The CSC requires freight containers to be thoroughly examined 5 years after manufacture and subsequently at least every 30 months and two methods are used by the container industry for recording that the freight container is fit for use. Both methods require marks to be shown on or near to the safety approval plate:
The date of the next periodic examination is stamped on the approval plate or affixed to it in form of a decal. The date of the next examination shown in figure is September 2018.
CSC safety approval plate with ACEP mark
If there is no ACEP mark and if the next examination date is already elapsed, or is before the expected arrival time of the freight container at its destination, the freight container should not be used in intermodal or international traffic. As an alternative to such periodic inspections, the owner or operator of the freight container may execute an approved continuous examination programme where the freight container is frequently inspected at major interchanges. Freight containers operated under such a programme should be marked on or near to the safety approval plate with a mark starting “ACEP” followed by numerals and letters indicating the approval number of this continuous examination programme