3 February 2013

Rwanda: Fight Against Counterfeits Requires Joint Efforts


Last week, the Rwanda Bureau of Standard (RBS) officials seized 686 rolls of sub-standard electrical cables from traders during a crackdown in Kigali.

The standards watchdog said the fake extension wires get onto the local market from Burundi.

It is now warning people that all the cables meant for home use that are made of any material other than copper are sub-standard and buyers should be on the lookout for such products before paying for them.

It is illegal to sell fake and substandard products in the country.

Despite the associated health risks, it is estimated that since 1992, the global trade in fake goods has increased from $5.5 billion to approximately $600 billion annually.

Past inspection exercises by RBS reveal that while the standards body has seized and confiscated a range of substandard products, but surprisingly, they have found their way back into the country again.

Last year, Police impounded 105 cartons of counterfeit BIC ball pens valued at over Rwf 6 million.

Just last week, a survey by The New Times revealed that counterfeit alcoholic products have flooded the market especially in Gitega, Kigali thereby not only threatening trade in genuine brands but also endangering people's lives.

This calls for establishment of stronger ties between authorities and the public to monitor and report any suspicious products or unscrupulous traders.

The fact that the East African Community (EAC) adopted a Common Market Protocol in 2010 calls for collaboration to purge the practice of dumping counterfeit goods into the local market.

There is also need to boost manpower at the RBS to police our border points.

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