Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Houston, we have a problem

Another depressing but insightful study on the magnitude and impact of counterfeit goods in Tanzania has revealed that between 15 and 20 per cent of goods circulating in the domestic market are counterfeit products valued between 450 and 600 million US dollars (about 900bn/-) per year. The study entitled ‘Counterfeit and Substandard Goods on the Tanzanian Economy; the case of Manufacturing Sector’, by the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) (website under construction at time of post) estimates that the country incurs losses of between 15 and 25 per cent of current total domestic revenue due to counterfeit imports. The goods mainly originate from countries like China, India, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia. Others are Taiwan, Thailand and some African contries like Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi. For the full Daily News article click here. Excerpts incude:

"According to the CTI Director of Policy and Advocacy, Mr Hussein Kamote, the findings from the study were intended to inform the policy process. Mr Kamote appealed to the government to take corrective measures on the counterfeiting problem. “The low incomes of law enforcement officers, the low risk of being arrested and charged for corruption and the market appetite for both counterfeit and sub-standard goods make it a lucrative business,” said Mr Kamote."

"The law that governs the importation of goods and trading in the country is a stumbling block to the fight against counterfeits; the Merchandise Act that was unveiled in 1963, never came into force until 2005. Tanzania has several institutions that are important in any effort directed at addressing the problem of counterfeit and substandard products. The main ones are Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Fair Competition Commission (FCC), and Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC)."

Afro-IP has published numerous reports on counterfeit studies in Tanzania (and surrounding territories) all of which come to the same conclusion. There have been steps to address the dire situation as reported here but more clearly needs to be done.

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