Can I airfreight magnets?
Magnets are generally considered dangerous goods, which can only be forwarded by airfreight under certain circumstances. Correct classification requires accurate measurements, which Screwmagnet cannot provide.
When in doubt, we recommend avoiding airfreight.
According to IATA (International Air Transport Association) Packing Guideline 953 (formerly 902), a shipment with magnets falls under one of three categories:
1. Air-freight forbidden (magnetic field too large)
If the package with the magnets (including magnetic shielding packaging) creates a magnetic field of more than 0,00525 gauss (=5,25 mG = 0,525 µT) at a distance of 4,6 metres (in any direction), the transport of the package via air freight is generally forbidden.
2. Shipment unproblematic (magnetic field very small)
The second and more strict test requires that at a distance of 2,1 metres from the package a magnetic field of less than 0,002 gauss (2 mG = 0,2 µT) is created.
If the package passes this test, the content is considered “not magnetised” for transport purposes and the package can be shipped. In that case it is recommended to attach a shipping declaration that confirms that the package passed the stricter test and therefore can be viewed as non-magnetic. This can avoid possible delays due to inspections by authorities.
3. Shipment as a declared dangerous good (for all other cases)
If the package falls between the two categories, meaning the first test was passed but not the stricter second one, the package has to be declared a dangerous good, which will lead to higher shipping costs and additional work. Also, there are certain airports that cannot be used in this case.
The aim is, therefore, to pass the stricter second test and airfreight the package without special measures.
The big problem with this packing regulation lies in the fact that this measurement can only be done with expensive special equipment. Most magnetic field measuring devices cannot measure such weak magnetic fields.
A correct classification requires accurate measurements, which Screwmagnet cannot provide. When in doubt, we recommend to stay away from airfreight.
If the shipment is not airfreight (train, truck, ship, etc.), magnets are not considered dangerous goods.