Shipping Perfume: The Regulations
Every so often our regulatory team is asked a question that on the surface seems funny but in reality, has some interesting facets upon review. For example, can a perfume ever be shipped as anything but a perfume under the 49 CFR regulations? It sounds like a basic question. The short answer is yes. However, when you move through the intricacies of the regulations it can be a quite complex answer dependent on many factors.
Most of us familiar with the regulations would immediately think about the exceptions for small quantities, excepted quantities, de minimis, limited quantities and consumer commodities. However, before we can look at any of those, you need a clear indication of what you are actually shipping.
For perfume the shipping description is UN1266, Perfumery products, Class 3, Packing Group II or III. There is one special provision that applies for ground shipments on this entry. It is SP-149 that allows the inner container limit to be 1.3 gallons or 5 L when shipped as limited quantity or consumer commodity.
Let’s look at each exception and see if it would apply:
- 4 Small Quantity (§173.4). For this exception, we are limited to domestic highway and rail transport only. We also see that our Class 3 material is allowed. The maximum amount allowed per inner container for this exception is 1 oz. or 30 ml.
- Excepted Quantity (173.4a). This exception has a few parts to it. First need to know if this material can be shipped on a passenger plane. Going to the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) and column 9A for our entry we see that it is and up to a limit of 15 L. Next, is our hazard class allowed in this section of the regulations and our Class 3 material is. Finally, we have to look at the packaging limits. Here again the maximum amount allowed per inner container for this exception is 1 oz. or 30 ml.
- De minimis (173.4b). At the start we see our Class 3 material is allowed. However, the maximum amount allowed per inner container here is only 0.03 oz. or 1 ml.
- Limited Quantity. To find this exception we have to go back to the HMT again and look at column 8A. This sends us to 173.150. Here there are different limits dependent on the PG. If we remember Special Provision 149 though, the limit for perfume is 1.3 gallons or 5 L regardless of the PG.
- Consumer Commodity. This is a subset of limited quantities if you will, so we are still in 173.150. To send perfume as a consumer commodity it also must meet the definition in 171.8. The definition says the following:
A material that is packaged and distributed in a form intended or suitable for sale through retail sales agencies or instrumentalities for consumption by individuals for purposes of personal care or household use.
If our perfume meets that definition then we no longer call it UN1266 Perfumery product in Class 3 in PG II or III. Instead we “reclassify” it to the shipping description Consumer Commodity with “hazard class” ORM-D. That ORM-D stands for other regulated material, type D. Our Special Provision 149 still applies for the limit used. Take note, this option will only be available until December 31, 2020. After that we would follow all the requirements of Limited Quantities.
As you can see, there are multiple ways to ship a perfume as not a perfume under 49 CFR. It just takes a little work. This same process would apply to all other hazardous materials. If you need additional help, call our regulatory helpline today. We are here for all of your hazmat needs including all the marks, labels, training, and packaging that is needed for any of the 5 options listed.