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Track and Trace

Guam Tax Stamp Procurement Fails

The procurement of cigarette tax stamps for the US island territory of Guam has gone back to square one, as only one bid was received for supplying the stamps, and that bid was rejected for not meeting all the requirements, advised Marie Lizama, Deputy Director at the Department of Revenue and Taxation (DRT).

Country Profiles - December 20, 2021 midnight

Kenya Rolls Out New Generation Tax Stamps

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has rolled out a new generation of serialised tax stamps for excisable goods as part of its strategy to continuously review and improve the security features of the stamps.

Country Profiles - December 20, 2021 midnight

2021 – A Year in Review

No review of 2021 would be complete without mention of the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic effect it has had on almost everything – including illicit trade.

Editorials - December 20, 2021 midnight

New Report Explores Printing Beyond Colour

Many technologies and features with their roots in commercial printing have made, and continue to make, a substantial contribution to secure document production. However, these technologies have for the most part been concerned with producing visual colours, perceived by the unaided eye as conventional colour printing.

Reports - December 17, 2021 midnight

Chile’s Tobacco Traceability System: the Latest Numbers

In 2011, Chile began seriously considering implementing a tax stamp and traceability programme, when Michel Jorratt, a member of the Chilean tax authority, Servicio de Impuestos Internos (SII), published a study estimating that over $500 million were being evaded yearly in cigarette tax in Chile.

Free - November 30, 2021 midnight

Pakistan Extends Tax Stamps to Sugar Mills

Following the roll-out of secure track and trace on domestically manufactured tobacco products, Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has now extended the system to the next sector ‘on its list’: sugar.

Country Profiles - November 30, 2021 midnight

California’s Growing Illicit Cannabis Problem

The legalization of cannabis provides tremendous opportunities, not only for legitimate cannabis growers, distributors, and dispensaries, but also for criminals and criminal networks looking to establish or expand illegal operations.

Cannabis - November 30, 2021 midnight

News in Brief

Metrc, the leading provider of cannabis regulatory systems in the United States, has announced a new contract with the US territory of Guam. This will be Metrc’s first client in the eastern hemisphere and its 17th government contract for a track and trace system.

TSTN - November 30, 2021 midnight

ITSA Calls For EU TPD Improvements

The International Tax Stamp Association (ITSA) is calling for improvements to a directive that controls the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products in the European Union.

ITSA - November 12, 2021 midnight

Recycling Technology – A Traceability Opportunity?

The purpose of this article is to outline the reasons we should look at the technologies being deployed for recycling as a potential opportunity. We will look at three technologies in various states of development and set them in context of our industry.

Technology - October 29, 2021 midnight

New Tax Stamp Programmes Announced

A number of new tax stamp launches have been reported recently in the media. On 1 January 2022, Bulgaria will introduce new stamps on tobacco products, with stamps for bottled alcohol beverages following three months later.

New Programmes - October 28, 2021 midnight

Cannabis Laws in Latin America

In the July 2021 issue of Tax Stamp & Traceability News™, an article discussed the legal issues surrounding cannabis (or marijuana to those of us who are a little older) in the United States, where many states have already put in place legislation to track and trace the illegal distribution of cannabis and protect tax revenues.

Cannabis - October 28, 2021 midnight

News in Brief

A new nationwide study among 2,000 US adults, commissioned by SICPA North America and conducted online by the Harris Poll, shows broad support for securely labelling cannabis products to verify their legitimacy and safety in the marketplace.

TSTN - October 28, 2021 midnight

VDS Gains Wider Acceptance on Documents and Objects

The visible digital seal technology, originally adopted by countries for travel document verification, is now gaining wider international acceptance as an affordable and efficient solution outside of the travel domain – including on tax stamps.

Authentication - October 15, 2021 midnight

UNICRI Report on Anti-Illicit Trade Technologies

The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) has released its ‘Technology and Security: Countering Criminal Infiltrations in the Legitimate Supply Chain’ report.

Reports - October 2, 2021 midnight

Cannabis In The News

Nasdaq-listed VerifyMe, which uses physical, digital and online technology to create customised authentication, track and trace and customer engagement solutions, recently announced an initial order for 4 million VerifyMe technology-enabled labels from a new cannabis-related client.

