On the occasion of the annual High Security Printing™ Latin America (HSP) conference and exhibition – which this year takes place, live and in person, in Mexico City, from 14-16 March – the International Tax Stamp Association (ITSA) has invited regional government authorities to a pre-conference seminar to discuss best practices and lessons learned in the tracking and tracing of excise products, especially tobacco and alcohol.
As far as tobacco is concerned, by September 2023 several countries in Latin America (namely Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama, and Uruguay) will be required to implement secure tracking and tracing on all cigarette packs, in their capacity as parties to the WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
The Protocol calls for interoperable, secure systems that are entirely independent from the industries they are designed to regulate. Some countries have already implemented such systems, but others are yet to do so – with not much time left on the clock. On the other hand, other countries in the region, which are not yet party to the Protocol, have successfully implemented secure tax stamp and traceability programmes on both tobacco and alcohol products.
This seminar will present these existing programmes as best practice case studies and discuss what an optimum system, which complies with the requirements of the FCTC Protocol, should look like.
The seminar also comes at a time when some countries in Latin America, namely Mexico and Ecuador, are moving towards – or have even already implemented – systems that can potentially be manipulated by the very industries they are supposed to be regulating, which undermines the capacity of authorities to collect tax revenue.
ITSA is deeply concerned that such moves could set an unhealthy precedent for other countries to follow and looks forward to discussing its concerns and recommendations, face to face, with tax authorities during the seminar.
Following this event, attendees are invited to join conference delegates for a welcome cocktail and the opening of the HSP exhibition, as well as attend the conference itself and any related social events, over the ensuing two days.
The venue for the conference is the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Mexico City, located in the heart of upscale Polanco, an area filled with lively shopping centres and art galleries. The venue also offers spectacular views of Chapultepec Park, one of the largest city parks in the western hemisphere.
Those government authorities, or NGOs/IGOs, wishing to attend the ITSA seminar should contact Livia Eckett by Friday 28 January at the latest, at firstname.lastname@example.org, providing her with the names of the attendees from their organisation who wish to participate in this event.