A Token of Consensus
Sergei Kislukhin, Director of the State Stamps Department of the Finance Ministry, noted that control stamps are designed to confirm that the product is sold legally with all the taxes and duties paid. The system was introduced in 2005 to accomplish a very important goal, namely to prevent the sales of illegal products. Head of the Office for Digital Control over Merchandise Sales of the Tax and Duties Ministry Olga Tarakanova noted that the idea to use control and identification stamps emerged in the early 2000s when large amounts of unregistered merchandise were imported into Belarus. The merchandise was sold, including via official retail outlets, without any taxes paid. Both the state budget and legally operating manufacturers were unhappy since the latter were unable to beat grey market prices.
Olga Tarakanova explained: “Our experience of using control and identification stamps suggests that positive effect can be expected within a year or two. For instance, when beer stamps were introduced in 2005, beer import tripled right away. When juice