The Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya (ABAK) believes the fight against illicit alcohol will intensify following recent ammendments made to the Anti-Counterfeit Act.
During a stakeholder’s forum to review proposed amendments to the regulations of the anti-counterfeit law, ABAK’s chair Gordon Mutugi said the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) is now strengthened.
“Illicit alcohol has been our biggest concern in the alcoholic beverage industry, and we believe these amendments provide ACA with a robust legal mechanism to fight the menace,” he said.
Part of the amendments include extending the scope to include impounding of goods counterfeited outside Kenya. Previously, this was limited to goods counterfeited within the borders of the country. ACA therefore can now impound items counterfeited outside the country at the entry points.
Consumers are also now allowed to lodge complaints over suspected counterfeit goods, alongside trademark owners.
Permanent Secretary in the Trade ministry Dr. Chris Kiptoo said the ammendments promote manufacturers and intellectual property owners.
“The amendments are aimed at providing more protection for trademark owners and boost the fight against counterfeits.,” he said.
This comes even as seizure of counterfeit goods is on the rise, with news headlines recewntly being dominated by the nabbing and suspicion of fake gold.
In April alone, ACA seized counterfeit goods worth Ksh100 million.
A report by the agency released earlier this year revealed that over 70% of Kenyans use counterfeit goods, with 19% of them buying the illicit items knowingly.
As per the report, the highest percentage of counterfeit is mobile phones at 51.8%. Alcohol follows at 30.8%, with DVD players and bottled water at 26.4% and 24% respectively.