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C-TPAT-Compliant High Security Seals Now Required for US-Bound Containers

Posted May 27, 2014

On May 15, 2014, the updated high security seal standard issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) went into full effect for seal manufacturers. The new standard, known as ISO 17712:2013, replaced the previous version of the standard, ISO 17712:2010.
container seals
According to a recent bulletin published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the new standard applies to all participants in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) because C-TPAT security criteria require the use of high security seals meeting the current ISO 17712 standard.

Specifically, the applicable criteria state that “a high security seal must be affixed to all loaded containers bound for the U.S.” and that “All seals must meet or exceed the current ISO 17712 standards for high security seals.” CBP did not specify a particular implementation deadline, allowing the industry time to transition to the use of the new seals once old seal stocks have been depleted.

The new standard includes a change to requirements for the tamper-evident aspects of high security seals. To be compliant with the new standard a high security seal must have a unique number (and may have an optional barcode), must have the company name or logo indicated on the seal, and must be marked or stamped to identify its classification as high security (“H”).