Enforcement Manual to Combat Illicit Trade in Kenya - Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM)

In 2008 – 2010 KAM identified the issue of counterfeit goods as one of the biggest threats to growth in the manufacturing sector. Through KAM successfully advocated for the enactment of the Anti-Counterfeit Act 2008, in November 2008 was promulgated in December 2008 and came into effect in July 2009. The Act led to the formation of an Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) that started operations in June 2010.

Despite the Act being in place, there was no significant reduction in the prevalence of counterfeit goods in the market. The Anti-Counterfeit Agency was experiencing challenges in enforcing the Act, including lack of collaboration by all law enforcement agencies; the multiplicity of laws on illicit trade; lack of capacity to handle complaints by the agency; lengthy court processes among others.

In 2014, KAM noted that there had not been a significant reduction in the prevalence of anti-counterfeit goods in the market and begun advocacy for the implementation of the Anti-Counterfeit Act. As part of the implementation project, KAM together with the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) consolidated all the provisions on illicit trade spread over 14 different laws into one reference book. This resulted in an illicit trade manual (Enforcement Manual to Combat Illicit Trade in Kenya) that was developed in collaboration with various state agencies comprising members of the Judiciary, ACA, law enforcement agencies, intellectual property rights agencies among others. The illicit trade manual provides a point of reference for law enforcement on the impact of illicit trade and the best practice in tackling these cases.

KAM continued this engagement to ensure that the key law enforcement agencies including investigators, judicial officers, prosecutors not only had the manual but are also well versed with it.

A similar manual was developed in Uganda but was never implemented (KAM benchmarking findings, August 2014) due to the lack of involvement of all key stakeholders. This highlighted the importance of training of law enforcement agents on the use of the manual to combat illicit trade.

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