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Anticounterfeit Authority mandates Recordation of IPRs by Brand owners

The Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) has moved to implement by public notices new powers introduced through the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act of 2018 under Section 34B of the Anti-Counterfeit Act. The enabling Regulations- the Anti-Counterfeit (Recordation) Regulations 2021, were published in the Kenya gazette on 23rd July 2021 under Legal Notice Number 118 of 2021.  This law applies to IPRs of goods being imported into the country irrespective of the jurisdiction of registration.    (ACA) is a statutory body established by section 3 of the Anti-Counterfeit Act, No. 13 of 2008 with the mandate to prohibit trade and other dealings in counterfeit goods. In a move to ensure that all goods imported in Kenya are of standards, the authority announced the commencement of Recordation of Intellectual Property rights (IPR).

IPR Recordation involves the creation of a database of IPR information relating to trademarks, copyrights, trade names, or any other protected intellectual property rights, for all goods to be imported into the country. The ACA has developed an Anti-Counterfeit Authority Integrated Management System (AIMS), within which all the information of such goods shall be stored and the same is accessible to the public via the link ACA Public System (public.aims.aca.go.ke). Through the system, ACA inspectors and other law enforcement officers at the various points of entry can prevent entry of counterfeit imports into Kenya.

The move ushers in a robust framework to protect health and safety of consumers from counterfeit products which mainly find themselves into the market through importation. This will also ensure that the IPR owners get value for their products and insulate them from unfair competition from counterfeit imports. It follows then that traders and importers will now have a platform in which they can confirm the genuineness of goods prior to importation thus saving themselves from the risk of losses should the same be seized by the officers. The Platform also shields importers from unnecessary prosecution as it provides comprehensive details on IPR of the goods outside the country.

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