Car airbags are considered as hazardous materials just like acids, ammunition and firecrackers. Nevertheless, it is not illegal to ship a car airbag as long as you follow the proper way to pack it. Special regulations and guidelines must be followed when shipping airbags because of their explosive potential. Airbags have a small amount of explosives in the assembly that could harm mail handlers or shipping personnel or destroy machinery in case of accidental deployment.
To minimize these dangers, federal laws are enacted to regulate the shipment of air bags as hazardous materials. Improper labeling and packaging of these items for shipping is a federal offense that is punishable by imprisonment and fines.
Because of these, shipping air bags, just like any other haz mat, may entail a lot more effort and paperwork compared to sending ordinary stuff. For one, both the shipper and the recipient must be hat mat certified. Even before the USPS and other shipping companies allow shipping your air bag as consumer product with ORM-D labeling, you must declare the contents of your package and present all the necessary permits and certification.
These items also require special packaging that meets International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) 3A testing standards. You need to purchase this type of packaging with a minimum of 200 lbs. Burst Strength.
Once inside the burst-proof packaging, it must be sealed properly according to the instructions.
Label the package clearly and correctly. Include the technical name, specific name and ID number of the air bag. Also include the full names of both the shipper and the recipient.
Attach hazard labels in the most visible areas of the package. Never place them on edges or bents of the box.
Be informed that some states have laws regarding shipment of air bags. Some require shippers to provide such documents such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle from which the air bag was removed. It is best to consult with the local government of the destination you are shipping to ensure that your shipment complies with local laws.