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ISO 22382:2018 Security and resilience - Authenticity, integrity and trust for products and documents - Guidelines for the content, security and issuance of excise tax stamps

This International Standard provides guidance on the content, security and issuance of tax stamps (physical or non-physical) used to indicate that the required excise duty or revenue tax identified with an item has been paid and to signify that the item is legitimately on the market.

The purpose of this standard is to help governments to improve their excise tax revenues by improving the quality of their tax documents and issuance systems to make it more difficult for organised and opportunist tax fraudsters to fulfil their aims. This includes smugglers, counterfeiters and illegal producers, all of whom try to ship or distribute taxable product outside the tax system. Some of these tax-avoiding goods are stolen or diverted product, others are illicitly produced and as such are often dangerous to their consumers' health (over and above the normal health dangers of consuming tobacco or alcohol). These illicit production and distribution methods also pay no heed to health and safety or labour regulations so also endanger their workers.

Ian Lancaster (UK), the project leader responsible for the development of ISO 22382, explains:Ian Lancaster

"As an indirect tax, excise duties are a popular and effective way for national, state or provincial governments to raise revenue. As they are most commonly applied to tobacco and alcoholic consumer products they also serve the purpose of discouraging consumption of these healthendangering products. But consumers are often willing to buy cheaper, illicit (non-taxed) goods, and while many are complicit consumers some are duped in to buying fraudulent product.

It has been shown that tax stamps are an effective way to increase tax revenues through the prevention or detection of attempts to evade these taxes (smuggling, counterfeiting, illicit production and diversion). But there is significant variation between countries and revenue agencies in the security, quality and feature set used on tax stamps, with the result that some are much easier to circumvent than others."

ISO 22382:2018 - Security and resilience - Authenticity, integrity and trust for products and documents - Guidelines for the content, security, issuance and examination of excise tax stamps is available from ISO national member bodies. It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, respectively through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department.

More information: 

"New standard for excise duty stamps helps keep illegal products off the market" by Clare Naden