Focused on the evolving field of excise stamp specification, production and implementation for alcohol and tobacco

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This event allows me to network with critical players of the industry and to speed up my learning curve

Shanty Joing, Centro Grafico



Fit for 2020: Adapting Capability for Customers, Cooperation and Collaboration

Alex Finkel

SICPA Product Security, Meyercord Revenue (US)

Thursday 12 November 09:35

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Drawing on his experience in leading and managing Meyercord Revenue through a period of upgrade and change, Alex Finkel will look at the factors that will ensure products, approaches and delivery are dynamic and evolve in line with customer expectations.

Technological opportunities continue to develop rapidly, but the time frame for implementation needs to be ever shorter. How to choose those that will deliver real value in a realistic time frame but without comprising on innovation? This is an iterative process but requires a flexible adaptive organisation.

And as options become potentially more complex, we will need also to develop new models of co-operation between partners in the industry to ensure we make the most of multiple new opportunities in a cost effective way – assuring thus our longevity.


Progress Towards an ISO Standard: Defining the Scope

Ian Lancaster

Reconnaissance International (UK)

Thursday 15 November 08:45

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Progress is being made on the new ISO standard for tax stamps – ISO 19998, Requirements for the content, security and issuance of excise tax stamps. In fact, the second full meeting of the group writing this standard will be just before the Tax Stamp Forum, although there have also been Webex meetings through the year.

One key aspect currently under discussion is to define the scope of the standard: should it be written to guide tax stamp producers, specifiers and users, or should it also extend to those applying stamps on consumer goods? And what is a tax stamp anyway – should the standard cover only physical stamps or also digital stamps; and is there such a thing as a “digital-only” stamp if a digital system means something is printed on to the taxable product?

I hope that after the meeting at the beginning of the week this paper will give some answers to these questions, as well as explain what else is being discussed as the scope and content of ISO 19998.


Key Findings of the EU Feasibility Study for Traceability and Security Feature Technical Standards

Michael Yates

Sovereign Border Solutions (South Africa)

Thursday 12 November 10:30

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In May 2015 the EU published the feasibility report for traceability and authentication of tobacco products.

This paper provides an overview of the scope of the EU feasibility study and then presents a first-hand summary of the key findings, whilst highlighting several important implications of these relevant for all countries considering the implementation and operation of such a solution in their own territory.

The paper then provides a briefing of events following publication of the final report, and the expected next steps for the implementation of this component of the EU Tobacco Products Directive.


Making Holograms an Effective Visual Security Element of Tax Stamps

Tim Sandford

Bowater Holographics (UK)

Thursday 12 November 16:20


Designing Optical Security with the Smartphone in Mind

Cary Quinn

Graphic Security Systems (US)

Friday 15 November 10:50

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This paper discusses the trends in the evolution and interplay of optical security features and authentication devices. Traditionally, mainstream optical security features are overt and authenticated by sight, typically by tilting or rotating the authentication object, and checking for the optical effects made apparent by this action. Intaglio latent images and OVD features are good examples of this set of features.

Another group of optical features relies on lenses, such as polarising, lenticular, or micro-array lenses, to reveal complex optical effects used to authenticate the documents. In some designs, optical devices are integrated with the security document using overlays or insets, thus blurring the boundary between first and second level security features. Personalised hidden images, motion threads, self-authenticated or cross-authenticated documents with security indicia or polarised images are examples of these features.

Some optical features require proprietary digital authentication devices, for example to detect if specific wavelengths are present in the reflected light when the object is illuminated with the appropriate light source.

The next big trend for the optical security features has been the adoption of smartphones and other personal digital devices. Smartphone or tablet camera apps emulate optical authentication devices, and use image processing algorithms to improve users’ experience. The main reason for the rising adoption of this method is because it makes it easy to take advantage of additional functionality inherent to the smartphone, such as geo-tagging, creating authentication records, cross-referencing authentication and track and trace information, and creating large data sets that can be used for data and trend analysis, marketing campaigns etc.

This paper introduces a new approach in designing optical security features and digital authentication. Instead of using smartphone apps for a simple emulation of analogue authentication devices and added data-processing benefits, the optical security features are designed from ground up with the smartphone capabilities in mind. In this way, a powerful synergy of optical security features and ever-better smartphones is created. Zooming into microscopic security images, adding bright colours to the monochrome optical security elements, and creating dynamic authentication animations on the fly, are some examples of the exciting possibilities of this novel approach to the optical security feature design.


The Philippines Experience

Emma V Teodoro

APO Production Unit (Philippines)

Friday 15 November 15:25

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The Philippines Tax Reform Act of 1997 mandates that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) implements the use of internal revenue stamps. Furthermore, the Philippine government is committed to comply with the provisions of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Since 2014, the Philippines has been implementing the Internal Revenue Stamp Integrated System (IRSIS), a web-based application that manages the ordering, production, distribution, affixing and tracking of revenue stamps.

This paper discusses the different features and functionalities of IRSIS. The system interfaces with a printing system that handles printing of overt and covert security features and personalisation of each stamp as well as the government’s excise tax payment system.

With over 2 billion stamps produced to date, IRSIS has track and trace capability with information on origin of cigarette packs, product type, date ordered, etc. It tracks and traces the status of a particular stamp (whether it has been affixed and released, spoiled, etc.). This is used by BIR field personnel to verify the excise tax that should have been paid for per stamp affixed on cigarette pack.

Authenticity of cigarette products can be properly verified by scanning the QR code printed on each tax stamp and checking its authenticity using the IRSIS online portal.

The paper discusses the experience of various stakeholders in implementing the tax stamp on cigarettes nationwide.

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