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Manufacturers urge Judiciary to help fight counterfeit goods

10 November 2014, 15:52 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The CEO Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Betty Maina, has called on the Judiciary to intervene in the looming illicit trade that is threatening the growth and existence of local industries with multinational firms shutting down and relocating to other countries.

Maina said despite the enactment of the Anti-Counterfeit 2008 law, the smuggling of goods into the country is alarming and robbing the manufacturing industry and the country of billions of shillings and jobs.

“Courts underpin social stability and economic growth. Well-designed laws and regulations cannot on their own ensure business rights without an institution that will, through dependable interpretation, enforce those rights and settle disputes,” said Maina.

She asserted that KAM has collaborated and consulted with the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) in seeking a long-lasting solution to curb the illicit trade.

Read Also: Now Cadbury Kenya shuts down over counterfeits

“KMJA and KAM expanded their partnership in view of the inter-agency collaboration required to deal with illicit trade and worked with the National Council on the Administration of Justice to develop the ‘An Enforcement Manual to Combat Illicit Trade in Kenya’ through the support of the Business Advocacy Fund,” said Maina.

The developed manual against counterfeit trade activities, Maina, said it brought together all key players in the Justice sector including the Judiciary, Public Prosecutors, Police, Anti-Counterfeit Agency, Kenya Bureau of Standards, and the Kenya Intellectual Property Institute, among others. 

The KMJA chair, Justice Fred Ochieng, assured of the Judiciary’s commitment in the fight against illicit trade but laid the blame on the commissioned anti-counterfeit agencies for failure to perform their duties, particularly for not filing related cases in courts.

“Counterfeit trade is a reality in this country and costs the country billions of shillings. The Judiciary will only play its part in curbing the practice with the provision of legal complains from anti-counterfeit enforcement agencies and complainant companies,” said Ochieng.

He said the developed Enforcement Manual to Combat Illicit Trade in Kenya provide awareness to key players and the public responsible for the fight against counterfeit goods.

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