Identifying Dangerous Goods in Beauty and Cosmetics

Gagan Kaur
Gagan Kaur Feb 20, 2024 • 6 Min read
How to Ship Cosmetics in Canada Hero
How to Ship Cosmetics in Canada

The beauty and cosmetics industry is a vibrant and ever-growing sector of eCommerce, with online beauty sales generating approximately $86 billion USD in the United States alone in 2023. 

As this industry continues to flourish, businesses must understand the complexities of dangerous goods shipping, which are often part of their product lines. 

This article guides you through the essential steps and considerations for safely and compliantly handling your beauty and cosmetics shipping, classified as dangerous goods.

Identifying Dangerous Goods in Beauty and Cosmetics

In the beauty and cosmetics industry, certain products are classified as dangerous goods due to their flammable or hazardous nature. 

This classification typically includes items like aerosols (e.g., hairsprays, deodorants), nail polishes, perfumes, and certain creams or lotions containing alcohol or other flammable ingredients. It's crucial for businesses to correctly identify these items to ensure compliance with shipping regulations.

For a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes dangerous goods in this sector, and the specific regulations governing their transportation, you can refer to the guide provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation

Understanding Compliance Regulations

Navigating the maze of compliance regulations is essential for any business in the dangerous goods shipping world. To begin, familiarize yourself with the guidelines set by international and domestic bodies like IATA and DOT. Here’s some information to get you started: 

  • International Air Transport Association (IATA)

IATA provides comprehensive guidelines for shipping dangerous goods by air. Their Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) manual is a global reference for air transport and is recognized by airlines worldwide. 

  • U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) 

The DOT sets regulations for hazardous materials shipping by ground in the United States. Their guidelines cover aspects such as packaging, labeling, and documentation. For an overview of how to comply with federal hazardous materials regulations as set by the DOT, you can refer to the FMCSA guide.

Packaging Requirements for Hazardous Materials

Proper packaging is crucial when shipping dangerous goods in the beauty and cosmetics industry. Here are key considerations to ensure compliance and safety when shipping hazardous goods:

Packaging Requirements for Hazardous Materials
  • Use Appropriate Containers: Select containers that are specifically designed for hazardous materials. These containers should be durable, leak-proof, and capable of withstanding changes in pressure and temperature.
  • Correct Labelling: Each package must be clearly labeled with appropriate hazard labels and handling instructions. This includes the identification of the material as a dangerous good and any specific risks it poses.
  • Sealing and Cushioning: Ensure that all containers are securely sealed to prevent leakage. Use adequate cushioning materials to protect the contents from damage during transportation.
  • Documentation: Provide accurate and complete documentation, including a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each product, which details the chemical composition, potential hazards, and handling instructions.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Packaging must comply with the regulations set by relevant authorities, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for air transport and the Department of Transportation (DOT) for ground transport.

Best Practices for Shipping Safety

When shipping dangerous goods in the beauty and cosmetics industry, adhering to best practices is essential for ensuring safety. Here's a list of recommended best practices,

  • Staff Training: Ensure that all staff involved in the shipping process are properly trained in handling hazardous materials, including understanding labeling, documentation, packaging requirements, compliance regulations and emergency procedures.
  • Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections of packaging and containers to ensure they are in good condition and meet shipping safety standards.
  • Emergency Response Plan: Have a clear and accessible emergency response plan in case of spills, leaks, or other accidents during transit. This should include first-aid measures and procedures for containing and reporting the incident.
  • Use of Certified Carriers: Partner with carriers that are certified and experienced in transporting hazardous materials. They should have a proven track record of safety and compliance.
  • Clear Communication with Carriers: Maintain clear communication with your carriers about the nature of the goods being shipped. Provide them with all necessary information to handle the shipment safely.
  • Monitoring Shipments: Utilize tracking systems to monitor your shipments. This helps in quickly addressing any issues that may arise during transit.
  • Staying Informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest regulations and best practices in hazardous materials shipping. Regulatory bodies often update guidelines, and staying informed is key to compliance.

Navigating Shipping Partners and Logistics

Navigating all of the regulations surrounding shipping dangerous goods can be confusing and time-consuming – and you don’t want to make mistakes and add even further headaches to your shipping process. 

Here at eShipper, we have decades of experience and expertise in dangerous goods shipping, and can help ensure your goods get to your customers safely and on time, no matter how hazardous they are. 


Understanding and implementing the guidelines for shipping dangerous goods in the beauty and cosmetics industry is essential for compliance, safety, and customer satisfaction. 

As the industry grows as it’s forecasted to, staying informed and prepared is key to your business's success.

Here at eShipper, our expertise in handling hazardous materials shipping ensures your products are delivered safely and efficiently. Reach out to us today to streamline your logistics process and make those hazardous goods shipments easy-peasy. 

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