Cannabis - October 1, 2021 midnight

De La Rue Announces Upgrade to Malta Site

De La Rue recently announced a major investment to expand its existing facilities in Malta, in order to create a 29,000m2 manufacturing site. The expansion will double De La Rue Authentication’s manufacturing capacity for tax stamps and brand protection labels.

Authentication - October 1, 2021 midnight

Tanzania’s Tax Stamp Success

The Tanzanian Parliamentary Budget Committee has commended the performance of the country’s tax stamp programme and has called for it to be extended to more products.

Country Profiles - October 1, 2021 midnight

Technology, Without Enforcement, is Not Enough

Lately, we’ve been hearing of a growing number of companies that are offering, or expanding on, their market surveillance and product intelligence services as a way of helping enforcement officials and brand owners to quickly identify illicit trade activity in particular markets, and to act upon these activities before it is too late.

Technology - October 1, 2021 midnight

Another Traceability System for Russia… But No Product Marking Required

In July, Russia’s new National Product Traceability System (NPTS) transitioned from being experimental and voluntary, to a mandatory scheme for businesses dealing in certain types of products. The new scheme was implemented alongside the already existing Chestny ZNAK (‘honest mark’) product traceability system, introduced in 2019.

Track and Trace - September 23, 2021 midnight

SEATCA Urges Southeast Asian Nations to Improve Tobacco Tax Policy

Four countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam – could have collected an additional $4.81 billion in tax revenue over the last two years and prevented more than 1.3 million premature deaths, if they had had an effective tobacco tax policy in place, claims a recent study released by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA).

Tax - September 16, 2021 midnight

Uttar Pradesh’s Ongoing Fight with Illicit Liquor: Two Years of Using Plain Barcode Label

In June, in an unfortunate hooch tragedy (hooch is another word for moonshine – or illicit liquor), more than 100 people lost their lives in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Following the incident, a police raid raised concerns that the state excise policy was inadequate and needed reviewing, especially in relation to the use of tax stamps as an important anti-counterfeiting tool.

Alcohol-Beverages - September 9, 2021 midnight

Malta – Steady Does It

Malta is showing the world how to address the complex problem of illicit tobacco – ie. by adopting a steady and consistent approach.

Country Profiles - August 27, 2021 midnight

Pan-Latin American Analysis: Part II

In last month’s Tax Stamp & Traceability News™, we published the first of a two-part review of tax stamps and traceability programmes in Latin America. This month, we give a brief update on Central American countries, together with more in-depth coverage of Costa Rica and Ecuador, where there have been several key developments.

Country Profiles - August 27, 2021 midnight

Pakistan Gets Green Light to Implement Track & Trace

The Sindh High Court in Pakistan has reversed a stay order imposed earlier this year on a licence agreement issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for a track and trace system on local and imported tobacco, cement, sugar and fertiliser.

Track and Trace - August 26, 2021 midnight

Illicit Tobacco Trade ‘Down Under’ Goes Local

In this article, we examine the illicit tobacco trade in Australia and how it is continuing to evolve. We look at what continues to drive smokers to seek illicit tobacco, but also what criminal networks did when looking to source and traffic illicit tobacco products into Australia during the pandemic.

Country Profiles - August 19, 2021 midnight

Bahrain and Qatar to Start Using Tax Stamps for First Time

Bahrain’s National Bureau for Revenue (NBR) and the General Tax Authority (GTA) of Qatar have recently announced the signature of new contracts with De La Rue for the provision of national digital tax stamp and traceability programmes on a number of excise goods.

Country Profiles - August 12, 2021 midnight

Draft US Bill Released to Legalise Cannabis at Federal Level

The first draft of a long-anticipated US senate bill to federally legalise marijuana has been released. While cannabis is legal for medical or adult-use in 36 US states and four territories, at federal level it is still classified as an illegal, Schedule I drug.

Cannabis - July 28, 2021 midnight

Does It Make Sense to Levy Excise Tax on Telecom Services?

