Perfume is a lucrative industry. In fact, it was estimated to be worth more than $50 billion in 2022! (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 shipping perfume or cologne.
- Is perfume a dangerous good?
- Considerations when mailing perfume
- Labeling requirements
- Packaging tips
- Requirements by carrier
Can You Ship Perfume in the Mail?
If you’re looking to send perfume through the mail, it’s important to be aware of the shipping regulations in place for this type of product. In most cases, perfume is considered a hazardous material and must be shipped in compliance with strict guidelines. This typically involves packaging the perfume in specific materials and labeling the package correctly.
Perfume, cologne, and fragrances all 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 know that an exemption is available for this. Special Permit 9275 (SP9275) is popular for domestic cosmetic shippers. 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).
Even with SP9275 though, there are still rules and regulations for shipping perfume USPS, FedEx, UPS, or with any other carrier. Understanding how to ship perfume internationally and domestically based on the considerations below ensures timely deliveries so you can keep customers happy and avoid hassles.
Shipping Domestically vs. Internationally
Keep in mind shipping perfume domestically is much different than shipping it internationally. First of all, there’s 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.
Shipping perfume can be restricted by volume. Since perfume is a liquid, there are restrictions on how much can be shipped at once and 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
Carriers have varying rules, but regulations for shipping perfume depend on the countries being shipped to as well.. 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.
Labeling requirements for shipping perfume depend 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 explicitly designed for different types of hazardous goods like dry ice or undeveloped film.
Properly packaging your perfume will reduce the chance of it spilling or breaking. Several tips will help:
- Use two boxes, one just smaller than the other
- Wrap with thin bubble wrap and 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
Shipping Perfume with USPS:
Any fragrance or perfume that contains alcohol can be shipped domestically but not internationally. Perfumes may not be shipped using air transportation – they must be shipped ground.
Shipping Perfume with UPS:
UPS may require a contract to ship dangerous goods like perfume. Any product deemed “dangerous goods” must be prepared strictly in 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.
Shipping Perfume with FedEx:
FedEx has specialists available to help you prepare dangerous goods packages according to their requirements. You must correctly identify, classify, pack, mark, label, and document all dangerous goods shipments like perfume.
Shipping Perfume with DHL:
DHL has Dangerous Goods Experts who can guide you through their requirements and process to ship dangerous goods.
ShipCalm Can Handle Perfume & Cologne Shipments!
ShipCalm is the leading 3PL industry expert in understanding how to kit and ship 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.