1 min read
04 Jun

In a proactive move to safeguard consumers and curb the rampant spread of counterfeit goods, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and the Anti-Counterfeit Network (ANC) have jointly launched a public consultation on the Anti-Counterfeit Goods Bill, 2023. The bill, aimed at bolstering existing anti-counterfeit laws, garnered significant attention during a consultation meeting held in Arua City on Thursday, May 30th, 2024.

Stakeholders, including representatives from various sectors, voiced unanimous support for stricter measures against individuals involved in the production and sale of counterfeit products. The proposed legislation, if passed, would introduce harsh penalties, including a minimum of 5 years imprisonment and fines up to five times the value of the counterfeit goods.

Joseph Kizito, head of the consumer affairs department at UCC, emphasized the detrimental impact of counterfeit goods on both the economy and public health. He underscored the urgent need for comprehensive legislation to address this growing threat.


Fred Muwema, Chairman of the Anti-Counterfeit Network Africa, highlighted Uganda's unique position as the only country in the region without specific laws targeting counterfeits. He stressed the importance of the Anti-Counterfeit Goods Bill in defining counterfeit products, outlining punishments, and empowering enforcement agencies.

With an estimated budget of over 41 trillion shillings and a staggering 54% of products in the market being either counterfeit or substandard, Uganda faces substantial economic losses amounting to trillions of shillings annually. Muwema's remarks underscored the urgency of implementing stringent measures to combat this pervasive problem.

Denis Lee Oguzu, Member of Parliament for Maracha Constituency, commended the inclusive nature of the consultation process, particularly noting the heightened vulnerability of regions like West Nile to counterfeit products due to porous borders. Oguzu emphasized the need for robust legislation to address this issue effectively.

Josephine Angucia, Police Spokesperson for the West Nile region, shed light on the challenges faced by communities affected by counterfeit products. She emphasized the importance of clear enforcement procedures and adequate training for enforcement teams to ensure the successful implementation of the proposed laws.

The Anti-Counterfeit Goods Bill, 2023, represents a significant step forward in Uganda's efforts to combat the proliferation of counterfeit goods. With broad support from stakeholders and a recognition of the urgent need for action, the stage is set for parliament to enact legislation that will protect consumers and uphold the integrity of the marketplace.

By Our Reporter
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