The recent news that Nigeria is considering the introduction of excise tax on telecommunication airtime charges, in a bid to raise additional revenues, has prompted stakeholders to question whether excise taxes are actually appropriate for this sector.

Free - July 28, 2021 midnight

ZEISER Acquires Track and Trace Technology

The German company ZEISER, which provides impact and non-impact serialisation solutions and services to the security printing industry, has acquired the track and trace software solutions of Inspectron, a global technology provider of document inspection and track and trace systems for security printers.

Track and Trace - July 28, 2021 midnight

New Traffic Light Security Ink from GSI

Gleitsmann Security Inks (GSI) has launched what it terms the ‘world’s first traffic light for banknotes’, in the form of mouveGSI, a unique security feature that will also help safeguard security documents such as tax stamps using luminescent colour effects.

Authentication - July 8, 2021 midnight

New Tenders Emphasise Need for Traceability on Multiple Products

Over the past few months, a number of interesting tenders for tax stamps and track and trace systems have been issued by various revenue authorities across the world. Most of these tenders are characterised by two things: 1) their need for extensive systems that cover physical tax stamps, secure track and trace, and even production line monitoring; 2) their need for systems that cover a wide range of products.

Tenders - June 30, 2021 midnight

ODDS Conference – Call for Papers

The call for papers for Optical & Digital Document Security™ (ODDS) conference, the new security technology ‘super-event’, is now available from the event website. Organised by Reconnaissance International, this conference – to be held in Vienna, Austria, 17-19 January 2022 – brings together Reconnaissance’s two successful technical conferences to cover the key security and protection topics that have become more pressing in our digital age.

Events - June 29, 2021 midnight

Cigarettes Flagged as Illicit by Cloned ID Number, Not by Security Label

In France and the UK, there have been recent news stories of cigarette packs identified in the market as illicit because they were all carrying the same ID number (when this number should in fact be unique to each pack). What was not mentioned in these reports, however, was whether or not the packs were carrying authentication labels, which they are obliged to do under the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

Illicit Trade - June 29, 2021 midnight

Uganda Tax Stamp Programme Smashes Performance Targets

Following the 2019 launch of its tax stamp and traceability programme on locally manufactured and imported beer, spirits, wine, soda, mineral water and tobacco products, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has far exceeded some of the key performance targets set for the programme.

Country Profiles - June 29, 2021 midnight

The Challenges of Economic Informality During COVID-19

The growth of informal economic activity has become a challenge throughout the Latin American region. To address this, the Swiss-Chilean Chamber of Commerce recently held a webinar to discuss the challenges of informality (in employment, government, taxation), as well as the actions that policymakers, in the region and elsewhere, could take to halt an increasing trend resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free - June 9, 2021 midnight

CCL Design Partners with iTRACE Technologies

CCL Design has announced a partnership with iTRACE Technologies, a leading provider of supply chain security applications for anti-grey and anti-counterfeit markets. The partnership will integrate the iTRACE 2DMI® smartphone authentication capability with CCL Design’s HP Indigo-based security label production.

Authentication - May 26, 2021 midnight

Illicit Tobacco Trade in Europe Goes Local

Europol’s Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2021 (SOCTA-21) provides a detailed account of the dramatic impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on organized crime, illicit markets in general and the illicit tobacco market in the EU in particular.

Free - May 26, 2021 midnight

The Global Use of Tax Stamps – Asia and Australasia

In the January issue of Tax Stamp & Traceability News™, we launched a new series on the use of tax stamps and associated track and trace systems in different regions of the world, starting with Africa. This month, we shift the focus to Asia and Australasia.

Country Profiles - May 26, 2021 midnight

YPB Group Launches World’s First Smartphone-Readable Tracers

The Australian brand protection and consumer engagement solutions provider YPB Group has launched MotifMicro™, its forensic, smartphone-readable, anti-counterfeit technology for high-volume applications, which will provide individualised markers for products and documents.

Authentication - May 20, 2021 midnight

Key Questions Raised at Tax Stamp Webinar

In April, Reconnaissance International held a one-hour webinar to present its new review 'Tax Stamps & Traceability: A Market Analysis and Technical Update' to over 200 registrants. The co-editor of the review, Nicola Sudan, was joined by its two main contributors: Michael Eads (ME) of Sovereign Border Solutions, and Richard Jotcham (RJ) of Axess Technologies.

