There has been a significant development in Kenya in the area of anti-counterfeiting.

As a result of a recent amendment to the Kenyan Anti-Counterfeiting Act No. 13 of 2008* – legislation which is in many ways similar to the South African Counterfeit Goods Act 37 of 1997 – Kenya now has a system of recording trade marks with the customs authorities, a recordal that is known as a ‘Customs Recordal Application.’

The Customs Recordal Application will make the Kenyan Anti-Counterfeit Agency (“ACA” – previously the Anti-Counterfeit Agency) more effective, as it will now be able to stop the importation of counterfeit goods at ports of entry.

The Customs Recordal application process is quite onerous. The following, inter alia, will be required: 

  • Full details of the applicant
  • The country where the goods were manufactured
  • Samples of the trade marked goods or clear digital photographic representations of the goods
  • The identities of authorised foreign users and/or authorised distributors
  • A certified copy of a Kenyan trade mark registration certificate
  • Payment of the prescribed fee – in cases where the trade mark is registered in more than one class, there is a fee for each class.

The Customs Recordal Application will be valid for a period of one year effective from the date of application, and it will be necessary to file a renewal application at least 30 days prior to the expiry date. An application for renewal must again be accompanied by a copy of the certificate of registration and the prescribed fee.

Once the Customs Recordal Application has been approved, the ACA inspectors will have the same powers as customs officers in respect of imported counterfeit goods.

The amendments discussed above have been signed into law but they will only become operational on a date to be announced.

*The Anti-Counterfeiting Act 2008 makes provision for a range of actions. For example, it allows inspectors (including police officers and customs officers) to search and enter premises, seize counterfeit goods and arrest suspects. It also allows IP owners to approach the Commissioner of Customs in the prescribed manner and request a seizure and detention of suspected counterfeit goods.

Contact our Africa anti-counterfeiting team for further information.