Amazon in hot water over battery breach

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Image: © iStock | Janka Dharmasena

The British Civil Aviation Authority is taking a major online retailer in the United Kingdom to court for breaching dangerous goods safety regulations.

Amazon.co.uk is facing 11 charges relating to the miscarriage of dangerous goods as the CAA is alleging that the retailer sent spare batteries, flammable aerosols and car screen wash as undeclared dangerous goods on passenger aircraft.

Appearing in Westminster Magistrates Court, a representative for Amazon did not dispute the prosecution statement of facts, but requested more time to consider the charges and possible defences.

The case is set to resume on 27 July.

Lithium batteries have fast become the most notorious of dangerous goods, not just due to their ubiquity, but also for their ability to short-circuit and catch fire.

There have been numerous occurrences on both passenger and cargo flights where undeclared spare batteries have caused serious accidents, like this one reported by Flight Safety Australia in September last year.

It’s for this reason that all spare batteries must be carried in a passenger’s carry-on baggage and never packed in check-in luggage. Shippers are also required to declare all dangerous goods including lithium batteries so they can be handled and shipped accordingly.

CASA last year released the Can I pack that? Dangerous Goods app to help travellers understand what they can and can’t pack in their luggage.

More dangerous goods information can be found on the CASA website.

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