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Tax Stamp Standard On Track for Publication Mid-2018

21 November 2017

Following an October meeting of the ISO Working Group (WG) which is drafting ISO 22382 on tax stamps, this standard will shortly be circulated as a draft international standard (DIS) to those national standards bodies (NSBs) which are members of ISO Technical Committee 292 (TC 292). 

This is the penultimate stage in the ISO process, so if there are no significant objections raised, this means the first international tax stamp standard will be published towards the end of the second quarter of 2018.

The full title of ISO 22382 is Security and resilience – Authenticity, integrity and trust for products and documents – Guidelines for the content, security, issuance and examination of excise tax stamps. This is the new naming convention for ISO standards, ie. the inclusion of all committee pathways to the drafting of the standard. 

So 22382 is under the auspices of TC 292 (Security and resilience) where WG 4 (Authenticity, integrity and trust for products and documents), is the WG drafting this tax stamp standard. In this structure, the WG drafts the standard, and then submits it as a committee draft (CD) to all the members of its parent TC, where those members are national standards bodies. This same group then also votes on the subsequent DIS.

Interestingly, TC 292, which was established only in January 2015, has grown rapidly and now has 58 NSB members.

The latest meeting of WG 4 followed the completion of the ballot on the CD of 22382. The CD was overwhelmingly approved by the TC, although six NSBs submitted comments on the draft, so WG 4 spent nearly two days working through these comments. The outcome was an agreed proposed DIS, which was further reviewed by the WG in a Webex teleconference meeting. This DIS will now be circulated for approval by TC 292 members.

The ISO process

The approval process may take up to five or six months. Given the importance of the DIS vote in the ISO procedures, there is a two-month period for NSBs to translate the standard, before the DIS ballot is opened, and ISO allows three months for this ballot. 

As the next meeting of WG 4 will be in mid-March 2018, NSBs will be asked to submit their comments, if any, by early March, so that these can be considered and resolved at that meeting. This will mean that the standard should be on track for publication as an ISO standard two or three months later.

The draft content

The DIS covers all aspects of tax stamp content, security, issuance and examination. Guidance is given on the necessary preliminaries in commencing a tax stamp programme, including identifying stakeholders – ie. entities with an interest in tax stamp matters – as well as identifying the functions which the tax authority wants the tax stamp to fulfil, and drawing up the request for proposal (RFP). 

The standard then moves into the specifics of tax stamp construction, covering, among other elements, authentication features, tamper-evidencing and direct marking. This is followed with sections on finishing and application, supply and distribution security, serialisation and unique identifiers, examination and monitoring and assessment. 

The standard includes several annexes which give more specific information on aspects of the procurement process and tax stamp construction. So there are annexes on the RFP, design and construction, substrate materials, authentication features, printing techniques and authentication tools and their usage.

Ian Lancaster, Project Leader for ISO 22382, will give a paper explaining the rationale and content of the standard at the Tax Stamp Forum™ in May 2018.


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