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General requirements for seals specified by ISO 17712
ISO 17712 requires that all security seals have the following general features:
Security seals must be unique, difficult to imitate and be marked with the corresponding information.
The design should be easy to inspect and to determine whether it is being used properly or its application is defective. No room must be left for doubt.
Security bolt seals must be at least 18 millimetres in diameter.
They are single use devices: by removing them, the seals must be destroyed and become unusable. They have to show clear proof in case of inviolability.
They must meet the thresholds of strength specified by the standard and pass all the tests to which they are submitted at the accredited bodies.
Three types of seals allowed by ISO 17712
ISO 17712 defines the various types of certified cargo container seals. There are three of these:
1. Indicating seals
They are plastic or metallic seals that are easy to open after they are fitted. As container seals, this type is used on empty containers which have to be moved over short distances, for example, in the same city. These seals ensure that the container is clean and suitable for loading. Of course, the indicating security seals must bear the regulatory marking including the numbering and the logo of the company.
2. Security seals
Security seal with metallic cable F-150Locking this type of seal already provides greater security, in order to prevent the unauthorized opening of cargo containers. The difference between this category of seals and the next is that security in this case is more restricted. In any case, if a seal has been broken, it must be evident during an inspection. They are also marked with numerical information and the logo.
3. High security seals
Clik-Lok high security sealThey are made of extremely strong materials such as metal, or they incorporate steel cable. The ultimate purpose of this type of seals is to prevent and hinder at all costs any attempt to open or tamper with them. In addition, advanced special tools are needed for its removal. The most commonly used type of marking for these seals is by laser, due to its excellent resistance to environmental aggression. The letter “H” (from High Security Seals) defines the classification of this type of seal.
Mechanical strength tests in ISO 17712
Security seals certified in accordance with the standard must comply with specific tests in relation to tensile, cutting and impact strength. These tests must be carried out in institutions accredited by the regulations. Let us see in detail what they consist of:
Tensile strength: defines the strength of the security mechanism, which must be greater than 1,000 kg. It consists of pulling the ends until they eventual separate.
Cutting: both in security bolt seals and those with metal cables, the cutting strength must be greater than 340 kg.
Lateral impact: this test consists of striking the security bolt seal perpendicularly in an attempt to break it. Tests the flexibility of the seal shaft and its ability to bend.
Vertical impact: in this case, the impact may come from any angle until the seal is broken.