An ISO shipping container’s CSC plate is of utmost importance in the shipping and logistics industry.

As a business owner, you should know why this is so and its implications for your company. By understanding the importance of the CSC plate, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions about your shipping and logistics needs.

Here we’ll take a closer look at an ISO shipping container’s CSC plate and why it matters. Stay tuned!

What is a CSC Plate, and What Does it Do?

First of all, “CSC” stands for “Convention for Safe Containers”—(The International Convention for Safe Containers).

The CSC plate is a small metal plate attached to the doors of ISO containers that certifies that the container complies with the International Convention for Safe Containers. It lists the container’s approval code and inspection criteria.

The International Maritime Organisation, a department of the United Nations, is in charge of the ISO container certification programme. The set of codes under which the container was certified is the first piece of information on the CSC plate.

Country codes are often represented by the first letter before a slash or hyphen. To represent “Great Britain,” use the symbol “GB-.” A specific classification society’s inspection standards are the second piece of information, followed by the year in which the standards were approved.

The CSC plate is placed on all ISO containers at the time of manufacture to trigger an inspection of the unit before use in the shipping process. This is important for ensuring the unit’s safety against the numerous dangers inherent to shipping.

The inspection criteria include certain general safety limits (for example, the maximum allowable axle weights) and standards specific to certain parts of the world. The CSC plate also aids in ensuring that local customs agents are not presented with a situation where they cannot determine whether a unit has been properly maintained. It ensures that any customs agents inspecting the unit can determine the container’s origins and inspect it accordingly if an unsafe or unlawful situation occurs.

The plate must be frequently updated and verified by an expert in the industry when its expiration date (5 years for single trip units) approaches. These dates are written on an embossed sticker attached to the unit’s tile.

Even if the device has not been used during this time, the plate should be changed if the date has passed because the accuracy of the data cannot be guaranteed after this point. According to most industry recommendations, the plate should be changed every five years.

Why is it Important to Check the CSC Plate on a Shipping Container Before You Purchase it?

Expired CSC plates can indicate many potential problems, including that the unit is unsafe.

Expired plates can show that the unit has been damaged and that inspections have been done on it, but that the repairs have not been completed. It may indicate the unit has been repaired improperly or by an unqualified person.

This data can help you determine whether or not buying the unit is a safe idea. The CSC plate also indicates whether or not the container was manufactured within the last 5 years, an issue with older versions of the CSC plate that could be falsified or faked.

The CSC plate may be printed by the factory that built the container or by the classification society responsible for approving the construction of the unit. The device is usually located on the right-hand door of the container, although it can sometimes be found on the left door. This is dependent on the plate orientation of the classification society.

In general, you can verify the CSC plate on any ISO box before you buy it by contacting the classification society responsible or the box manufacturer. If you’re purchasing the unit from a supplier and request to see the device and are not expecting it within the next week, you may want to consider waiting to purchase the unit until you’ve seen the plate and verified that it is valid.

To ensure the units meet the minimum capacity, weight, and resistance to routine forklift loading, they are thoroughly tested, and the CSC plate demonstrates this. There is an ACEP number, the stacking weight, the racking test, and the permit stacking weight prominently displayed in the centre of the plate.

Other details include the unit number, date of manufacture, the nation of approval, reference number, and the CSC approval number. A detailed inspection is conducted before every item is cleared to operate for a specified period.

CSC plates will need to be replaced after the expiration date has passed. In most cases, the unit’s owner is responsible for maintaining the CSC plate.

How Can You Tell If a Shipping Container Has Been Damaged or Tampered With?

A container’s seal is damaged or tampered with does not always indicate that a theft has occurred, and it can merely indicate that customs officials have inspected something. Certain nations demand that seals be broken and inspected every time they enter a port. Other nations only demand that seals be broken during an inspection, such as by customs agents, and a lot of containers are cracked open for inspection at customs offices worldwide.

