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Mandatory requirement to record IP rights relating to goods imported into Kenya

19 May 2022

The Kenyan Anti-Counterfeiting Authority (ACA) has recently adopted a further measure to combat imports of counterfeit goods into Kenya under the Anti Counterfeit Recordation Regulations 2021 (the “Regulations”).

Illicit trade in counterfeit goods represents a major hindrance to the development of the local manufacturing industry and spans across a number of key sectors, including car parts, food and beverages, tobacco products, computer components and software, medicines, designer clothes, and cosmetics. The Regulations aim at reducing this illegal trade by seizing more counterfeit goods at the ports of entry.

Under the Regulations, businesses have a deadline of 1 July 2022 to register their IP rights with the ACA for any goods that they wish to import to Kenya, irrespective of their place of origin. The new Regulations affect all businesses importing branded goods into Kenya except for unbranded raw materials or unfinished goods.

The Recordal application must be submitted to ACA by the owner of the IP Rights, its licensee or assignee and shall include information about the rights owner, the country where the goods are manufactured, details of distributors and foreign users as well as samples or digital photos of the goods in question and a certified copy of a Kenyan IP registration certificate. It is understood that upon successful application, the ACA will issue a certification mark in the form of an anti-counterfeit security device to the importer of goods. The Recordal application requires payment of an Official fee and will be valid for an initial period of 12 months, renewable 30 days before its expiry date upon payment of a renewal fee.

Businesses must be aware that non-compliance with the mandatory Recordal application constitutes an offence, and if convicted in Court, a person is liable of imprisonment and other fines. Further, ACA has the power to seize and destroy any goods imported into the country which do not bear ACA’s anti-counterfeit security device.

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