Customs Announces Change to Seal Requirements

Member companies in the CTPAT program woke up to messages in their inboxes today about changes to the rules on high-security seals with effect from March 1, 2012.  The full text is below:

Please be advised that effective March 1, 2012, the current International Organization for Standardization (ISO) mechanical seal standard (ISO/PAS 17712) will be replaced with a new ISO standard–ISO 17712:2010.  CTPAT understands that seals are costly, and companies are not expected to discard seals currently in stock.  However, after companies have exhausted their current stock of high security seals, we recommend that they purchase seals which are compliant with the new ISO 17712:2010 standard.

The new standard compliance requirements: 

  • Testing to determine a seal’s classification for physical strength (as a barrier of entry).
  • Process auditing of the manufacturer’s security-related business practices.
  • Testing (pass/fail) of a seals ability to indicate evidence of tampering.
  • A new 18mm minimum width diameter for bolt seals.

Benefits of the new seal standards include:

  • Reduced possibility of cargo theft or tampering.
  • Reduced possibility of unauthorized material being inserted into containers or other instruments of international traffic (IIT).
  • Reducing shipping delays that result when seals are missing or broken.
  • When inspecting seals for signs of tampering, tamper-evident seals should allow personnel, with the appropriate training, to detect compromised seals easier.

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