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Thread: Ethical Question About Shipping

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Ethical Question About Shipping

    Part of my trade offering is the D. binata in a 50 mL centrifuge tube, in water. And now I wonder about the ethics of it when the people in the post office ask if what is being shipped is liquid, fragile, perishable, etc... It IS in liquid and it IS perishable. So can I really ship them... or aquatic utrics... or plants, in general?

    What exactly is considered 'liquid' and/or 'perishable'? Should I justship my D. binatas in moist paper towels, instead?

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    Axelrod12's Avatar
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    I've wondered about this in the past from shipping and receiving shrimp and aquatic plants a lot. From what I can tell just from reading around, never actually asked a USPS employee, water isn't typically what they are looking for and I don't believe it is an issue as long as it is properly packaged and contained in a plastic bag or something in case of a leak. I believe they are looking for hazardous liquids such as bleach, alcohol, and flammable liquids. I've never had to declare liquid personally because I ship with wet paper towels but I don't see water being an issue, they may just question that it was properly packaged if you declare it.

    As for perishable, plants are perishable but USPS allows them to be shipped as long as the shipper understands that it is at their own risk.

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Non-flammable, non-hazardous liquids like water can be shipped via USPS. You can look up the regulations. Basically they should be in a watertight screw-top container. The package should contain enough absorbent material to completely absorb the amount of liquid being shipped and in materials that would prevent leakage through the shipping container..

    http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c5_001.htm

    5 Perishable Matter
    51 Definition

    Perishable matter is anything that can deteriorate in the mail and thereby lose value, create a health hazard, or cause an obnoxious odor, nuisance, or disturbance, under ordinary mailing conditions. Mailable perishable matter may be sent at the mailer’s own risk when it is packaged as required and when it can be delivered within appropriate and reasonable time limits to prevent deterioration.

    Examples of perishable matter include mailable types of live animals, food items, and plants.
    I think the Post Office just marks packages as "perishable" to help them narrow down the search when foul odors start issuing from lost or delayed packages.

    * examples of non-mailable plants: diseased or pest infested plants, noxious or invasive weeds/plants, plants from a quarantine area. These include plants listed as noxious/invasive both on Federal and State lists.
    Last edited by Not a Number; 06-04-2014 at 09:55 AM.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    I like to think most of us here behave at a higher standard, and represent very little hazard if any. When I ship plants, particularly aquatics, I bag plants individually or by groups, and double and sometimes triple bag. Then into a box or bubble wrap envelope and tape all corners, sometimes the whole shebang. Address and shipping labels are covered with clear tape so they remain clear shy of getting soaked or torn or whatever. I usually say if asked, "They are live plants." Little or nothing is said after that usually. Usually the amount of water is measurable in a teaspoon or less, so not too much of a problem. My experience, anyway.

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    I've been shipping live animals and plants for over 15 years (fish, various plants, reptiles, invertebrates, etc.). I got to know my postal workers real well and I asked them about the whole "liquid, fragile, perishable" thing. Simply, they ask so they can mark your box and make sure your not shipping something that is against their rules. If it's liquid, they will (sometimes) ask you what liquid it is, to make sure it's not something dangerous.

    Now, whenever I go into a post office (even if it's not one I frequent) I just give them the box and say (before they ask) "Yes, it's liquid, fragile, and perishable. No, it's not batteries, alcohol, or perfume. I'm shipping live plants." And they will laugh, say something like "you've got it covered" then put the ink stamps on my box marking that it's liquid, fragile and all that.

    There is nothing to worry about, you can ship things that are liquid, fragile and perishable.
    Last edited by Acro; 06-04-2014 at 12:08 PM.

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    I agree with acro but I may be biased!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerogrower View Post
    I agree with acro but I may be biased!!
    Why are you biased?

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    Because some of the D. Binata may be coming my way! It's all good.

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