Events - May 13, 2021 midnight

Georgia Opens Invitation for Expression of Interest

Georgia has a remarkably successful tobacco tax stamp programme which has been reported on in Tax Stamp & Traceability News™ (TSTN). Here we interview two managers from the Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia (GRS), Levan Dgebuadze, head of the Service Department, and Samson Uridia, head of the International Relations Department, to find out more about it.

Interviews - May 1, 2021 midnight

Latest Tax Stamp and Traceability Developments in Nepal

Nepal has been using excise stamps (hereinafter referred to as tax stamps) for more than two decades now, with the stamps effectively contributing to government tax revenue. Indeed, every year, the Nepalese government generates 57 billion Nepalese rupees ($477 million) from excise duty, value-added tax, and health hazard tax imposed on cigarettes and alcohol.

Country Profiles - April 30, 2021 midnight

Is Excise Tax on Soft Drinks a Good Substitute for Income Tax?

In a March article published by the Tax Foundation, Ulrik Boesen, Senior Policy Analyst, Excise Taxes, at the foundation’s Center for State Tax Policy examined how US state lawmakers are considering increasing excise taxes on soft drinks to offset decreases in income tax.

Alcohol-Beverages - April 30, 2021 midnight

Concerns with Tender Requirements

An ongoing issue of concern to the tax stamp world has recently resurfaced. The issue refers to the recent release of tax stamp tender specifications for Oman, which appear to eliminate all but a seemingly preselected supplier, thereby rendering what should be a competitive tender almost non-competitive.

Tenders - April 30, 2021 midnight

Ontario Issues RFI for Tracking Raw Leaf Tobacco

In the July 2016 issue of Tax Stamp News™, Sven Bergmann of Venture Global Consulting covered a report by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute – a conservative policy think tank in Ottawa, Canada – on the illicit tobacco trade in Canada.

Illicit Trade - April 22, 2021 midnight

Uganda Extends Tax Stamps to Cement and Sugar

On 1 April, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) will launch its ‘Digital Tax Stamps’ (DTS) programme on cement and sugar. Initially introduced at the end of 2019 on domestic and imported beer, spirits, wine, soda, mineral water and tobacco products, the programme resulted in a 270% increase in the number of active taxpayers in the country.

Country Profiles - March 31, 2021 midnight

Philippines to Remove Tax Stamp Exemption on Exports

The Philippines Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has announced it will reverse the rules exempting export cigarettes from carrying tax stamps, after a legislator raised concerns that exports were entering the market as tax-free smuggled goods.

Illicit Trade - March 31, 2021 midnight

Webinar on Non-Cloneable Codes Raises Contentious Questions

A recent webinar, entitled ‘How Non-Cloneable Codes Enable Supply Chain Automation and Credible Traceability,’ has raised contentious questions with regard to the use of physical security features and unique identifying codes as authentication tools.

Track and Trace - March 10, 2021 midnight

FII Institute Prepares to Combat Counterfeit and Illicit Trade in Africa

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute – which describes itself as ‘a new generation of global not-for-profit foundation that ensures the world's brightest ideas find their way to materialise, scale and create positive sustainable impact on humanity’ – has entered into an agreement to combat counterfeit and illicit trade in Africa.

Organisations - March 4, 2021 midnight

Trinidad and Tobago Clamps Down on Illicit Trade

Trinidad and Tobago’s Trade Minister, Paula Gopee-Scoon, has announced the development of an action plan, in collaboration with key trade-related agencies and the private sector, to address the problem of illicit trade, particularly in regard to tobacco and alcohol imports, reports

Country Profiles - March 4, 2021 midnight

Tobacco Track and Trace in Pakistan – Mission Impossible

First, we hear that the Pakistan Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is on the point of awarding a track and trace contract for tobacco, sugar, cement, fertiliser and beverages to the highest scoring bidder in its latest tender. Then in the next breath, we learn that complaints have been received against the FBR over anomalies in the bid evaluation process.

