International customs IT conference showcases tax stamps

CUSTOMS officials coming together for an international IT conference will discover more about how tax stamp programmes can deliver effective authentication and track and track solutions in the battle against illicit trade.

Speaking at the World Customs Organisation (WCO) IT Conference and Exhibition in Dakar, Senegal, the International Tax Stamp Association’s Christine Macqueen will describe how tax stamps offer a highly secure, standardised, and cost-effective solution to combat the illicit trade in goods, notably tobacco and alcohol.

The Conference* (June 1 – 3) provides a platform for bringing together key partners from customs administrations, relevant agencies and ministries, regional economic communities, private sector, international organisations, development partners and academia.

Christine Macqueen says: “At WCO, delegates will see for themselves the critical and growing role tax stamps can play in the global customs’ battle to defeat the alcohol and tobacco counterfeiters and fraudsters.

“The event comes as a timely reminder that authorities must ramp-up their investment in added value security solutions if counterfeiting and the trade in illicit goods across the EU, Asia and in North America, among other global hotspots is to be checked, let alone stopped.”

Over 250 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 and anti-tampering applications.

Christine Macqueen will recommend in her presentation that for a track and trace system to be truly global, those involved should be able to have access to the data contained in, or linked to codes issued by other parties.

She will also stress the pressing need to create globally harmonised standards and to use accepted international customs, revenue, law enforcement and legal terms.

“The findings of the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) research report**, which were broadly welcomed by ITSA, strengthen the case for the ISO 19998 tax stamp standard to consider tax stamps for tax collection, authentication and supply chain control rather than as tools for tax collection only.”

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).

*More about WCO IT Conference and Exhibition at

**The UN report is available at

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