2023 – An Exciting Year for Revenue Stamps

6 Jan 2023 | Press Releases

By Gerben van Wijk, Chairman, ITSA

Although it is impossible to predict the future, it is clear that the industry has a shared expectation for 2023 when it comes to revenue stamps: growth!

Over the past years, several case studies have shown that the introduction of a holistic revenue stamp scheme leads to increased revenues for a country which, in the current economic times, should be welcomed by anyone. At the same time, revenue stamps can help the general public to distinguish genuine products from counterfeits.

Another reason for growth is that a large number of governments are looking to implement revenue stamps on products other than the usual alcohol products and cigarettes. Carbonated drinks and water have been among the new products to be marked.

This new variety of products presents several challenges to revenue stamp providers and product manufacturers. The days of the proverbial, one-size stamp fits all are already well behind us, but we will see an even wider variety of stamps and other ways to mark a product in the coming years.

Given that, in the opinion of the International Tax Stamp Association (ITSA), the revenue mark represents more than just a way to collect taxes, we still strongly believe that this mark should be in the form of an applied stamp that is secured according to ISO 22382 guidance standards.

The stamp should carry both overt and covert security features as well as the necessary codes.

The challenge will be to create stamps (or marks) that have the right level of security and can be applied to a wide variety of products.

Given the, often, limited size of the stamp or mark, we expect to see an increase in features that work both for the general public and revenue inspectors, such as those comprising visible and invisible barcodes printed on top of each other.

Also, the pressure will be on for revenue authorities to pick a solution out of a pretty crowded arena of suppliers. It is of the highest importance that procurement is carried out transparently and ethically. The increase in news articles about bribery and corruption, in countries working on the implementation of a revenue scheme, is alarming.

Fair competition and a clearly and openly written tender can avoid this unrest. What we should want to avoid as an industry is that revenue authorities forego on implementing a revenue scheme out of a fear of triggering such unrest.

One of ITSA’s goals is to support any revenue authority looking to implement a revenue scheme and advise them on how to do this in a holistic, transparent, and ethical way. This is also one of the reasons why we have opened a special membership category for revenue authorities, giving them access to a database of information and the possibility to interact with suppliers in a neutral environment.

As I said at the start, 2023 promises to be an exciting year. At ITSA we will be working on further promoting the benefits of revenue stamps and bringing together the industry, with the highlight being the Tax Stamp and Traceability Forum™ in Tbilisi, Georgia, in Autumn. I very much look forward to seeing you all there!