Failure to declare the quantity of imports or shipping in unbranded goods save for raw materials is set to be criminalized if the proposed amendments to the Anti Counterfeit Act 2008 are adopted in their current form.
The draft amendments propose to give more power to the Anti Counterfeit Agency to seize and destroy any goods imported into Kenya without an official assurance that they are genuine goods.
Kenya loses about 200 billion shillings annually to trade in contrabands.
The government has drafted amendments to the Anti-Counterfeit Act, 2008 to bolster the fight against contrabands and promote intellectual property.
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Among the proposed amendments is a new requirement of recording trademarks in respect of imported goods notwithstanding the place of registration with the Anti Counterfeits Agency’s enforcement database.
Possessing or controlling the packaging of any kind including labels, with a counterfeit mark likely to cause confusion, mistake or deceive as well as aiding or abetting counterfeiting is among new offences.
Anti Counterfeit Agency Chair Flora Mutahi says criminalizing importation of unbranded goods save for raw materials will deter infiltration of counterfeits especially medicine and pharmaceuticals that are highly counterfeited.
Innovators are calling for a review of trademark registration charges.
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