I have just had another look at the official governemt website for this which is linked at the top of the WM page.
The label has two different formats, one incorporated into the back label, thus printed as part of the back label, a second is a separate sticky label which may be stuck onto existing back labels without changing them.
"The duty stamp is a 25mm diameter roundel and will be available in two formats:
a self-adhesive freestanding stamp available for direct application to bottles by hand or by using machinery (Type A);
a stamp incorporated in bottle labels bearing a trademark (Type B)"
I am still rather confused by all this because the article also states "For sale in the UK" and also gives the reason as "To combat fraud".
This implies that it is a measure to prevent or control the following:
1. Fake bottles being sold in the UK.
But, if someone can reproduce good enough labels to convince people that they are buying a genuine Scottish whisky, then I am sure reproduction of this little stamp will be no problem too!
2. Payment of Duty.
Any bottle with this stamp effectively proves that duty has been paid.
Now, this is where I have some problems with my understanding. I know many residents of the UK still don't believe this, or perhaps don't WANT to believe it, but the UK is an integral part of the EU and there is no longer any concept of "Duty" or "Duty Free" between EU countries.
Yes, I know individual countries each have their own alcohol or spirits duties, but my problem lies with the possible marketing or propaganda (FUD!) that the Government will no doubt circulate when this is introduced.
Will they try to convince the public that "No Stamp = Fake"?
In which case, what about all the bottles sold outside the UK but WITHIN THE EU which are perfectly legal, non-fakes but don't have the "UK" stamp?
There are no restrictions for selling these to the UK as this is all EUROPE and duty will have paid within EUROPE which is perfectly legal.
So, I am now falling into the belief that this is nothing other than another of the UK Government's infamous White Elephants, but one which could cause many problems.