As with many specialized items, preparing to ship magnetized goods can take a little extra time to ensure you’re following all the proper packing procedures. Failure to do so could result in a fine, paying extra fees, having your package arrive late, or worse, cause a malfunction of the sensitive equipment in an aircraft. If you frequently ship magnetic items, ShippingEasy offers a quick way to categorize these shipments so that you never have to worry about incorrect packaging!
According to the USPS at the time of this writing:
"A magnetized material is an article that has a magnetic field strength capable of causing the deviation of aircraft instruments. Magnetized materials include magnets and magnetized devices such as magnetrons and light meters of sufficient strength to possibly cause erroneous aircraft magnetic compass readings. Magnetized materials are mailable, provided that all requirements in 349.24 are met."
Magnets are rated in gauss, which is a measurement of how much strength a magnet has. The higher the number, the more pull it has. Typically the gauss is measured with distance in mind, as well. Be sure to ask the magnetic specialists where you purchased your magnets to help you figure out what the best way to measure your magnets gauss.
According to the USPS:
Mail with air transportation:
When it comes to magnetic shipments, Magnetized materials that have a magnetic field strength greater than 0.00525 gauss at 15 feet are prohibited. A magnetic field strength less than 0.002 gauss at a distance of 7 feet is not regulated.
Mail with ground transportation:
Fortunately, magnetized material is not regulated as a hazardous material when transported via surface transportation. Learn more about shipping hazardous material.
At the time of this writing these are the specific requirements of the USPS:
“Magnets and magnetic devices such as magnetrons and light meters must be packaged with the polarities of each unit positioned to oppose one another. Remember that mailable magnetic materials must be packed in strong outer containers.
Markings and packing labels
The address side of the outer packaging must bear the magnetized material warning label shown below:
Mailpieces containing magnetized material with unconfined fields must be clearly marked on the address side with “Surface Only” or “Surface Mail Only” and “Magnetic – Keep 7 Feet Away From Navigational Equipment.”
A complete return address and delivery address must be used. Learn more about customizing shipping labels with ShippingEasy.
For air transportation, a properly completed shipper's declaration for dangerous goods must be prepared in triplicate and affixed to the outside of the mailpiece.