Case Studies

Country Profiles






Fuel Marking

Illicit Trade



New Programmes













Track and Trace

Track and Trace Working Group for FCTC Protocol Launches in Panama

This month, in Panama, the first meeting of a working group set up by the parties to the WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products was held, with a focus on the tracking and tracing, global information-sharing focal point and unique ID requirements of the Protocol.

FCTC - December 9, 2019 7 a.m.

Pakistan Tender Award Faces Multiple Legal Challenges in High Court

The Pakistan tender award for a tax stamp, electronic monitoring and track and trace system for tobacco products (announced in last month’s Tax Stamp & Traceability News™), has been challenged in the Islamabad and Karachi high courts, with a number of bidders filing formal complaints with regard to the allegedly spurious manner in which their bids were evaluated.

Tenders - December 9, 2019 7 a.m.

SICPA Signs Cooperation Agreement with Kazakh Telecoms Company

During a Kazakh-Swiss roundtable business forum, held on 22 November in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan (and part of the official visit of Swiss President Ueli Maurer to the country), a cooperation agreement was signed between the Swiss company SICPA SA and Transtelecom JSC – one of the leading information and telecom service providers in Kazakhstan.

Organisations - December 9, 2019 7 a.m.

SICPA Launches its ‘Brightest Star’

If you ask an astronomer what a ‘quasar’ is, they’ll tell you it’s an extremely bright celestial object emitting an immense amount of energy in the form of, say, light or infrared radiation, from a compact source. Recently, SICPA launched its own ‘brightest star’ – QUAZAR® – which it describes as an optical security technology offering vibrant colours and engaging visible effects that are quick and easy for end users to authenticate, without the need for prior training.

Technology - December 9, 2019 7 a.m.

Human and/or Digital Interrogation of Tax Stamps

An intriguing and important discussion regarding the relative role of human senses and digital methods in authentication has been sparked by two contrasting presentations at the recent Tax Stamp Forum™. Ian Lancaster, who presented one of those papers, here describes the contrasting presentations and the follow-up discussion.

Technology - November 30, 2019 7 a.m.

How Countries Around the World Charge Excise Taxes

Excise taxes are levied on the sale and use of certain products and services. They are charged directly from businesses and then the costs are passed on to consumers to some extent, often in an obscure way. Like other taxes based on income and consumption, excise taxes are designed to generate substantial revenue for governments. What is unique about them, however, is that they strategically target specific ‘necessities’ deemed harmful to health and/or the environment.

Tax - November 7, 2019 7 a.m.

INCM - Art to Machine Readable Coding

The Portuguese Mint and Official Printing Office, INCM SA, in a presentation by Nuno Gonçalves at the recent Tax Stamp Forum™ in Budapest, described its new coding system, but unlike other such systems, this one, UNIQODE®, is artistically as well as technically innovative. (Patents are pending.)

Technology - November 7, 2019 7 a.m.

Graphi Mecc’s Serialisation Equipment Offerings

Italian equipment manufacturer Graphi Mecc Group (GMG), based in Verona, has devoted many years since its founding in 1985 to devising the most fool-proof way to produce encoded unique serial numbers, ensuring that sequences are correct, no numbers are skipped or duplicated and the encoding in a variety of formats is accurate.

Organisations - November 7, 2019 7 a.m.

The SARS Tender: Can an Agency in Turmoil be Both Agile and Prudent?

At the recent Tax Stamp Forum™ in Budapest one question that kept coming up was: what is the status of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) tender for a tax stamp or secure marking solution for tobacco products? (The current SARS tender has already been extended twice, with the closing date for submissions now set for 31 October 2019.)

Tenders - September 25, 2019 8 a.m.