Three companies have won prestigious new awards for their outstanding achievement in the design, innovation and implementation of tax stamp programmes.

The winners and runners-up were announced in Vienna during the tax stamp industry’s annual conference, the Tax Stamp Forum. Each of the awards recognises the important role that tax stamp programmes play in combating illicit trade and protecting tax revenues.

The Winners

The 2013 winners were:

  • Tailleres de Impresion de Estampillas y Valores –
    Winner of the Best Design Award for Mexico’s new liquor and spirits tax stamps
  • Inksure Technologies –
    Winner of the Best New Innovation Award for ‘Smart marks’ for cultural items in Turkey
  • The Federal State Unitary Enterprise ‘CenterInform’ –
    Winner of the Best Tax Stamp Programme Awardfor the EGAIS system

Runners-up were:

  • AM-PG Group (Best Innovation)
  • Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT) (Best Design)
  • Garsu Pasaulis (Best Design)
  • Mauritius Revenue Authority (Best Programme)
  • Opalux (Best Innovation)
  • Opsec and Xerox (Best Innovation)
  • SICPA and Canadian Bank Note Co (Best Programme)

Cook County Department of Revenue received a Special Commendation Award  for the cigarette rewards program.

Special industry awards were further presented to the World Health Organisation and SICPA for the outstanding contribution made by these organisations in the prevention of illicit trade.

The Winning Projects

The Best New Innovation Award was presented to Inksure Technologies for their SmartSure tax stamp programme. This protects 300,000 million items each year in Turkey, such as books and CDs, using a smartphone app to authenticate covert holographic features as well as a track and trace QR-code. This enables manufacturers of cultural items to perform counterfeit inspections and check the security of their supply chains.

The Best Programme Award covers the introduction of new or upgrades to existing tax stamp programmes. The 2013 award was won by the developer and system integrator Center-Inform for the EGAIS system, which is used to control the production and distribution of spirits in Russia. The judges were impressed by the use of a marking system with strong database systems that fully exploits the data in a sophisticated and effective tax stamp and track and trace programme.

A Special Commendation Award was made to Cook County Department of Revenue, USA for their use of an innovative programme that rewards members of the public for reporting cases of illicit or counterfeit cigarettes. This proactive stance against cigarette tax evasion has resulted in nearly one in five investigations leading to the confiscation of contraband.

Two Special Industry Awards recognised the outstanding contribution made by in the prevention of illicit trade. The World Health Organisation was the first organisation in the world to introduce a global health treaty (the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) and more recently it has developed a protocol for the introduction of trace and trace systems for cigarettes. As a pioneer of tax stamp solutions, SICPA has made a major contribution to the fiscal verification, product authentication and supply chain security through its SICPATRACE technology which benefits countries and states including California, Massachusetts, Brazil and Turkey.