Counterfeit Goods & Illicit Trade

Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has been the leading Business membership Organization in East and Central Africa advocating against counterfeit products that are an ever-increasing scourge eating into effective and profitable trading for all countries in this region today.

Our advocacy work started back in the year 2000 when manufacturers vocalised their loss of market share due to product imitations in the Kenyan market. These imitations (counterfeits) were not only infringing on their intellectual property rights (granted through trademarks and patents registration) but also eroding the reputation of their products and companies at large, which have been cultivated earnestly over time through continuous research and development.

In the year 2020, KAM in collaboration with the Government developed and published 3 critical documents aimed at enhancing enforcement and awareness on matters of illicit trade.

These documents are namely, the “2nd edition of the Enforcement Manual to Combat Illicit Trade in Kenya,” and the “2020 Practitioners Guide for Enforcement Officers on Combating Illicit Trade” that were launched by the former Chief Justice, Hon. David Maraga on 23rd September 2020 and the harmonized “Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the inspection, verification and clearance of imports at the ports/ points of entry in Kenya” that was launched on 17th November 2020 by the Cabinet Secretary, Industrialization. Hon. Betty Maina.

With the development of the SOPs framework for the enforcement Multi-Agency Team, KAM sought to harmonize the various Operating Procedures for the inspection, verification, and clearance of imported cargo at the points of entry in Kenya within the framework of enhancing and sustaining the fight against various forms of illicit trade.

These seek to increase efficiency and accountability at the Ports of entry in Kenya while cutting down on both the costs and the time involved in the importation process: and improve the process of importation by ensuring that importers are aware of the standard operating procedures for the inspection, verification, and clearance of imported cargo.

We continue to advocate for the speedy development, finalization, and implementation of a regional intellectual property framework to ensure that all genuine products in the market are not threatened by the influx of counterfeit goods in the market.

This will enhance industrialization and promote the growth and development of MSMEs leading to increased job opportunities, advanced innovation, and social-economic prosperity.

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