tamper evident bags and seals

If you have ever found yourself online searching for tamper-evident bags and seals, you will have probably come across various terms to describe the types of bags and seals on the market. Often this label will indicate the level of security the seal offers. However, in some cases the terms can be misleading. It is therefore important to have a clear understanding of the lingo used in the security seal industry.

Take the word ‘tamper-proof’ for example. Typically, when we see the modifier ‘proof’ as part of a word eg. waterproof, soundproof, we associate it with being impervious, however it is often used loosely in the security seal industry to describe tamper-resistant security products. Unfortunately, this is a misnomer, and the ‘proof’ used here is really a homonym, meaning ‘to provide evidence’. No security bag or seal is completely impenetrable without showing evidence of tampering, though many do provide a formidable barrier against intrusion. These powerful seals have a medium to strong break force and need specialised tools to breach. An example of this would be metal-indicative seals and cable seals.

Another term frequently used is ‘tamper evident’. Tamper evident bags and seals quickly reveal any evidence of damage inflicted to the seal during an attempt to get to the product. These seals range from low to strong break-force, while technically encompassing the entire range to various degrees, professionals in the industry may use it to describe security seals and bags less resistant to tampering. Rather, tamper-evident bags and seals act as a deterrent against theft. These contraptions are frequently augmented with other security measures to further discourage invasion. The use of barcodes, sequential numbering, colour-coding, combined with employee vetting processes and good record-keeping acts are all excellent methods. Examples of tamper-evident devices include safe custody tamper evident bags, which have several sabotage-exposing mechanisms… the closure comprises of a liner, membrane and glue, perforation lines and security edge print that will reveal any manipulation whether by cutting, cold, heat or solvents. Adhesive void labels, padlock and our biodegradable polypropylene seal range are also tamper-evident. These can be removed with a strong hand or Knippex cutters but will make any disturbance obvious.

High-security seals are comprised of metals and durable plastics. The term “high security” means that the locking devices have been tested under extreme conditions to determine their strength and fortitude and are certified to an international standard for use in importing and exporting freight and cargo through customs. This compliance standard is called ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation), it is given in accordance with the specifications required in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2. The ISO 17712 rating ensures “uniform procedures for the classification, acceptance, and of mechanical freight container seals. It provides a single source of information on mechanical seals which are acceptable for securing freight containers in international commerce.” Bolt seals and cable steels fall in this category, tools such as cable cutters and angle grinders are needed to remove them once applied. The latter also providing excellent evidence of breach as it contains non-performed cabling that frays open when severed.

When deciding on whether to purchase tamper-evident bags and seals, tamper-resistant bags or seals or high security seals, it is always important to consider that there is nothing on the market today, that can absolutely, with 100% certainty, withstand all attempts to access the goods.

TruSeal encourages our customers to compliment the use of security seals with these best practices:

1) Choose quality security seals and bags.

2) Choose the correct seal for your application.

3) Know your inventory, including exactly when, where and how transportation or storage occurs.

4) Vet, orientate and professionally train your staff

5) Assign clear responsibilities to your employees to hold someone personally accountable should theft occur

6) Store your seals in a safe place to prevent tampering.

7) Accurately record each individual seal’s barcode/sequential numbers prior to application and during removal

8) Perform daily inspections

9) Verify and dispose of used seals properly.

Here at TruSeal, we take pride knowing that we can assist you in the first two steps. TruSeal offers a range of high-quality products, constructed with only the best materials. We can manufacture seals to custom-made requirements, adding an extra layer of defence. Whatever your needs, we are sure to have a security solution for your company and if you are unsure which seal to use for your application, feel free to discuss this with one of our trained and friendly staff members and they will provide you with expert advice.
TruSeal is the security seal industry leader on the African continent, trusted by hundreds of big-name brands in South Africa, including banking institutions, trucking and logistic companies and cash-in-transit security providers. Speak to us about our tamper-evident bags and seals range for your peace-of-mind.