Anti Counterfeit Agency to be merged with Intellectual Property protection agencies

The government is considering merging state agencies that are involved in intellectual property protection in order to boost the fight against the influx of counterfeit goods.

Appearing before the Trade Committee of the National Assembly, Industrialization, Trade and Co-Operatives Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has said his ministry is proposing to merge the anti counterfeits agency with the Kenya Copyrights Board and the Kenya Intellectual Property Institute.

The influx of counterfeit goods into the country continues to be a major drain to Kenya’s economy as an estimated Ksh 200 billion in revenue opportunities is lost to counterfeits and illicit goods every year.

It is against this backdrop that the National Assembly Committee On Trade, Industry and Co-Operatives sought answers from the industrialization, trade and co-operatives cabinet secretary on how the government is stemming the influx of counterfeit and sub-standard goods.

In response, the CS said the government is reviewing the country’s entire anti-counterfeit framework with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of institutions charged with blocking counterfeits.

CS Munya also told the trade committee that his office has revised the general requirements of labeling products to include the name of the country of origin.

The committee further questioned the requirement that all goods be inspected at the exit ports abroad before shipment; a system that has resulted in undue delays in the importation of goods.

The government is now considering shifting from relying on private entities for pre-shipment inspection to state agencies in the source countries.

On the state of Kenya’s Tea Industry, Cs Munya told the parliamentary committee that his ministry is pushing for a greater focus on the visibility of the Kenyan tea in the global market.

The industrialization CS is expected to return before the committee in 3 weeks’ time to shed light on matters trade, industrialization and co-operatives.

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