batteries shipped by themselves are forbidden from being consigned in the mail to both UK and international destinations, regardless of the mode of transport likely to be used. Lithium cells and batteries may be shipped on their own as air cargo but carriage is forbidden on-board passenger aircraft. All packages prepared for air transport, must therefore bear a Cargo Aircraft Only label, in addition to hazard communication labelling.