Country Profiles - March 4, 2021 midnight

OneAgrix Announces Strategic Partnership with INEXTO

OneAgrix, an agriculture and halal food B2B e-commerce platform, and Switzerland-headquartered INEXTO – a cloud-based global tracking systems and brand protection solutions provider – have strategically partnered to facilitate a digital traceability solution for the fast-growing global halal industry.

Track and Trace - March 4, 2021 midnight

UCT Tobacco Taxation E-Library a World First

A comprehensive new e-library focusing on tobacco taxation and illicit trade has been launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Knowledge Hub at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Research Unit on the Economics of Excisable Products (REEP). A project two-and-a-half-years in the making, it is set to be a valuable resource for students, researchers and policymakers across the globe.

Tobacco - March 4, 2021 midnight

What Does the Future Hold for Traceability in Europe?

The European Union represents the world’s first attempt at implementation of wide-scale, multi-country tobacco traceability and the largest iteration of the FCTC Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (the Protocol) in action. The implications in relation to one of the world’s largest tobacco market’s interpretation and implementation of the Protocol, as well as the benefits that traceability can provide in terms of combatting illicit trade, has the significant potential to influence tobacco traceability the world over.

Free - February 24, 2021 midnight

The Global Use of Tax Stamps – Middle East

In last month’s Tax Stamp & Traceability News™, we launched a new series on the use of tax stamps and associated track and trace systems in different regions of the world, starting with Africa. This month, we shift the focus to the Middle East.

Country Profiles - February 11, 2021 midnight

Drivers for Smart Packaging

Smart packaging is an area that is pertinent to the interests of our community. It has links to track and trace, product labelling and interaction with the brand through technology. The aim of this article is to take a wider look at trends in smart packaging and consider some of the potential implications for tax stamps and track and trace solutions.

Technology - February 4, 2021 midnight

Delhi Releases High-Security Liquor Labels for Track and Trace

Remember when we wrote a while back in Tax Stamp & Traceability News™ about the very plain, unsecured, serialised barcode label that had been introduced in Delhi, India to track and trace spirits, wine and beer products between distillery and final retailer (TSN January 2016)?

Alcohol-Beverages - January 28, 2021 midnight

Authenticating Whisky Without Touching a Drop

The Gaelic word ‘whisky’ can roughly be translated into English as ‘water’ and so it comes as no surprise that sales of the golden liquid are worth roughly £5 billion annually to Scotland’s economy. As with many premium products, whisky is a favourite target for counterfeiters, which not only takes income away from the legitimate brand owner but deprives revenue authorities of much needed taxes.

Alcohol-Beverages - January 27, 2021 midnight

Liberia Begins Month-Long Workshop on Tax Stamp Implementation

​At the beginning of January, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), began a month-long training workshop on the procedures and processes leading to the implementation of excise tax stamps on several products sold on the Liberian market, reports LRA on its Facebook page.

Country Profiles - January 27, 2021 midnight

Cannabis Global Integrates Metrc API into Transport System

Cannabis Global, Inc, a provider of what it calls disruptive cannabis and hemp-related technologies, has announced an enhancement to its Comply Bag™ Cannabis Transport System, in the shape of a fully integrated application that will allow shippers and receivers to track, monitor and confirm important aspects of cannabis shipments.

Cannabis - January 27, 2021 midnight

A Post-COVID Vision, by Dr Alan Hodgson

The time has now come for us to be considering the changes that the current pandemic will make to our industry. The purpose of this article is to look at the reshaping of one particular technology with the intention of prompting a similar appraisal of others. It is does not attempt to identify all the solutions but to at least propose a framework for the questions.

Free - January 27, 2021 midnight

The Global Use of Tax Stamps – Africa

We kick off 2021 with a new series on the use of tax stamps and their associated track and trace systems in different regions of the world – starting with Africa. The series provides a summary of the quantitative and qualitative analysis of tax stamp usage, together with country profiles, which formed a significant part of Reconnaissance’s recently released report ‘Tax Stamps & Traceability: A Market Analysis and Technical Update’.

Country Profiles - January 8, 2021 midnight