Importers are responsible for ensuring their containers are sealed according to regulations. Although this is a new regulation, it is important to note that it is not a new industry practice, as virtually all maritime cargo containers entering the US are already secured with a high-security seal as mandated by C-TPAT. C-TPAT’s minimum security criteria for importers state that “at point of stuffing, procedures must be in place to properly seal and maintain the integrity of the shipping containers. A high security seal must be affixed to all loaded containers bound for the U.S. All seals must meet or exceed the current PAS ISO 17712 standards for high-security seals.”
A high-security seal is defined in ISO/PAS 17712 as a “seal constructed and manufactured of material such as metal or metal cable with the intent to delay intrusion…generally must be removed with quality bolt cutters.”
C-TPAT also requires that importers conduct a comprehensive assessment of their international supply chains based upon the C-TPAT security criteria, and endorses the application and implementation of security measures based upon the risk analysis.