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Petitioning Royal Mail about shipping paints!

Posted by Leon Pendraken on 21 Nov 2013, 05:19

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https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/royal-mail-lift-the-restrictions-on-shipping-water-based-paints

What is this?
Due to recent changes in their shipping restrictions, Royal Mail will no longer ship more than 4 pots of water-based paint per package, with each pot having a maximum volume of 150ml. Packages which breach this policy are identified by x-ray and then sent away to be destroyed. Repeat offenders will then be prosecuted.

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Who does this affect?
There are a lot of people in the UK sending or receiving paints, whether for hobby or professional use, and policies like this are also restricting a variety of small businesses. Thousands of people order water-based paints every week, and we hope to gain enough support for Royal Mail to consider changing the restrictions on these items.


Why are these paints restricted?
We have spoken with various people about this, from Royal Mail themselves, through to the Department of Transport and the Dangerous Goods Office, and so far we have not been given a definitive reason as to why these restrictions exist. The Royal Mail allows shipping of alcohol of up to 1 litre in volume, even in glass bottles, yet five small pots of paint, less than 100ml total, would be against the restrictions. We are currently awaiting a reply from the Royal Mail Policy Team with more information on the restrictions, and whether a change is possible.


Should these paints be restricted?
We have provided Royal Mail with Material Safety Data Sheets from some of the more well-known manufacturers of paint, which show that these items are perfectly safe to ship. We will continue to collect evidence of this type and forward it to Royal Mail.


What is the aim of this petition?
Our initial aim is for a change to the policy to allow a larger volume of water-based paints to be sent in one package, a change to match the 1 litre maximum on alcohol would be ideal. Even an increase to 600ml total would be a great start. Many small businesses in the UK are having a very hard time at the moment, and lifting these restrictions would be a welcome boost to a lot of people.


What can I do?
First and foremost, we need people to register their support by joining the petition on Change.org. If you buy paints on a regular basis, please mention how many paints/occasions you are buying per year on average, as this will help us show the volumes of business RM is potentially missing out on.

If you are a manufacturer or seller of paints, please mention your company name as well.

Finally, please spread the word about this. We need to get the message out as far and wide as possible, so that we can gain enough support to make a difference. Please post it on any forums you frequent and any blogs you write, on your Facebook or your Twitter. The more coverage we can get, the more chance we've got of making a change, and then we can all get back to some painting!


Thanks for reading, your support is really appreciated.

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/royal-mail-lift-the-restrictions-on-shipping-water-based-paints
Leon Pendraken  
 
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Posted by armpcm on 21 Nov 2013, 10:41

Great petition :thumbup: already signed
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armpcm  Portugal

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Posted by Benno on 21 Nov 2013, 16:23

What a ridiculous policy. Thanks for posting Leon, I also signed the petition.
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Benno  Netherlands

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Posted by Paul on 21 Nov 2013, 18:20

Okay, it is insane but;
1 How many Hobby paints aimed at modelling etc come in 150ml bottles apart from DIY paints?
2. How many pots of paint does anyone order at one time? Surely if anyone is ordering on a regular Basis then 4 each time would cover a lot of paint, especially if ordered alongside other stuff (to Keep the postage costs down)
3. What about using another carrier..UPS, DHL, UK Mail ??
4. Why now? this has been on the Cards since at least feb this year when the restrictions on oil based paints came in and they limited it to 4 pots back then? Hannants informed its customers about it in Febuary -march

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/inde ... -hannants/
http://www.scale-models.co.uk/threads/d ... ohn.18056/
http://s3.zetaboards.com/locate_and_cem ... 7615041/1/
http://z15.invisionfree.com/Mainly_Mili ... getnewpost
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Paul  China

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Posted by Paul on 21 Nov 2013, 20:54

The items must be securely closed and placed in a leak-proof liner, such as a sealed polythene bag, so that any inadvertent leakage is contained within the outer packaging."
Would a pair of pampers do?
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Paul  China

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Posted by Leon Pendraken on 22 Nov 2013, 07:18

Thanks for the support!

In answer to the questions raised:

1. Most hobby paints are in the 17-20ml range normally. I've no idea how people are shipping anything over the 150ml maximum per item, they must be using some kind of courier service.

2. Our average order for paints is between 3-8 paints I'd think, so this affects a lot of people.

3. Some of the other carriers can take them, but you're looking at £8-£10 minimum for a small package of 5 pots of paint, so it's just not viable.

4. The restrictions came into force in July for everyday customers, but they've not informed people very well at all. The first we knew about it was when I received a letter from them saying that they'd destroyed one of my packages.
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Posted by Paul on 22 Nov 2013, 09:42

Leon Pendraken wrote:3. Some of the other carriers can take them, but you're looking at £8-£10 minimum for a small package of 5 pots of paint, so it's just not viable.
.

