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C-TPAT Container Seals Requirement Effective May 15

The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program provides special benefits for its participants in exchange for extra security procedures and processes, which prevent tampering and infiltration of legitimate cargo moving though the international supply chain with contraband.

C-TPAT LogoOne layer in this security process is the use of special high security seals for securing the door locks of ocean shipping containers.

Effective May 15, 2014, a previously announced seal requirement will be required.  The standards for these new seals were established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) under protocol 17712. It is important to note that there are actually three different levels of seals under the definition of 17712: ‘I’ for Indicative, ‘S’ for Security, and ‘H’ for High Security.  After May 15, 2014; “ISO 17712:2013 ‘H’ class”  seals will be required for all C-TPAT shipments.

Although many seal manufacturers have been producing seals at this standard for some time already, special care must be taken to insure that, for shipments loaded on or after May 15, 2014, only ISO 17712:2013 “H class” seals are used.

If the US CBP finds that a C-TPAT participant is shipping cargo without ISO 17712:2013 “H class” seals, suspension or termination from the C-TPAT program may result.

If you have any questions about this requirement, or the benefits that your company may gain from participation in C-TPAT, please contact your local MIQ representative or the MIQ Global Trade Management team at

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