Nail Polish Shipping … a pain in the A*** or not?


I’ve been sending suspension base to my customers for quite a while now. I am a goody two shoes. I fill out all the documentation as I should. Declare all the items in the package. Send off the IATA  dangerous good notes to be checked. Then cross my fingers, legs  and any other body parts and hope that the package gets to its destination.  My overseas shipping costs are reasonable I think. But I still feel for the customer when they request a shipping quote. I can see the thinly disguised look of shock on their face …WHAT ..HOW MUCH??? They may be saying this in German, Spanish or French but it’s the same reaction. Don’t get me wrong I understand the temptation to throw your stuff in a box, stick on an overseas address and hope for the best. Some of the rules just don’t make any sense to me.  With Royal Mail you can send nail polish suspension base to Northern Ireland but not the Irish Republic. I know some would say it’s a different country but they’re both overseas aren’t they and in about the same place?


I do appreciate the dangers of sending a substance through the domestic post that is flammable or hazardous. I have received parcels just like that from sellers on Ebay that apparently could not give a toss about the regulations. They do what they have to do it seems. I know there are suppliers out there who offer cheaper International Dangerous Goods shipping but I suspect they are not as anal as myself when it comes to the paperwork. For small indie polish makers the regulations can be a labyrinthine and  there is a lot of misunderstanding out there. Royal Mail allow nail polish through domestic mail as long  as the capacity of each individual bottle does not exceed 30ml ( you are only allowed 4 bottles in total) that’s about 120 ml of nail polish. In reality the average indie polish maker is never going to send that much in a bottle and I would argue that the dangers are minuscule. On the other hand if a supplier sends out litres at a time the dangers do add up. It only seems right that your hapless postal worker has an idea of what they are handling for their safety and well being and on a more selfish note your  Dangerous goods Parcels don’t get delayed by overseas customs officials or worse….. DESTROYED.