KENYA – Kenya has introduced new strict regulatory processes for imported health products to undergo intellectual property rights check through the Anti-counterfeit Authority (ACA) to combat the supply of counterfeit goods in the Kenyan market.
The new regulation for imported goods will be enforced through an electronic system that involves the creation of a database of intellectual property rights information relating to trademarks for all goods to be imported into Kenya.
The new regulation for importation of goods stipulate that manufacturers will be required to send samples of the products to the Anti-counterfeit Authority which will then use the new system to determine whether a product is legitimate.
In addition, the new system will support officers from the anti-counterfeit agency in protecting Kenyans against substandard and hazardous products as well as promote product quality, national security and environment protection.
It will further boost ACA’s transparency and integrity since intellectual property rights information will be made available on the authority’s public system and shall be used by inspectors and law enforcement officers at the various points of entry to prevent the entry of counterfeit imports into Kenya.
The Anti-counterfeit Authority has declared that anyone importing goods into Kenya to which registered intellectual property rights apply will have to record their goods with the body’s system that will help the government enforce the new regulations.
The new regulation will greatly contribute to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Executive Order directing the formation of a task force to combat illicit goods while addressing the impact of imported counterfeit goods to the government’s revenue.
Moreover, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe revealed that Kenya will no longer be accepting second hand medical equipment dumped into the country under the guise of generosity, adding that COVID-19 pandemic has seen the country develop the capacity to better deal with emergencies.
Mutahi Kagwe further said that Kenya has entered into strategic partnerships with international development allies on healthcare areas with a focus on technology transfer, training and research as it seeks to enhance its capacity and reform the health sector.
He acknowledged the important role of the diplomatic community in supporting Kenya’s fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while noting that the country has put in place elaborate infrastructure to address similar challenges.
“From zero, we have built 110 laboratories for COVID-19 testing and we increased our sequencing to five labs. We had capacity for a few samples before but now we can do up to 2,500 per week. The developments are part of ongoing efforts to enhance access, affordability and quality healthcare,” he added.