The Art of Safely Shipping Essential Oils

Shipping essential oils requires careful handling to ensure their integrity and prevent leaks or damage during transit. Proper packaging and labeling are crucial to guarantee a smooth shipping process. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best practices for shipping essential oils safely, whether you are shipping domestically or internationally.

Understanding Essential Oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts derived from plants through distillation. These oils capture the essence, scent, and flavor of the plants from which they are derived. Popular examples of essential oils include lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, and lemon. Given their potency, essential oils are usually mixed with carrier oils or diluted in water before use, as most require dilution before applying to the skin.

Why Shipping Essential Oils is Important

There are various reasons why you may need to ship essential oils. You might be an online seller, operating your own website or using third-party marketplaces to sell essential oils. Alternatively, you could run an aromatherapy business that requires fulfilling orders or frequently share and gift essential oils with friends and family across the country. Regardless, following proper shipping guidelines is crucial to ensure safe delivery.

Who Needs to Ship Essential Oils?

Several individuals and businesses may need to ship essential oils regularly. This includes essential oil companies, Etsy sellers, multilevel marketing distributors (MLMs), aromatherapists, and crafters using essential oils as ingredients. It’s important for all these entities to adhere to proper shipping regulations to avoid fines and ensure the safe transportation of these products.

Shipping Restrictions for Essential Oils

When shipping essential oils, it’s essential to know the shipping restrictions, particularly when sending them by air. It’s advisable to check the limitations and guidelines of your chosen carrier regarding mailing essential oils. For instance, carriers like USPS and FedEx have additional requirements for shipping flammable essential oils such as citrus and peppermint oils. These limitations may include restrictions on the volume per package, extra labeling, and special packaging.

Different Shipping Options for Essential Oils

There are several shipping options available when it comes to shipping essential oils:

  1. U.S. Postal Service (USPS): USPS offers affordable domestic shipping options. However, for hazardous oils, they only provide ground shipping.
  2. FedEx and UPS: FedEx and UPS offer domestic and international shipping services. They provide options for both ground and air shipping.
  3. DHL and FedEx International: If you need to ship essential oils internationally, DHL and FedEx International are reliable options. These carriers have import/export procedures expertise and can ensure safe overseas delivery.

How to Ship Essential Oils Domestically

When shipping essential oils within the United States, follow these tips for a smooth shipping process:

Choose a Shipping Carrier

Select a shipping carrier based on your specific requirements. Compare rates, transit times, and any restrictions imposed by each carrier before making a decision.

Properly Package Your Essential Oils

To prevent leaks or spills, package your essential oils correctly:

  • Use a sturdy cardboard box or padded mailer.
  • Individually wrap each bottle in a plastic bag.
  • Use bubble wrap or crumpled paper to cushion the bottles and prevent breakage.
  • Ensure there is no empty space in the box.

Label Your Package Correctly

Properly labeling your package is crucial for safe delivery:

  • Classify the package as “flammable liquids” if you ship oils like peppermint or citrus.
  • Mark the package as “Fragile” to alert handlers.
  • Indicate if the contents are spillable.
  • Include a complete return address.

Declare Your Essential Oils as Hazardous Materials (If Necessary)

Check the carrier’s rules to determine if any of the oils you are shipping require hazardous materials labeling. If so, ensure you follow the appropriate labeling regulations, such as using DOT, IATA, or IMDG markings. Additionally, complete any special paperwork required for shipping hazardous liquids.

Ship Your Package

To protect against loss or damage, consider insuring your package. Obtain tracking information to monitor the delivery status, and if time is a factor, opt for expedited shipping methods like Priority Mail or UPS Ground.

How to Ship Essential Oils Internationally

Shipping essential oils internationally involves a few additional steps:

Choose a Shipping Carrier

Select a reliable shipping carrier specializing in overseas delivery, such as USPS, DHL, or FedEx International.

Package Your Essential Oils Properly

Follow the same packaging guidelines mentioned earlier for domestic shipments.

Label Your Package Correctly

Ensure your package meets the labeling requirements of the destination country. Most countries require the following:

  • Classification as a flammable liquid.
  • UN number marking for applicable essential oils.
  • A full ingredient list in multiple languages.
  • HS customs code.

Declare Your Essential Oils as Hazardous Materials

All international packages containing essential oils must be declared as hazardous materials. Provide the necessary informationto the shipping carrier and complete any required paperwork or documentation.

Consider Customs Regulations

Be aware of the customs regulations of the destination country. Some countries have restrictions or prohibitions on certain types of essential oils. Research and comply with any import requirements or restrictions to avoid delays or package returns.

Choose the Right Shipping Service

Select a shipping service that offers reliable international delivery and includes tracking and insurance options. Consider the estimated transit time and cost when making your decision.


In conclusion, shipping essential oils safely requires proper packaging, labeling, and adherence to shipping regulations. Whether you are shipping domestically or internationally, it’s crucial to choose a reputable carrier, package the oils securely, and label the packages accurately. By following these guidelines, you can ensure the safe delivery of essential oils to your customers, friends, or family members. For more detailed information and tips on properly shipping essential oils, visit How to Properly Ship Essential Oils.

Remember, the key to successful shipping is to prioritize the safety and integrity of the essential oils throughout the entire shipping process.

Jamie Verve
Jamie Verve
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