MOMBASA, Kenya, Oct 9 – The Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) has over the last four months seized counterfeit products worth over Sh7.5 billion in a nationwide crackdown, the ACA Executive Director Elema Halake said Tuesday.
Halake told journalists in Mombasa that they have been working with other government agencies in all the entry points of the country, including the port Mombasa, to ensure that Kenya is free from the counterfeit products.
“From May to date, we have been able to seize goods worth over Sh7.5 billion. This figure will continue to grow because we are no longer working as a single government entity, but a multi-agency involvement. We are going to sustain this pressure until the country is free from counterfeit,” he said.
He said currently about 40 per cent of Kenya’s market share is dominated by counterfeit products, which has negative impact on the growth of the economy.
An approximate Sh30 billion is lost by Kenyan manufacturers per year, while the Government loses Sh6 billion annually in foregone tax revenue.
“Due to counterfeits, we are losing direct foreign investments, we are killing our efforts towards industrialization as many cheap products find their way into Kenya. We are also losing a lot more on revenue due to smuggling and non-payment of taxes,” he said.
He was speaking during a sensitization event on combating illicit trade, which was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, at Mombasa Beach Hotel.
The forum brought together different enforcement agencies and the business fraternity in Mombasa and Kwale Counties because they respectively host Kilindini and Lunga Lunga border entry points that are possible avenues for illicit goods.
Halake said the agency they have been working together with Kenya Revenue Authority, Pharmacy and Poisons Board, Kenya Bureau of Standards, among others.
Coast Regional Coordinator Bernard Leparmarai said they ongoing crackdown on illicit and counterfeit products will continue throughout the coastal region.
He said during the crackdown on contraband sugar and rice some two months ago, about 19 godowns suspected to be holding these products were closed down.
He said after testing of the products, some five godowns have since been reopened and allowed to continue with their work.