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August 07, 2008 

New U.S. Container Seal Requirements Go Into Effect on October 15th

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a notice in today's Federal Register reminding shippers and importers that all loaded containers arriving by vessel at a port of entry in the U.S. on or after October 15, 2008, are required by statute (6 U.S.C. 944) to be sealed with a seal meeting the ISO/PAS 17712 standard.

The ISO/PAS 17712 standard requires that container freight seals meet or exceed certain standards for strength and durability so as to prevent accidental breakage, early deterioration (due to weather conditions, chemical action, etc.) or undetectable tampering under normal usage. ISO/PAS 17712 also requires that each seal be clearly and legibly marked with a unique identification number.

Tanks and non-standard containers, such as open top containers, that cannot accommodate a seal meeting the ISO/PAS 17712 standard are not subject to the statutory requirement.

Members of CBP's C-TPAT program are currently required to use seals meeting the ISO/PAS 17712 standard.

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