ISO 17712 And How It relates to Buyers:
Buyers of 17712-compliant seals cannot simply accept "Yes, we do" as an answer from a supplier. You must be able to ensure that you bought a fully compliant product. For example, if you purchase seals that cannot be proven to be ISO 17712 compliant, then you risk shipment delays under C-TPAT procedures.
What Is ISO 17712?
ISO 17712 establishes "uniform procedures for the classification, acceptance, and withdrawal of acceptance of mechanical freight container seals". The standard defines the various types of security seals and describes the performance requirements for each product type as well as details of testing specifications.
General requirements stipulate that mechanical security seals must be:
- Strong and durable against weather, chemical action and undetectable tampering.
- Easy to apply and seal.
- Permanently and uniquely marked and numbered.
- Marked with an easily identifiable manufacturer's logo.
The standard has three major features, each of which requires documentation of compliance by properly accredited test laboratories or business process auditors; the labs and auditors must have ISO 17712 as the scope of competence.
1. Testing of physical strength (as barriers to entry).
2. Auditing of manufacturer's security-related business practices
3. Testing of a seal's ability to indicate evidence of tampering.
ISO 17712 defines three classes of seal strength or barrier capacity: "I" Indicative, "S" Security and "H" High Security; cargo security programs such as C-TPAT call for "H" class seals. Suppliers must use independently third party test laboratories to validate a seal's classification. Labs must be accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.
What is Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)?
C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security.
C-TPAT recognizes that U.S. Customs and Border Protection can provide the highest level of cargo security only through close cooperation with the ultimate owners of the international supply chain such as importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers.