When you transport goods globally, you want to be sure that the cargo is safe. Not only to have it arrive safely at the customer, but also for safety reasons for the company itself, or for those who have to work with the cargo. There are even international requirements for this. Without the right seal with the required certificate, the cargo will not be allowed to enter the country.

Which seal is needed?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world’s leading developer of voluntary standards. ISO creates documents with requirements, specifications, guidelines and characteristics that can be used over and over again. The documents ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for purpose.

There are different standards and guidelines for different products, but for most products ISO 17712 is the standard for the safety seal. Without this seal, import can be stopped.

Bolt seals as a solution

Since the introduction of the C-TPAT programme and the ISPS code, sea containers must be sealed with a so-called High Security Seal immediately after loading. Steel pins, also known as bolt seals, ensure that the shipping container is sealed. A bolt seal is intended to prevent theft from trucks and make it more difficult to illegally transport people and hazardous prohibited substances.

Seals can be applied quickly and easily. Removing a bolt seal, however, is a completely different story. It can only be removed with heavy-duty concrete shears or a grinder. Every seal has a unique number or a barcode.

ISO 17712 is necessary

A good seal is ISO 17712 approved. Without a seal with this certificate, customs may reject the import. The container will then be blocked. It is also possible that customs decides to inspect the whole or part of the cargo. This involves extra costs, which are charged to the shipping agent or client.

That is why it is important to be aware of certification and the latest trends in sealing. This way, the delivery meets the right standards, the chance of blockage is small, and moreover, work can be done safely.

The three most important features are that the seals must be tested to determine their physical strength, that they must be designed and constructed with so-called tamper-evident features (such as tell-tale signs), and that the manufacturer’s security-related business processes must be checked.