The Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) has announced that it has seized counterfeit goods worth over Ksh. 100 million in the last one month in various parts of the country. This includes electrical appliances, sportswear and equipment’s of premium trademarks, motor vehicle spare parts, digital TV antennas and toners among others.
Most of the seized goods are from the far East Countries. Among the seized goods was a 40-foot container of fake circuit breakers imported from China valued at over Ksh. 10 million seized on Saturday 4th May.
Speaking during an Inspection Tour of the ICDN, ACA Chair Ms. Flora Mutahi highlighted the negative effects of illicit and counterfeit trade on the economy. “Left unchecked, illicit trade is the biggest threat to attainment of the Manufacturing and Job Creation Pillar of the government’s Big Four Agenda. As Government, we are committed towards safeguarding the interests of genuine traders, hence the increased efforts to curb illicit trade.”
Research shows that there is a high correlation between illicit trade and slowed economic growth, development of local industry as well as unemployment rates. Illicit trade crimes are also related to other crimes such bribery, money laundering, terror funding and tax evasion, among others. Additionally, illicit goods have adverse health, safety and environmental effects to the innocent consumers since they are often of inferior quality and standards.
“We also want to assure the genuine traders and public that the government is out to facilitate and not frustrate traders. We are strongly combating all forms of illicit trade in the interest of promoting a fair-trade environment and protect the rights of genuine traders, promote our local manufacturing industry, safeguard jobs and improve the ease of doing business,” added Ms. Mutahi.
ACA Executive Director, Mr. Elema Halake said that unscrupulous investors are increasingly changing tact and are now involved at several points across the supply chain from manufacturing, importation, distribution, wholesale and retail. To curb this, he revealed that the Authority was investing in technology to increase efficiency, in line with its mandate of protection of intellectual property owners.
“As an Authority, we are strengthening our capacity to detect counterfeits at the Ports of entry through use of modern technology and automation as well as leveraging multi-agency collaboration approaches, which are bearing fruit”, added Mr. Halake. He also underscored ACA’s commitment to protecting the rights of brand owners by ensuring compliance with the legal framework.