Insights | November 23, 2022

Changes to anti-counterfeiting rules in Kenya

Kenya has introduced new rules for IPR owners in order to combat counterfeit goods. According to the rules, IPR owners importing goods to Kenya must provide details of their registered IPR to Kenya's Anti-Counterfeit Authority, failing which they face a risk of their goods being seized and prevented from being imported into Kenya. The current focus is only on trademarks. The new legislation takes effect on 1 January 2023.

What is this about and what actions are necessary?

  • New IPR rules in Kenya for IPR owners in order to combat counterfeit goods.
  • Every IPR owner must provide a record of their registered IPR, regardless of the country where they are registered, to Kenya’s Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA). The current focus is on trademarks.
  • Goods subject to IPR that have not been recorded may face seizures and be prevented from being imported into Kenya – this also applies to the IPR owner’s own goods.
  • The new legislation takes effect on 1 January 2023. IPR can also be recorded after the deadline.
  • If you have products that are exported to Kenya, please reach out to your contact person at Roschier Brands. Further advice will then follow on possible action you may need to take.

More details

Kenya’s Anti-Counterfeiting Authority (ACA) has renewed its efforts to curb the trade in counterfeit goods by imposing more stringent measures on IPR owners by amending the Anti-Counterfeit Act to include the IPR Recordation Regulation.

The new Section 34B of the Act states that a record of IPR that pertain to products being imported into Kenya must be provided to the ACA, regardless of whether the IPR is registered in Kenya or abroad. Consequently, this requirement is met by providing a record of international, foreign or national registrations to the ACA. The requirement concerns all registered IPR — trademarks, copyrights, trade names, or any other protected intellectual property rights — for all goods being imported into the country. However, the current focus is only on trademarks.

Furthermore, our local contact has been informed by the ACA that it is not necessary to record every registered IPR associated with the goods imported to Kenya. For example, when the goods imported bear both the house mark and a sub brand, it should be sufficient to record only the registration of the house mark.

The deadline within which to provide a record of IPR to the ACA is 1 January 2023. After the deadline, every IPR owner is expected to be fully compliant, and the rules will take effect. However, records of IPR can also be provided after the deadline. An approved record is valid for a year, after which it is subject to renewal.