How to Ship or Mail Perfume

Perfume is a lucrative industry. In fact, it’s estimated to be worth more than $72 billion within the next four years! (yes, that is with a “B”). If you need to know how to ship perfume, whether it’s from your eCommerce marketplace to a customer, or just a personal shipment to a friend…it pays to understand the dos and don’ts beforehand. Otherwise, you risk losing a likely-expensive shipment altogether. Read on to learn the ins and outs of how to ship perfume or cologne.

Perfume & Cologne: “Dangerous Goods”

Perfume, cologne and fragrances all typically have varying levels of ethyl alcohol content, which in and of itself, is extremely flammable. This flammable component deems perfume as what’s known as a “hazard class 3” in the world of shipping.

But before you get too worried, you should also know that there is an exemption available for exactly this. Special Permit 9275 (SP9275) is popular for domestic cosmetic shippers, as it allows some products with less than 70 percent ethyl alcohol to be exempt from other hazard class rules set forth by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a branch of the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Perfume Mailing Considerations

Even with SP9275, there are still rules and regulations for mailing perfume. Understanding how to mail perfume based on the different considerations below will ensure timely deliveries so you can keep customers happy and avoid hassles.

Shipping Domestically vs. Internationally

Perhaps the biggest difference to keep in mind is shipping perfume domestically is much different than shipping it internationally. There is the possibility of running into clearance delays at customs. Due to flammable ethyl alcohol content, shipping perfume requires a TSA Clearance and validation that the shipping company knows how to pack dangerous goods. This approval is something that a carrier, like either DHL or FedEx, can set up for your shipping account so that shipping internationally is viable.

Perfume Volume

Shipping perfume can be restricted by volume. Since perfume is a liquid, there are restrictions on how much can be shipped at once, as well as how big each bottle or container can be in a shipment. Individual carriers may have different limits in regards to volume.

Perfume Regulations By Country

It’s clear that carriers can have varying rules, but shipping perfume isn’t the only thing that can have different regulations. Individual countries also have discrepancies when it comes to perfumes. For example, in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees regulations and compliance in the cosmetics industry. In the EU, the European Union Commission Regulation (EC_ No. 1223/2009) governs finished cosmetics.

Perfume Labeling Requirements

Labeling requirements for shipping perfume can differ depending on carrier and location. Since it’s considered a dangerous good, knowing what to use and how to label packages containing perfume is essential. Because carriers have specific instructions and guidelines that may differ from one another, be sure to check the exact requirements for the shipper you will use. 

For example, FedEx has dangerous goods package labels that are designed specifically for different types of dangerous goods, like dry ice or undeveloped film.

Perfume Packaging Tips

Properly packaging your perfume will reduce the chance of it spilling or breaking. There are several tips that will help:

  • Use two boxes, one just smaller than the other
  • Wrap with thin bubble wrap. And just in case, use an absorbent material that can absorb any potential breakage and spillage
  • Fill boxes with filler or cushioning material like shredded paper or packing peanuts
  • Tape with a good, sturdy adhesive tape

USPS, UPS, Fedex & DHL Requirements

  • USPS: Any fragrance or perfume that contains alcohol can be shipped domestically, but not internationally. Perfumes may not be shipped using air transportation – must be shipped ground. 
  • UPS: UPS may require a contract to ship dangerous goods like perfume. Any product deemed “dangerous goods” must be prepared in strict accordance with ADR regulations. A UPS account executive is available to help you with the process to ensure you’re aware of and comply with any compliance regulations.
  • Fedex: FedEx has specialists available to help you prepare dangerous goods packages in accordance to their requirements. You must properly identify, classify, pack, mark, label and document all dangerous goods shipments such as perfume. 
  • DHL: DHL has Dangerous Goods Experts who can guide you through their requirements and processes to ship dangerous goods.

ShipCalm Can Handle Perfume & Cologne Shipments!

ShipCalm is the leading 3PL industry expert when it comes to understanding how to kit and mail perfume, cologne or other dangerous goods. Let us help guide you, so your shipments arrive on time and intact. Reach out today for a custom price.

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