Machanical Seals

6 February 2014, Comments: 0

ISO TC 104 Working Group 8, Mechanical Seals

Report for the ISO TC 104 Plenary, March 2014


2 February 2014


Convenor: Michael Wolfe (North River Consulting Group)

November – March: +1 781 566-1536

April – October: +1 781 834-4169

ISO/TC 104 Secretariat: Ms. Sally Seitz (ANSI)

Work ProgrammeCurrent and Expected Issues:

The scope of TC 104 / WG 8 includes only ISO 17712, Freight containers – Mechanical

seals. WG 8 has no active Work Items or documents. However, there are two important


1. Final Implementation of ISO 17712:2013 Clause 6

An important clause of ISO 17712:2013 will become effective 1 May 2014. Because of

the near-global use of the standard, this is an important date for stakeholders. The date

signifies changes for the commercial and regulatory users of ISO 17712 that depend on or

require 17712-compliant mechanical seals.

Revised ISO 17712:2013 was published 15 May 2013. Clause 6 of this International

Standard has a deferred effective date of 15 May 2014, one year following publication of

the revised Standard. Clause 6 addresses evidence of tampering. The intent of Annex B

and relevant text in the body of the standard was to prescribe a transition process that is

cost effective, fair, and timely for all stakeholders.

As of 15 May 2014, maritime cargo containers being stuffed, shipped, and received will

comply with ISO 17712 only if they carry Clause 6-compliant mechanical seals.1 Seals

that had been compliant with ISO 17712 in early May 2014 will not be compliant after 15

May unless they are also backed by an accredited third party certificate or letter related to

Clause 6.

In order to meet these conditions, users should already be purchasing and distributing

Clause 6-compliant seals through their supply chains. Users in the field, including

1 In general, ISO vocabulary addresses “conformance” with a standard; stakeholders of ISO 17712

generally speak of “compliance” with the standard; practically speaking, the two terms are equivalent.

TC 104 WG8 Report, February 2014 Page 2 of 8

concerned regulators, should receive timely education and training to recognize and

assess the new seals.

Fully compliant seals can only come from fully compliant seal manufacturers. Compliant

manufacturers will have amended their Quality Management Programs according to

Clause 6. In addition, they will have a valid audit or inspection report from an accredited

third-party Quality Auditor. A successful report will state that the manufacturer’s

processes and one or more specific seal models conform to or comply with ISO 17712

Clause 6.

Seal buyers and users should be especially vigilant during the transition period and for

six-to-twelve months after 15 May 2014.

Some mechanical seal manufacturers have not yet complied with Clause 6. Despite

having a year to prepare since 17712:2013’s publication, and despite much longer

forewarning prior to publication, some manufacturers are unlikely to offer Clause 6-

compliant seals in a timely manner and in commercial volumes.

WG8 8 hopes to offer at least a partial and informal list of compliant firms and models to

the TC 104 Plenary Meeting on 21 March 2014. Such a list, however, cannot relieve seal

buyers and users of the responsibility for due diligence.

Leave a Reply