Kenya losses at least Ksh 800 million annually to counterfeits, Anti Counterfeit Authority (ACA) Director of Enforcement Yusuf Osman said.
Osman made the revelation while speaking during a sensitization program on counterfeits with security agencies in Nakuru.
He said 70 percent of imported goods were counterfeits, making about 40 percent of local manufacturers’ market share.
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He called for the need to address the proliferation of counterfeit goods, arguing that it will expands Kenya’s annual worth of manufactured goods by Ksh 35 billion.
“We need to step up efforts to intercept counterfeit and contraband goods in the country as proliferation of counterfeit goods are threatening our security, jobs and livelihoods,” Osman said.
Osman urged security agencies to tackle counterfeits the same way they deal with matters such as corruption.
“The universal healthcare agenda is vulnerable to the massive supply of fake drugs. A staggering 30 percent of alcoholic drinks in the market are counterfeit. Counterfeit agricultural inputs that include fertilizer and pesticides remain a threat to food security,” he added.
In June this year, ACA launched a platform to automatically verify products authenticity dubbed Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Recordation.
IPR is a database of information about intellectual property rights of a product either locally manufactured or imported.
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Manufacturers will key in specific properties of the goods they produce in the digital platform.
For instance, a bottled water producer will state the name, bottle size and shape, flavour if applicable as well as any other customised product details.
Manufacturers will also upload high-resolution pictures of the goods.
Consumers will also be allowed anonymously report suspected counterfeit products on the platform.
The most counterfeited goods in Kenya are fast moving consumer goods such as alcohol, pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, soap and detergent and batteries.
Others are fertilisers, electronic appliances such as instant showers and iron boxes.