Counterfeit goods worth over Sh100 million have been seized in the last one month by the Anti-Counterfeit Authority.
The goods seized include electrical appliances, sportswear and equipment of premium trademarks, motor vehicle spare parts, digital TV antennas and toners among others with most of these goods coming in from the Far East countries.
Another 40-foot container of fake circuit breakers imported from China and valued at over Sh10 million was also seized last Saturday.
Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) Chairperson, Flora Mutahi yesterday revealed that over 70 percent of the illicit goods entered the country through the sea ports.
“Most of the fake goods are imports and enter the country mainly through the main Port of Mombasa which is Kilindini Port, the Container Freight Stations (CFS’s) in Mombasa and the Inland Container Depot Nairobi (ICDN) located in Embakasi, “she stated.
The chairperson was concerned that the importation and trade of fake goods had a negative impact on the economy saying it posed 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,” added Ms. Mutahi.
Research carried out by the ACA indicates 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 cause 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, 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.
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