International Freight Forwarder Association

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All Containers in Transit to the U.S. Will Require High-Security Bolt Seals

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

(Copy supplied by APL via Novo Express SFO)

Effective 15 October 2008, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will require all containers in transit to the U.S. to be secured with a high-security bolt seal.
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 U.S. are already secured with a high-security bolt 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.
APL Recommends Additional Security Measures Using Indicative (Non-keyed) Theft-Deterrent Barrier Seals
APL recommends that customers moving high value and/or sensitive cargo adopt an added level of security by using an indicative (non-keyed) theft deterrent barrier seal. These barrier seals are stronger, made of heavier metal, and can be breached only by using industrial-strength power cutting tools. Examples of indicative theft-deterrent barrier seals include those manufactured by Navalock and OneSeal (Hair-PIN 2000).
The use of barrier seals can reduce the possibility of: 

  • Cargo theft or tampering
  • Unauthorized material being inserted into the container
  • Delays that result when seals are missing or broken
For intermodal customers, please note that Union Pacific Railroad (UP) already mandates that all domestic shipments of consumer electronics requires the use of an indicative (non-keyed) theft deterrent barrier seal.
For more information about global security, please refer to the security section on our Web site, or to the CBP’s website.  Alternatively, you can contact APL Security (