FAA has proposed a $350,000 fine against Seattle-based online retail giant Amazon for allegedly violating US hazardous materials regulations pertaining to air cargo shipments.
The agency also accused Amazon of having “a history of violating the hazardous materials regulations.”
In a June 13 statement, FAA alleged Amazon shipped a package via United Parcel Service (UPS) in October 2014 that included a one-gallon container of the product “Amazing! LIQUID FIRE,” which FAA described as “a corrosive drain cleaner.”
The package moved by air from UPS Airlines’ base in Louisville, Kentucky to Boulder, Colorado. “While being transported, some of the [product] leaked” and “nine UPS employees who came into contact with the box reported feeling a burning sensation and were treated with a chemical wash,” according to FAA.
FAA alleged that “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.” FAA added that “Amazon failed to provide emergency response information with the package” and also alleged that “Amazon employees who handled the package had not received required hazardous materials training.”
FAA stated that from February 2013 to September 2015, “Amazon was found to have violated the hazardous materials regulations 24 other times,” adding that it is “continuing to investigate Amazon’s compliance with the hazardous materials regulations applicable to air transportation.”
Amazon spokesperson said, “We take the safety of our air cargo delivery partners seriously. We ship tens of millions of products every day and have developed sophisticated technologies to detect potential shipping hazards and use any defects as an opportunity for continuous improvement. We will continue to partner with the FAA in this area.”
The company has 30 days to issue a formal response to FAA’s proposed fine.
Amazon earlier this year agreed to wet lease a combined 40 Boeing 767 freighters from Purchase, New York-based Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and Wilmington, Ohio-based Air Transport Services Group to carry Amazon air cargo.