Minister decries proliferation of counterfeit products

Minister decries proliferation of counterfeit products

Minister of Trade and Industry Sosten Gwengwe has decried the continued proliferation of counterfeit and smuggled products on the local market.

Speaking during a meeting with board of directors and management of Malawi Bureau of Standards in Blantyre on Friday, he said if the malpractice is not controlled, it can frustrate law-abiding manufacturers and make the country a dumping ground for smuggled or counterfeit products.

Gwengwe: They are posing huge threat

Gwengwe called on the bureau to stamp out the vice by ensuring that all products on the local market comply with the set standards.

“Smuggled products and counterfeits are posing a huge threat to our own survival as an economy because once products are imported without paying any duty or any compliance costs as local manufacturers do, it means they are under-cutting those that are trying to produce locally,” he said.

MBS board chairperson Devlin Chokazinga in an interview pledged that the bureau’s inspectors will intensify checks on the market to ensure that sub-standard products are removed from the market.

“We are going to strategise to ensure that only compliant products that are coming in through the normal channels and that they have paid tax for the good of the economy are being sold,” he said.

Chokazinga, a former director general of MBS, said they will also involve local councils to help alert the bureau on the presence of smuggled products or counterfeits.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation, counterfeit goods lower demand for legitimate goods and services resulting from illicit trade, thereby reducing business revenues.

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