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 user 2009-04-21 at 11:38:20 am Views: 47
  • #22009
    Counterfeits flood market despite passing of law
    continues to be a fertile market for counterfeit goods even after
    Parliament passed a law to tackle the vice.The passing of the
    Anti-Counterfeit Bill 2008 last year has achieved little in containing
    the spread of fake products in the local market.Computer technology
    company Hewlett Packard (HP) has said cases of its counterfeited
    products continue to be rampant in Kenya and other parts of
    Africa.”There are well organised groups working in Kenya that
    manufacture and distribute fake HP products,” said Tina Rose, HP’s
    Anti-Counterfeit Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. In
    February, only two months after the passing of the Bill, authorities
    managed to stop the illicit business of a local manufacturer of fake
    packaging material for counterfeit printing supplies. In another raid,
    the Department of Weights and Measures seized almost 5,000 fake
    security labels for counterfeit print cartridge boxes and confiscated
    machinery and other equipment used for printing the fake labels.Rose
    says more than 150,681 HP counterfeit products and components have been
    seized in Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa over the last six
    months alone.However, there has been a slight decrease in the cases of
    counterfeits as governments intensify the crackdown on the illegal
    trade due to loss of tax revenue.

    Kibaki yet to assent Locally,
    statistics from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers indicate that
    businesses are losing a staggering Sh50 billion annually to influx of
    counterfeit products and illicit trade while the Government loses Sh35
    billion annually in tax revenue.Companies like Eveready Batteries, Haco
    Industries among others have seen their businesses slump as
    counterfeiters cash in on their brands.Despite the worrying trend,
    President Kibaki is yet to assent his signature on the new legislation
    for it to become law.

    Rose said that despite HP investing
    billions of dollars in high quality packaging and security labels,
    counterfeiters still manage to fake the components.”Counterfeiting is a
    well-organised crime and very profitable,” she said.To stay ahead of
    the counterfeiters, the company is forced to develop new security
    labels and packaging every 18 months.The company, which invests Sh80
    billion annually on research and development, is currently working on
    new labels for its ink products that will hit the market in eight
    months time.”We are focused on improving anti-counterfeit programs in
    Africa,” she stated.

    Across the world, counterfeit and illicit
    trade is big business.The annual value of international trade in
    counterfeit goods stands at a Sh16 trillion according to the
    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).The vice
    also drains an estimated Sh50 trillion from the global economy
    according the World Customs Organisation.This represents the loss of
    five to eight per cent of trade in brand-name goods worldwide.