A United Nations report acknowledging tax stamps’ new contribution to product authentication and track and trace has been welcomed by the technology’s trade body.
The International Tax Stamp Association (ITSA), which is driving global awareness of the role and impact of tax stamps, backs the findings of the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) research report ‘Ensuring Supply Chain Security: The Role of Anti-Counterfeiting Technologies’*.
This reflects the UN’s ‘first effort’ in analysing the impact of anti-counterfeiting technologies on government initiatives to secure legitimate product supply chains.
ITSA says the UN ‘clearly and unequivocally’ acknowledges tax stamps’ evolution to meet new product protection and security needs as well as the paramount role they play in securing excise revenues for national authorities and protection agencies.
The report also identifies that ‘governments are cooperating with suppliers of anti-counterfeiting technologies, who are providing them with increasingly sophisticated tax stamp systems’ – findings also welcomed by ITSA.
ITSA is working towards ensuring a better understanding of the benefits of tax stamp technology and that the highest professional standards are observed within the sector.
Chairman Juan Yanez said: “The UN report is welcomed by us and we broadly support its findings.
“It reinforces the crucial and growing role new and evolving technologies such as tax stamps play in governments’ battles to defeat the alcohol and tobacco counterfeiters and fraudsters.
“It’s also a timely reminder that authorities need to ramp-up their investment in added value security solutions if counterfeiting and the trade in illicit goods across the EU and in North America among other global hotspots is to be checked, let alone stopped.”
ITSA adds that it would have liked to have seen revenue and customs authorities included in the study alongside technology providers to provide a more rounded and coherent report.
“What impact this report will have on legislation such as the EU Tobacco Product Directive remains to be seen, since it’s based solely on suppliers’ input rather than governmental bodies and legislators.”
ITSA is the collective voice for those involved in tax stamps and is actively contributing to the drafting process associated with a new international tax stamp standard (ISO 19998).
Juan Yanez added: “The report also strengthens the need for ISO 19998 to consider tax stamps covering tax collection, authentication and supply chain control rather than as simply tools for tax collection only.”
Over 250 revenue agencies (national and state governments) around the world use tax stamps to collect valuable tax duties and excise payments, involving the worldwide production of some 140 billion stamps annually.
As well as providing visible proof of tax payment and revenue collection, tax stamps have also taken on product authentication and anti-tampering applications.
*The UN report is available at http://www.unicri.it/topics/counterfeiting/anticounterfeiting_technologies/Ensuring_supply_chain_security_report.pdf