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How can buyers be sure they have compliant product?

Many security seal buyers have been confused by seal manufacturer's claims of conformance. Candidly, some suppliers falsely claimed compliance. In addition, managers of accredited testing laboratories have shown ISMA members counterfeit certificates of compliance used by some suppliers.

Some security-related programs, such as C-TPAT, require members to have a programs in place that assure that the member and its supply chain partners use ISO compliant seals. C-TPAT validation reviews check this area.

It pays for serious supply chain participants to be particularly vigilant that their firm and its trading partners buy and use fully compliant seals from fully compliant suppliers.

So, how can you tell the difference between those who comply and those who don’t?

There are two positive ways of knowing if the supplier and their products conform to the requirements of ISO/PAS 17712.

1. Ask For Proof

As the supplier for copies of conformance certificates for product testing and security-related business practices (normative Annex A). The certificates are usually summary cover pages from test and audit reports.

As of March 2012, conformance must cover tamper evidence testing.

You may also ask for certification that the lab and auditor are properly accredited according to ISO procedures, such as ISO 17025 for independent third party test laboratories.

Beware of fraudulent documents. In order to assure content integrity and author authenticity, at least one reputable testing laboratory has adopted digitally signed and certified test reports. The lab is Dayton T. Brown; as ISMA learn of other labs or auditors that use enhanced document validation, we shall add their names to this page.

Be particularly sceptical of any supplier advertising very early compliance with the tamper evidence requirements of ISO 17712: 2010. As of this writing (December 2010), ISMA members were unaware of any testing laboratory that has been accredited for tamper evident testing.

2. Source From An ISMA Member

You may rest assured when you source your seals from a member of the International Seal Manufacturer's Association (ISMA). Remember, all ISMA members conform fully and completely to the active parts of ISO 17712: 2010 and compliance certificates will be made readily available to you. All ISMA members have adopted a strict Code of Ethics.

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