Nairobi, KENYA: Do you check to see whether what you are using in your day-to-day activities is original or counterfeit?
In the last one month, the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) has nabbed assorted fake goods worth over sh.100 million with majority of them entering the country through the sea ports.
Speaking during an inspection at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Nairobi, ACA Executive Director Elema Halake said over 70% of the counterfeits pass through the main Port of Mombasa i.e Kilindini Port, the Container Freight Stations (CFS’s) in Mombasa and the Inland Container Depot Nairobi (ICDN) located in Embakasi.
“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,” said Halake.
The seized goods include electrical appliances, sportswear and equipment of premium trademarks, motor vehicle spare parts, digital TV antennas and toners among others, most from the far East Countries.
Among the goods was a 40-foot container of fake circuit breakers imported from China valued at over sh.10 million seized on Saturday 4th May.
“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,” said ACA chair Flora Mutahi.
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 genuine traders and public that the government is out to facilitate and not frustrate them. 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 Mutahi.