Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Kenya - KRA gets police protection

"Please find attached an extract from The Daily Nation. The Police have now joined KRA officially in the fight against fake goods. Useful because the AC act is getting legs now with the anticipated publication of the Rules subsidiary to the Act." (Comment: John Sykei - IP expert based in Niarobi). The Daily Nation report:

"The police and the tax collector on Wednesday announced plans for joint operations to fight graft and the dumping of substandard goods in the country.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said that tax-paying traders were losing heavily as counterfeit goods continued to flood the market. The police, he said, would work together with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to stamp out counterfeit goods.

He noted that export products were also finding their way back into the country, adding that this had made it necessary to have police officers and KRA officials at exit points. “This will ensure that we complement each other in enforcing the law,” the police commissioner said.

He was speaking during a consultative meeting between the police and the KRA at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies. KRA commissioner-general Michael Waweru welcomed the joint effort, saying it would lead to a decrease in tax evasion. “This collaboration will help eliminate trade in counterfeit goods and tax evasion,” he said.

He said the KRA hoped to achieve a revenue collection target of Sh545.2 billion this financial year from the Sh480.6 billion in the 2008/2009 fiscal year. Mr Iteere said the joint effort was part of internal reforms in the Police Force.

Divert goods

The commissioner of customs, Mrs Wambui Namu, noted that the issue of counterfeit goods was rampant. “The extensive and porous Kenyan borders pose an enormous challenge to customs coverage.” Such areas, Mrs Namu added, were used by tax evaders to dump and divert transit and export goods. The revenue authority undertook to cooperate with the police and share information and resources."

Afro Leo is delighted by the news but wants to know what, if any, solution there was regarding the contentious clauses making generics counterfeit. Thanks John and the Daily Nation.

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