A quick guide to tax stamps

In many countries, tax stamps are required on specific products such as alcohol, tobacco, medicines and more to verify that the correct amount of tax has been collected against these products and to demonstrate they are genuine products. These stamps must be applied to individual items such as bottles or cigarette packets before they are shipped.

Unfortunately, the illicit trade of such goods remains a major problem across the globe. Illicit goods not only cost the global economy £billions each year, they also cause major damage to brand reputation and even put the health of citizens at risk. Official products are subject to strict quality-control laws and regulations, but illicit goods often bypass these rules. So, not only are illegal items likely to be of inferior quality, they are also potentially harmful – particularly where products such as tobacco and medicines are concerned.

Increasingly, businesses and authorities are turning to technically advanced tax stamps to protect against the threat of counterfeiting, to secure taxes lost to criminals and to safeguard public health.

Hi-tech tax stamps

Hi-tech tax stamps work better than traditional stamps because they contain special design elements and encrypted codes that make the stamps virtually impossible to counterfeit. Enforcement officials can scan the hi-tech tax stamps to distinguish real, verified stamps from even the most sophisticated counterfeits. These stamps can also contain other encrypted information useful for tracking and tracing – to understand where a product is going and where it has been – and for enforcement purposes.

The design of a hi-tech tax stamp is achieved via a sophisticated layering of highly secure print features combining specific overt, covert and forensic elements bespoke to each country’s regulations and requirements. These security features might include fibres and inks that are only visible under certain light conditions, or sophisticated barcodes and patterns incorporated into the design.

Certainly, the technology exists to ensure that high-value and excisable goods can be distributed with full confidence, to the benefit of manufacturers, authorities and the general public alike.

For more detail on Kalamazoo’s expert approach to tax stamp production, please contact one of our specialists here.

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