Illicit trade costs EAC economies billions in lost potential revenue
The government is in the process of merging agencies that fight counterfeits and substandard goods.
Trade Cabinet secretary Peter Munya, said the merger of the three agencies - the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA), Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) would boost the fight against counterfeits and sub-standard goods.
“We are re-looking the agencies that are fighting counterfeits and substandard goods in the country with the view to merging them into one entity,” said Munya yesterday.
Munya appeared before the National Assembly Committee on the Trade and Industry.
He argued that although the department had been constrained due to inadequate staff, they were still able to test what was available in the market.
Committee chairman Kanini Kega (Kieni member of Parliament) wanted to know how dangerous chemicals were finding their way into some of the foodstuff in supermarkets and what was being doine about it.
Munya said Kebs had an inadequate workforce but they were still able to test what was available in the market to ensure that what was sold was fit for human consumption.
He urged Kebs chief executive to fill up vacant positions so that the agency could work effectively and deliver service to the public. The CS also ordered the organisation to automate its systems for monitoring purposes.
The committee decried the challenges small businesses encounter when importing goods, saying it was “very expensive” to test and inspect goods abroad.
Munya assured small and medium enterprises (SMEs) they could bring uninspected items on condition they were inspected locally.