Kenya loses sh.100 billion yearly on illicit trade

Some of the counterfeit goods nabbed in Nairobi during a past crackdown./COURTESY

As Kenya joins other countries globally to mark world anti counterfeit day, the country loses over 100 billion shillings on revenue collection every year on illicit trade.

According to a report by National baseline survey in partnership with Trademark East Africa, out of 16 sectors of the economy that the study concentrated on; building, mining and construction were heavily affected with counterfeiting with a share of 23 percent in value of the total illicit trade, followed by energy, electrical and electronics with a share of 14 percent in 2018.

Speaking during the release of the report on Wednesday in Nairobi, anti-counterfeit authority Executive Director Elema Halake, said 30 percent of the firms were aware that their products were being counterfeited and sold in the market while 56 percent of the sampled firms were not aware that their products were being counterfeited.

“We conducted this study with sole purpose of determining the extent and magnitude of illicit trade in the country and findings are out. This provides baseline statistics upon which we will work closely with our enforcement team and other government agencies to nub culprits to reduce counterfeiting and other forms of illicit trade in Kenya. We have nabbed counterfeits goods of over 2.8 billion and surrendered them to law enforcement agencies for prosecution of suspects. This goes a long way to demonstrate our resilience in the fight against counterfeiting,” Said Halake.

The report also indicates that between 2016 and 2018, 7,484 jobs were lost in Kenya due to illicit trade and counterfeiting accounting to 33 percent of jobs lost.

Food, beverages and non- alcoholic drinks are said to be the sector with the most government revenue loss with a share of 23%.

Following the release of the report, Kenyans have been urged to be aware of illicit goods when purchasing products in retail outlets.