But..seeing as most of the other carriers also restrict paints..then it´s Price not the amount
IMHO, it´s the same as asking Hermes or UPS to lift the restrictions.
Interesting would be to see what GW thinks. How will thier 144 citadel paint set get posted. ?
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Posted by Leon Pendraken on 23 Nov 2013, 02:53

I've sent all the information through to GW, but I've not had any reply from them yet.
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Posted by Beano Boy on 23 Nov 2013, 10:38

Hi,this is quite crazy,and I depend on good delivery service because I buy on line,everything including Toy`s,models and paints too!I don`t use water based paint,but those in tin`s. However can`t the company`s concerned with water based paint overcome this problem by producing and sending out dry stuff,you know as in powder that modellers mixe up themselves? I see many have to add water to their paints anyway whan working,so a little more might do the trick and overcome this silly situation. This will deeply effect me,because I only buy & use oil based paints!
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Posted by Paul on 23 Nov 2013, 11:19

If it´s been in force since at the latest, since July, then it must have already had an effect so, what have People been doing to aquire paints, especially when they order more than 4, like the specialist paint sets ?
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Paul  China

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Posted by Leon Pendraken on 24 Nov 2013, 08:10

I've heard from a Post Office operator that the Royal Mail didn't send any of the relevant information out to their branches when the restriction came into force back in July, so that may have something to do with that side of things, and still being able to send them out. On why they haven't been stopped more often by RM in transit, I don't know, I can only assume that they haven't been enforcing it properly until now.
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Posted by Leon Pendraken on 28 Nov 2013, 03:26

Update - 27th November

The petition has been discussed during a conference call at Royal Mail today, so at least we've got their attention! Unfortunately, at this stage, they have decided that there will be no changes made to the restrictions.

We have also now been given a reason for the restrictions, which is that it's to 'safeguard the rest of the mail in the system from potential damage'. Now this is perfectly understandable, but there is still no reply on how 5 x 17ml pots of paint can cause more damage than 4 x 150ml pots? Or how 1 litre of whiskey in a glass bottle is seen as an allowable risk, yet a 200ml pot of acrylic paint isn't?!

So, we have some answers, but still no real progress on these illogical restrictions, and the potential to amend them.

What's the next stage?

Basically, we need numbers! Despite gaining almost 2,500 signatures in less than a week, we're obviously not registering strongly enough on their radar, so we need to really push the petition out there and gain more support.

So, we're asking everyone who has signed so far to please help us spread the word. Post this on your Facebook walls, on your Twitter feeds, on your blogs, your forums and your websites. Even Tweet some politically inclined celebrities if you like! We're working hard at this end to get some national coverage in hobby magazines and national newspapers, so there's a lot more to come!

We have also set up a new Facebook page, so that we can provide regular updates, and also answer any questions people may have: https://www.facebook.com/PostOurPaint

Many thanks for your support so far.

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/r ... sed-paints
Leon Pendraken  
 
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Posted by Leon Pendraken on 09 Dec 2013, 21:26

Update - 9th December

As we mentioned previously, Royal Mail have changed the reasoning for these restrictions from 'Dangerous Goods' to 'potential damage to other mail', so we have now sent them a list of questions as a result:

"As a follow-up to our recent discussions on water-based paints, and the restrictions on them in your guidelines, I have a few more questions:-

1. In our original discussions, the reason given for Parcel Force being able to ship these items was due to them having a Dangerous Goods license. Now that we have determined that these items are not in fact 'Dangerous Goods', what is the new reason for Parcel Force being able to ship these paints, and how are they overcoming the same 'potential damage to other mail' reasoning which worries Royal Mail?

2. Do you have any statistics which show the frequency of breakages/leakages in the mail, and more specifically, how many of these are caused by water-based paints?

3. The restrictions allow the shipping of upto 1 litre of alcohol, does this not pose a greater risk of leakage / breakage than 4 small pots of paint, even more so when the alcohol is likely to be shipped in a single glass container?

Many thanks,

Leon Pengilley"


We will now have to wait and see what they reply with before proceeding.

In the meantime though, we still need to grow the support, and get this noticed on a national scale by the mainstream media. To do this, we're asking you to help out by doing two things:

1. Write to your local MP, using the template which can be found on our new Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/PostOurPaint/posts/245576305607450 (modify it to suit if you wish). A full list of UK MP's listed by their consituency can be found here: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/?sort=1 If you get a response, please let us know on the Facebook page, or by email to me directly at leonpengilley@hotmail.com

2. Write to any local newspapers or other media in your area to bring this to their attention as well. The MP letter template linked above can be used for this as well, with only minor modification.

Also, please head over and join our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PostOurPaint which allows us to keep everyone up to date with the latest news and discussions as we move forward with this. You can also update here as you get responses from your local MP's / media.

Thanks for reading, and again, thank you for your support. Please pass this update around your friends, forums and Facebooks, and we'll keep pushing to get these restrictions changed!

PS, I hope everyone has a merry Christmas as well, there might not be many paints under your tree, but I hope there's something good in their place...!

Cheers!
Leon Pendraken  
 
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Posted by Wolfie65 on 11 Dec 2013, 14:49

Re: Royal Mail
Back in the 1970's/80's, when I was living in (non-EEC) Austria, ordering something like miniatures from England turned into quite the time-consuming and expensive adventure - especially for a school-age boy - because English businesses would add 40% (!!) of the order total for 'overseas' shipping.......
In more up-to-date developments, US airlines are either currently thinking about or have already decided to once again let passengers carry liquids onto flights.
One doth get thirsty on a 10-hour plane ride.
I've almost completely quit using acrylics several years ago, I like watercolors much better, one of the sets I use is well over 30 years old and still perfectly usable.
Been a while since I've had to mail order any paints, so far no trouble, but if there is, I'll just get them art the art supply store.
Wolfie65  United States of America
 
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