Treasury, KRA step up fight on counterfeit

Treasury, KRA step up fight on counterfeit
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet addresses the press after the raid where contraband sugar was nabbed in Eastleigh, Nairobi.

The government through multiple state agencies is toughening its stance on trade of illicit and counterfeit goods in the country.

This follows a wave of cases of counterfeit and illicit goods flooding the market.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has warned importers and exporters against concealing goods in a bid to avoid paying taxes.

The revenue body said in a notice in the dailies that it will going forward, destroy an entire container if found to be containing counterfeit and concealed items.

“Importers, exporters and clearing and forwarding agents are particularly cautioned that if any counterfeit or concealed goods are found in a container or any package, the entire consignment shall be condemned ad forfeited to the state for destruction,” KRA said in its notice.

The National Treasury has also proposed through the Finance Bill 2018, a minimum penalty of Ksh5 million to deter counterfeiters and tax avoiders from beating the system

On top of the fine, culprits will also be liable to pay double the amount of excise duty payable on the counterfeit goods.

“A person who undertakes an activity without being licensed to do so shall be liable to a penalty equal to double the excise duty that would have been payable if the person were licensed or five million shillings, whichever is higher,” the Finance Bill reads.

The penalties are a welcome relief for manufacturers who have long complained of the unfair competition occasioned by counterfeit and illicit goods.

Story by Nancy Wangeci 

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