PR: Tax stamps under the spotlight at international industry event

Tax stamps will be on the agenda at an international forum that will highlight the devastating impact of the fraudulent trade in tobacco, alcohol and other products subject to excise taxes – and new ways to combat it.

Organised by Reconnaissance International, this year’s Tax Stamp Forum will take place on 11-13 September in Budapest, Hungary, and will bring together partners from customs administrations, revenue agencies and ministries, regional economic communities, the private sector, international organisations and development partners.

It will explore key topics and trends of concern and interest to all those involved in tax stamps and traceability. Topics for discussion will include the governance and operation of secure track and trace systems, the changing regulatory landscape and examples of industry best practice.

The first event in the programme (on the morning of September 11) will be a closed meeting for revenue and customs authorities. Hosted by the International Tax Stamp Association (ITSA), it will be an opportunity to share common issues and best practices in the use of tax stamp programmes to deliver effective authentication and track and trace solutions – with the aim of securing excise revenues and preventing illicit trade.

This will be followed by two workshops that are open to all delegates. Ian Lancaster of Reconnaissance International will lead the first workshop, taking issuers and producers of tax stamps “back-to-basics”. Using case studies, he will show the improvement in tax revenues that can result from using a well-designed and well-protected tax stamp, then explain how to undertake creating and issuing such a tax stamp. As Project Leader for ISO 22382, the new international standard on tax stamps, he will draw on and refer to this standard which sets out best practice for tax authorities.

A second workshop will look at the core principles for the governance and operating model of secure track and trace and automated production monitoring systems.

The conference programme will take place on September 12-13 and will explore a range of issues, including the importance of digital technology in print security designs and how to maximise the potential of tax stamps and secure marking programmes. A panel of industry experts and revenue officials will also discuss how tax and customs authorities should be preparing themselves to comply with the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Protocol, which stipulates that all countries that are party to the Protocol must introduce a track and trace system for cigarettes by 2023.

Nicola Sudan, Regional Director of Reconnaissance International, said: “Combatting illicit trade remains one of the most pressing challenges for countries across the globe and this conference gives people the ideal chance to discuss ways of tackling this important issue. It’s a great opportunity for industry experts and policymakers to come together and unlock new ways of fighting fraudulent trade, protecting citizens and improving health outcomes.”

More than 150 revenue agencies (national and state governments) globally 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, anti-tampering and track and trace applications.

More information on the 2019 Tax Stamp Forum programme can be found at:

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