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Radio frequency identification (RFID) systems for the paper industry is an emerging research topic due to the need for an automated identification system for the paper industry which would carry on the identification codes of paper and board reels throughout their life cycle. This paper discusses the application of passive ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID systems to the paper industry. Challenges, benefits, and the application environment of using passive UHF RFID systems in the paper industry are presented and discussed. The major challenges are development of globally operable tag antenna designs and integration of reader units and reader antennas to paper handling machinery. To confront and solve these challenges, this paper presents novel tag antenna designs for paper and board reel identification and proposes solutions for reader and reader antenna integration to paper handling machinery. In addition, the identification locations within the paper reel supply chain and the effects of RFID systems to supply chain visibility are presented and discussed. In addition, test results of using passive UHF RFID systems in the paper industry environment are presented.