GS1 standards empower Digital Tax Stamps to regulate tobacco trade in the UAE

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) of the United Arab Emirates introduced Digital Tax Stamps (DTS) in 2019 to regulate the trade of tobacco products within the country in its aim to control and measure excisable goods, and chose to adopt GS1 standards to achieve their goals for traceability. UAE is one of the first countries globally to implement traceability to detect and control the distribution of tobacco products.

GS1’s global standards for identification, capturing, and data sharing enable transparency, efficiency in supply chain, interoperability, and an enhanced understanding of the level of regulatory compliance. In addition, GS1 UAE has provided consultations with different stakeholders involved in this project.

The FTA is utilizing the GS1 system of standards that include Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), Serialized Global Trade Item Number (SGTIN), Global Location Number (GLN), Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC), and Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI). The FTA is also leveraging the Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) for the tracking of events through the supply chain. The FTA requirements include the unique identification of the unit pack, the carton, the master case, and the logistic unit. The serialized identification for the carton and master case is found through the SGTIN, and identification for the logistic unit is obtained through the SSCC. Manufacturers, importers, and distributors are required to obtain a GLN for their identification as the operator or legal entity and their locations within the supply chain. The GIAI can be used to identify production lines. The FTA also require GS1 barcodes for the capturing of the necessary data, specifically the GS1 DataMatrix or GS1-128 for the carton and master case, and the GS1-128 for the logistic unit.

The Federal Tax Authority has also chosen to use BrandSync, GS1 UAE’s subsidiary, as the online portal on which all products are to be registered with the FTA as part of their scheme to regulate the consumption of excisable products sold in the UAE. These excisable products include tobacco and tobacco products, electronic smoking devices and the liquids used in these, sweetened drinks, carbonated drinks and energy drinks.