According to some estimates, approximately 90% of containers are opened for inspection at least once. When a container is shipped overseas or when it is going to or coming from a jurisdiction with tight customs requirements, containers are frequently opened for examination.

If you think your container may have been opened while it was being transported, you should keep detailed records and take pictures of the container and seal. Make quick contact with your carrier, freight forwarder, and insurance provider. Do not open your container until an official shipping line is present; keep taking pictures of the contents once the container is opened. This is significant if you intend to submit a claim to the carrier.

Container seals can discourage theft and stop unauthorised entry, even though they are not entry-proof. By serving as proof of tampering, they are also helpful in identifying whether there has been an unauthorised entrance. However, using many seals in various sizes, shapes, hues, and combinations is advised for increased security. Also, warning labels or tags are still another method to take into consideration as an added precaution.

How Can You Be Sure That the Shipping Container You’re Buying Complies With International Standards and Regulations?

Hiring a container surveyor is the best way to ensure that your shipping container conforms to global standards and laws.

Speaking with a surveyor is vital if you wish to lease your shipping containers. Before or after a business leases or sells a container, a container surveyor conducts inspections, surveys, and exams of container equipment to ensure the container is in the intended condition.

A surveyor is required to carry out a variety of tasks. Below is an informative list highlighting the steps a surveyor may perform when inspecting a new or used shipping container:

  • Assisting the organisation in managing its freight containers more effectively.
  • Collaborating and planning with the logistics team to manage containers.
  • Confirm that the container has the necessary marks.
  • Examine the container’s exterior and any physical alterations.
  • Examine the company that hired the shipping containers. Also, the company can even request to inspect the containers they intend to buy.
  • Examine the equipment inside the container, such as doors, skids, etc.
  • Inspecting the container’s damage and overall condition, then advising repairs as necessary.
  • Maintain an inspection log.
  • Survey the container’s dimensions to ensure it matches the description on the CSC plate.
  • Test the condition of the container door hinges to ensure that the doors open and close properly.
  • Test the electrical functions of the container to ensure that the electrical systems are reliable and haven’t been tampered with.
  • Test the locking mechanisms of the container to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • The container’s loading, unloading, closing, and sealing must all be properly documented.
  • They must report on the state of the containers’ cleanliness.
  • The surveyor must perform routine inspections when the users are stuffing and unstuffing the container, and the surveyor must perform routine inspections.

Typically, a condition survey is conducted to determine whether the container’s condition meets a certain standard.

The surveyor for the container will note any flaws or damage, as well as the overall condition of the container, and they will suggest a cost-effective course of action if the container is not fit for usage. It may be necessary for you to scrap the container, return it to the lessor, or repair it.

A current CSC plate is required for every container used for international goods transportation, and if the CSC plate is expired or invalid, you will need a CSC inspection for containers. This is the most significant survey kind, without a doubt, and you should be aware that your boxes can only be loaded onto ships and allowed to enter terminals with a valid CSC plate.

What Should You Do if You Find a Discrepancy Between the CSC Plate and Other Documentation for the Shipping Container?

Suppose you are a buyer or seller, and you find a document that details the container’s characteristics differently from the CSC plate. In that case, you should immediately inform your carrier, freight forwarder, or insurance provider.

This is also significant if the document clearly states a CSC plate is fitted when an entirely different plate is under the unit. A CSC plate is not the same as an official entry document, but you must understand that the container cannot enter a commercial port or transport yard without a CSC plate or a valid CSC sticker.

So, if your CSC plate has expired or the container has another valid plate, only an official entry document can authorise a transfer of ownership from one party to another.


The CSC plate is an essential piece of documentation for shipping containers.

You must check the CSC plate before purchasing a shipping container to ensure it meets international standards and regulations. If you find a discrepancy between the CSC plate and other documentation for the shipping container, don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.

We’re here to help you find the perfect shipping container for your needs.