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Counterfeit Goods: Government Called to Enhance Public Awareness

The Government has been asked to make the public more aware of fake goods on the market today.

The counterfeiting market is said to be on the rise with Uganda recently listed as one of the largest recipients of counterfeit products in the region.

Speaking at the Anti-counterfeit Network (ACN) dialogue on Pre-Export Verification Capacity (PVoC), Damalie Ntende Tibugwisa who represented ACN Executive Director Fred Muwema said, “Government should sensitize people on counterfeits such that consumers can learn how to differentiate a fake product from a genuine one.”

“It’s high time that the Government came out strong on this cause so that the public is protected against consuming these fake products,” she said.

Ntende attributed the problem of counterfeits to consumer ignorance which has been backed up by Government’s failure to put up stringent laws and enforcement mechanisms.

Robert Ssebunnya, MP Nansana who also doubles as the Chairperson Parliament Committee on Trade, called upon all Parliamentarians to join hands in making the public understand the difference between counterfeit and substandard goods.

Most common forms of counterfeits in Uganda include fake drugs, fake construction materials like adulterated cement,  counterfeit electric cables, cosmetics, detergents, food, beverages among others.

Most of these are packaged in a way that buyers are unlikely to tell. They are however relatively cheap.

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The MP noted that better information and scope of counterfeiting is necessary to ensure that the appropriate resources are prioritized for combating the problem.

The dialogue themed; ‘Assessing PVoC capacity to handle the influx of fake goods on the Uganda Market’, was held on Thursday 25th October at Hotel Protea, Kololo and it targeted stakeholders from the government and business institutions in the sub sectors.

PVoC is an inspection and verification programme carried out on goods by appointed inspection agents in the country of export.

The PVoC procedure is intended to protect consumers against dangerous and substandard imported products.

 

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