General security is made with the use of the security seals. Security seals are mechanisms used to seal shipping containers in a way that provides tamper evidence and some level of security. Such security seals can help to detect theft or contamination, either accidental or deliberate. Security seals are commonly used to secure truck trailers, vessel containers, chemical drums, airline duty-free trolleys and utility meters. Typically they are considered an inexpensive way of providing tamper evidence of intrusion into sensitive spaces.
Single use and reusable security seals
Security seals can be split into two main groups: single-use and reusable.
Single use seals are typically made of plastic or metal, and the used material and production technology is the key to their security level.
Reusable seals are usually electronic or mechanical rather than just made from plastic, and if purely plastic, only one part is reusable. Electronic and mechanical seals are generally used for the transportation industry, with seal fixed to the back of trucks, trailers and shipping containers. A reusable mechanical or electronic seal can be fitted to the rear or loading doors, extending a cable from itself through fixing points on the doors, and when sealed generating a unique number which is logged. When the door is next opened this number changes, so it provides tamper evidence for the load.
(HMRC) Customs Accepted Seals
Customs accepted seals are security seals which the customs department of a given country will accept as a secure seal to be placed onto a container. This does not mean that all exporters or importers should place a customs accepted seal on their containers or trailers. Many businesses who transport high value goods like to use Customs Accepted Seals as these seals have been through rigorous testing and are of high quality. All of this rules from the Customs regarding the security seals are part of a general security rules to be followed.
High Security Seals
A High Security Seal is constructed and manufactured of material such as metal or metal cable with the intent to delay intrusion and have been designed to conform with world customs and ISO security seal standards. The International Standards Organization (ISO) published the new version of ISO 17712 on 15 May 2013.
A measure of a seal’s security is whether it has obtained an ISO 17712:2013 rating. US Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and the World Customs Organization’s Framework of standards, endorsed and encouraged the use of ISO compliant seals.
The requirements for certain general security level of seals are defined in the ISO 17712. The seals that belong to the High Security level and Security level are also called “barrier seals“. They are made of different metals or metal alloys, meaning that they require special tools to be opened, such as bolt cutters or pliers. Cable seals and bolt seals also fall into this category. Designed to deter opportunistic theft of high value goods, they also can often be branded and numbered to improve tamper resistance and provide excellent security for containers. The seals that are in the Indicative level as to ISO 17712 are made of plastic or thin metal.