Amazon has just been fined 0.01 per cent of its second quarter profits for shipping dangerous goods

Emma Haslett
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Amazon said it has processes in place to detect potential hazards (Source: Getty)

Amazon has been fined £65,000 by Southwark Crown Court after it was convicted of breaching rules on dangerous goods.

The online retail giant was found guilty earlier this week on four counts of causing dangerous goods to be delivered for carriage in an aircraft after it tried to ship lithium ion batteries (which have been banned from flights because they are so prone to bursting into flame) and flammable aerosols on flights in and out of the UK.

Read more: This is where hazardous hoverboards go to die

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which prosecuted, said the goods were spotted by Royal Mail screening staff before they were sent.

Kate Staples, the CAA's general counsel, said the safety of aviation and the public is "paramount".

"That's why there are important international and domestic restrictions to prohibit the shipping of certain goods that pose a flight safety risk.

“These dangerous goods include lithium batteries, which are banned from being transported as mail or cargo on a passenger aircraft unless they are installed in or packed with equipment.

"We work closely with retailers and online traders to ensure they understand the regulations and have robust processes in place so their items can be shipped safely."

An Amazon spokesperson added: “The safety of the public, our customers, employees and partners is an absolute priority.

"We ship millions of products every week and are confident in the sophisticated technologies and processes we have developed to detect potential shipping hazards. We are constantly working to further improve and will continue to work with the CAA in this area.”

The fine is unlikely to cause Amazon founder Jeff Bezos too many sleepless nights: the company made revenues of $30.4bn (£23.2bn) in its second quarter, with net profits of $857m.

Speaking of shipping hazards, here's a video of a hoverboard (which is in no way connected to Amazon, but does use lithium ion batteries) dramatically bursting into flames. Skip to 1:54 for the action.