The secret to shipping gifts safe and sound

by | Feb 22, 2024 | Finance and Business

So you’ve found the perfect gift for someone on your list. But if they live far away, how do you make sure it gets to your family member or friend without breaking, leaking or being otherwise damaged?

While you’ll need to pay the right amount of postage and choose effective packaging, you might not know about the requirement to display proper shipping labels. If you’re shipping something that’s considered a “dangerous good,” it must have the proper shipping label and safety mark visible on the outside of the package, in accordance with federal regulations.

Are you shipping a dangerous good?

Many things that we use and give as gifts can be dangerous when transported. For example, the lithium batteries that power our cellphones, laptops and many power tools can cause chemical burns or explosions if involved in a road accident or overheated.

Other examples of dangerous goods include aerosol spray cans that contain things like hair care products, perfume and cleaning supplies. Chemicals in beauty products or cleaning supplies may also make the product a dangerous good and require certain packaging and labelling standards be met.

The importance of proper shipping labels

Including a clear and proper dangerous goods shipping label on the package informs and reminds postal workers, delivery drivers, warehouse staff, retailers, emergency responders and anyone else encountering the package to take proper care. They need to know if there’s something dangerous inside each package so they can store and transport it safely, know the dangers of an accident and act appropriately if there is a spill or collision on the road.

As an individual, you are exempt from certain regulatory requirements on the dangerous goods you plan to ship because you’re sending a very small quantity. However, the responsibility of labelling packages clearly and properly remains on the person shipping, not the courier, postal service, or anyone else along the shipping chain. Be sure to verify whether you meet the limited quantity exemption in the federal regulations before you ship any dangerous goods.

For anyone running a business that ships items frequently, make sure you and those working with you are trained on the proper shipping practices to ensure everyone’s safety.

Find more information at tc.canada.ca/en/dangerous-goods

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