Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 3

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20 tobaccoasia / Issue 3, 2015 (July/August) - All dispatch and receipt operations by distri- bution chain operators should be recorded. - Information requirements for commercial documents supporting traceability events are de- veloped by the Member States and the European Commission, and, if necessary (based on the im- pact on manufacturers and distribution chain op- erators), a phased implementation approach could be adopted. Some recommendations for security features by the authors are: - The security feature itself should be manufac- tured with at least some basic serialization of the security feature itself. - The security feature package should be re- viewed every 3-5 years (minimum every 5 years) to evaluate the security elements used to create the security feature. - An economies-of-scale ceiling should be reached by consolidating production of security features for the collective EU market. - Flexibility for the label application method should be allowed to accommodate the variety of packaging types and the mix of production pro- cesses associated with tobacco products. - A mix of security features sizes should be specified for different categories of tobacco prod- ucts. - The security feature should be irremovable and therefore applied directly to the tobacco pack, under any clear wrap materials, and over the to- bacco pack opening (for both soft packs and flip- top-style packs). A widely-used track and trace system at pres- ent is Codentify, a technology which enables track- ing and tracing, product authentication, and digital tax verification, developed by the Digital Coding & Tracking Association (DCTA), whose members include British American Tobacco, Imperial To- bacco Group, Japan Tobacco International, and Philip Morris International. Codentify, which is used in more than 50 world markets, uses the application of securely-encrypted 12-digit alpha-numeric codes generated through a patented multi-layer encryption process. This code is printed directly onto cigarette packaging dur- ing the manufacturing process. All manufactur- ers, their machinery, and the products to be sold in a specific country must be registered through the system with the government of that country. A server-based central information system (CIS), controlled by the government, manages this pro- cess. This acts as an effective licensing system. The CIS establishes a link with each manufacturing facility through a server installed at every licensed manufacturing facility, which is, in turn, linked to a Codentify code generator which is installed on each individual production line within a manufac- turing facility. The codes are then printed directly onto the packaging. The information within each code can include the date and time of manufacture, machine of manufacture, brand and brand variant, pack type, pack size, destination market, price, and tax level. Once the codes are on the packaging they are counted and the data is securely communicated to the government. Also, manufacturers and gov- ernment authorities, as well as distributors, retail- ers, and consumers can easily distinguish between genuine and counterfeit products by checking the validity of the Codentify code over the phone, by SMS, email, or through a dedicated Internet plat- form. Other track and trace solutions include Alpvi- sion's Cryptoglyph technology, a digital invisible marking that can be applied to tobacco and ciga- rette packaging using standard printing processes and regular visible ink or overprint varnish while a commercially available smartphone can be used to authenticate the covert security feature. Integrated with prepress, the Cryptoglyph embeds a pseudo- random pattern of microdots (10 to 20 microns) in the imperfections of the printed material. When applying overprint varnish, the Cryptoglyph adds a pseudo-random pattern of micro-holes (40 to 80 microns) to the coating. Non-intrusive and totally invisible, these microdots or holes cover the entire surface of the packaging or label without changing its design. Digitally encoded within the artwork, AlpVi- sion Cryptoglyph can be easily integrated into any existing packaging or label printing process at zero production cost. Highly secure, AlpVision's Cryp- toglyph technology can only be deciphered with a 128-bit encryption key. SICPA's SICPATRACE is another alterna- tive. In this system, the SICPA Data Management System generates a unique reference code that is applied either on a tax stamp or directly on the product during the manufacturing process. These tax stamps contain multiple material-based and information-based security levels, including overt, semi-covert, covert, and forensic layers. Following application on the product, each code is activated by SICPA on the production line, allowing on-line production control. The codes are scanned as the products move along the supply chain. Each scan sends encrypted data to the data management sys- tem, which aggregates details of the product's path until final point-of-sale. Government enforcement field inspectors identify and trace the product with the SICPAMOBILE handheld audit device, which securely authenticates and reads the unique code in a single swipe. Audit findings are recorded in the Data Management System. If multilayered measures are implemented, there is genuine hope that the share of illicit to- bacco products can be greatly reduced, if not elimi- nated completely.

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