Indicative Seals and Barrier Seals: What’s the difference?


How to know what type of security seal works best for your needs



With the supply chain being at the core of business operations, ensuring that products move safely from their point of origin to their final destination is critical.

At TydenBrooks, we take seriously our company mission of “leading the way, securing the world” by offering the widest variety of security products to meet your needs.

With so many security seal options offered, how do you know what type of seal is right for the needs of your company? One important factor that can help in making this decision is knowing the two main categories that separate seal types. These two categories are indicative seals and barrier seals and there are some key differences that classify which category a seal is a part of.


Preventative vs. Deterrent


  • Barrier seals are preventive, meaning they are designed to prevent unwanted intrusion and require special tools (bolt cutters, pliers, keys) to remove.


  • Indicative seals are deterrent, meaning they do not physically prevent intrusion but are tamper evident to show when a product has been tampered with. They can be applied and removed without use of special tools.

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Materials and Strength



  • Indicative seals are made of plastics, paper or flat metal making them light weight  with a lower break strength or force required to remove them, these include plastic seals and security tapes, labels.  

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Efficacy and ISO 17712


  • Barrier seals are frequently classified as high “security” meaning they must obtain a high security rating per ISO 17712 (International Organization for Standardization) which requires passing of specific strength testing and other factors.



  • Indicative seals are highly effective and designed for tamper evidence, so strength testing is not required.



Type of Application and Transportation Mode


  • Barrier seals are used on the shipping containers themselves, such as long-haul trucks, ocean liners, and railcars to protect high value goods during transport.


  • Indicative seals come in a wide variety of types and can be used for shipping containers, the products themselves, or even classified documents or medical samples.


Knowing the basic differences between barrier and indicative seals in these key areas can help you make an informed decision on how best to protect your Supply chain.


Protecting your supply chain from end-to-end is the most important thing you can do. Security seals play an important role in protecting the free flow of goods being moved and traded around the world. With over 145 years of manufacturing experience in the world of security seals, TydenBrooks is a global leader, helping many domestic and international companies protect their supply chain, not only within nations but also across international borders. We offer innovative and state-of-the-art indicative and barrier seal products to help protect your goods. In today’s world, it is wise to use a multi-layered strategy of security. TydenBrooks’ wide selection of barrier seals and indicative seals can often be used together in a multi-layered approach to provide an increased level of protection throughout your supply chain and peace of mind for you.


For more information or to discuss your unique security needs, contact TydenBrooks at 1-800-458-SEAL or via email at We look forward to helping you prevent tampering and theft while securing the safe transport and delivery of your products.