The WHO estimates that 25% of the alcohol consumed worldwide is unrecorded- counterfeit or illegal. A similar trend is witnessed in the tobacco industry, where the sale of illegal cigarettes is on the rise. A trade report claims that consumption of legal cigarettes is only 10% in India. Fake liquor & tobacco products have resulted in tax evasions, business losses, and tragic hooch tragedies.

Tax stamps play an important role in excise collection, prevention of duplication, and aversion of hooch incidents.

What are tax stamps?

Tax stamps are physical packaging solutions to determine if tax has been paid on the product or not. Generally, they are used on liquor bottles and packs of cigarettes. Excise officials authenticate the barcodes/QR codes to check the excise collection status of every single product unit. However, tax stamps also prevent counterfeiting and help track the products in the supply chain.

In India, tax stamps were introduced in the 1980s. Initially, tax stamps were paper-based with serial numbers and holographic strips. Now along with paper-based material, these stamps are also made of polyester-based materials with QR codes printed on them.


Tax stamps as a tool for excise collection for the government

The primary role of tax or revenue stamps is excise collection. The serial number & barcode printed on these tax stamps help in determining if tax has been paid on the product or is still due. It helps in tax evasions and bootlegging. Governments worldwide get huge revenue from the sale of liquor products that help in funding welfare schemes for the masses.


“Tax stamps are used by regulators in many countries globally in an attempt to protect alcohol tax revenues.”


How do tax stamps help liquor companies?

The demand for liquor products has increased manifold. Counterfeiters are utilizing this opportunity to sell fake versions of liquor brands in the market. According to ASPA counterfeiting in the liquor industry is highest compared to other sectors. Famous liquor brands are losing huge profits to cheap fake versions of their products.

Tax stamps with holography and QR codes can help to stop this to a large extent and save the profits of companies. Tax stamps with serialization and QR codes help instant product authentication, inventory management, product tracking and tracing across the supply chain. Of late, tax stamps come along with such smart digital features that increase the supply chain visibility of brand owners.


“Tax stamps – just like banknotes – require the highest levels of security that aid different stakeholders in authenticating the product and the stamp.”

How do tax stamps secure end-consumers?

One of the major concerns of fake liquor is poisoning and death. There are countless cases of hooch tragedies reported from across India. Counterfeited liquor has highly toxic substances. Poor regulations, poverty, and lack of awareness are major factors for the sales of such illegal liquor products. Tax stamps affixed to the bottle not just prevent adulteration but also help in determining the genuineness of the product. Products that come along with tax stamps are safe for consumption as they are free from the hands of counterfeiters and criminals.


Holostik has been at the forefront of fighting illicit liquor and has been providing cutting-edge tax stamps to excise authorities of different states in India. We have received words of appreciation and recognition from top-notch government officials for rendering supreme tax stamps and associated services.

To know more about our tax stamps and other products, call us on +91-9905124124 or drop us a mail at

security hologram

Leave Comment