What Is ISO 17712?

As someone working in the manufacturing or distribution industries, you know the importance of keeping items safe cannot be overstated. Product security—whether it’s preventing items from being stolen, broken, or otherwise tampered with—is a big deal. In fact, beyond just saving you time, money, and logistical headaches, staying compliant with security protocols is also a legal requirement. Long story short, security seals offer an easy, affordable, and effective solution to your organization’s product safety needs.

In the following article, we look at the purpose and importance of high security truck seals, and the legal requirements surrounding them. 

What Are High Security Seals?

High security seals, sometimes referred to as ISO seals, are the strongest type of security seal due to their robust design and rigorous materials, like metal. While there are several types, strengths, shapes, sizes, and locking mechanisms of security seals in general, some of the most common are:

  • Truck seals, which are used to lock doors on a semi-truck or other trailer-door-vehicle as a means to inhibit entry and also identify potential cargo tampering.
  • Tamper-evident bolt seals, which are the most heavy duty and high security seal type and are usually used for international shipping as they adhere to ISO 17712 requirements (more on this in a bit).
  • Pull-tight seals, sometimes referred to as cable seals, offer a longer but less robust seal, making them ideal for securing wider or more unique latches. 

What Is an ISO Seal?

An ISO seal is a security seal that meets ISO 17712 seal requirements. The ISO, or International Organization for Standardization, is an independent, international organization that develops standards for the quality, safety, and efficiency of products, services, and systems. So, what is an ISO 17712 seal required to be? 

The current ISO standard 17712 mandates independent confirmation for security seals in three specific areas:

  1. Tests to determine the physical strength of the security seal
  2. Audits of the manufacturer’s security-related business processes
  3. Tamper-indicative features on each seal generate clear and obvious evidence of tampering.  

Let’s look at each of these points in greater detail, and why they are so important.

Test One: Physical Strength

As you can imagine, the strength of a security seal is directly related to how effective it is as a barrier to entry. ISO 17712 defines seal strength in three ways: Indicative (I), Security (S), and High Security (H). 

  • Indicative seals may work as an initial barrier to entry, but as the weakest classification, their tensile strength is the lowest of all three tiers.  The indicative seals’ main purpose is to help with cargo and tampering identification. 
  • Security seals provide mid-level security and can be used for a wide range of applications. Typically security seals are made of stronger plastic or metal.
  • High security seals, as we mentioned earlier, offer the highest level of protection. Since high security seals need to be the strongest option, in addition to ISO guidelines, they often have to meet certain standards based on their national shipping regulations. However, ISO guidelines tend to be equally or more stringent than most national requirements. 

ISO requires that all seals must be tested by an ISO-accredited third party to determine their strength level.

Test Two: Security Processes

It stands to reason that poor security-related production processes and practices can undermine the effectiveness of a security seal, regardless of its quality. As outlined in the ISO Annex A, there are 20+ required practices, including but not limited to:

  • Facility risk assessments
  • Access controls to production and storage rooms
  • General organizational best practices

These business audits should also be completed by an ISO-accredited third-party provider. 

Test Three: Tamper Evident Features

Every security seal must be constructed with tamper-evidence features that indicate tell-tale signs of tampering. As such, seal manufacturers must be able to demonstrate that their seals have built-in tamper evidence features. Furthermore, these demonstrations should also enable them to obtain a certification from an accredited ISO third party that their seals are designed with tamper-evident specifications. Since tampering with cargo and products is one of the main ways that inventory can be stolen, or illegal contraband can be smuggled in, it’s important that all ISO certified seals clearly bring attention to signs of tampering.    

Find Security Seals You Can Trust at ZipTie.com

Let’s face it, security seals aren’t the most glamorous product in the world, but they empower you to do what you do, and we think that’s pretty neat. No matter what kind of security seal you are looking for, you can find them at ZipTie.com. Not only do we offer a wide variety of security seals, but we also offer:

  • Same day shipping 
  • High visibility hot stamps
  • Bulk order pricing options
  • Customizable seal options including names and barcodes
  • Laser-etched serial numbers
  • Top-class customer service and experience

Whether you’re ready to buy right this second, or just want some advice on what products might be best for you, give us a call at +1-855-947-8433 between 8:30 AM—5:30 PM ET, or head over to our website!

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