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Public Consultations on Anti-Counterfeit Goods Bill Kick-off In Move To Protect Legitimate Businesses

Asuman Basalirwa, the mover of the Anti Counterfeit Goods Bill (ACGB) 2023

The Parliament of Uganda through the Mover of the Private Member’s Anti Counterfeit Goods Bill (ACGB) 2023,  Asuman Basalirwa (MP Bugiri) and Ebwalu Jonathan (MP Soroti City West/ Seconder) have started public consultations in respect of the said bill with the support of the Anti-Counterfeit Network (ACN) and venerated Partners.

The public consultations are crucial in gathering views from various stakeholders to ensure that the legislative process is inclusive and it leads to an effective legislation to combat counterfeits. The consultations shall be carried out for a period of 3 months beginning April 2024 and will take place at selected locations in the Central, Eastern, Northern and Western regions of Uganda.

Fellow MPs, members of the public including brand owners, regulators and consumers are encouraged to participate in this process which is an important milestone in fighting against counterfeits and protecting legitimate businesses.

Basalirwa applauded the House for swiftly passing a resolution to grant leave last year for the introduction of the ACGB adding that, “currently, we are facing an economic squeeze, but this squeeze is being compounded by counterfeits which are destroying all productive sectors of the economy and driving youth unemployment to unbearable levels. We need the ACGB 2023 to address this negative trend with punitive sanctions against the culprits.”

He urged the public to embrace the public consultations without any reservations.

On the other hand, Ebwalu decried the menace of counterfeits which continue to afflict the people of Uganda, irrespective of their political inclination, gender, tribe or social standing. He declared the ACGB 2023 to be a non-partisan people’s law which should unite and heal the wounds of the political divide.

Speaking at the same press launch, Fred Muwema, a long-standing activist against counterfeits and Chairman of the ACN, welcomed the ACGB 2023 as a timely intervention against counterfeits which has been in the waiting for more than 10 years.

“Everyone in Uganda is a victim of counterfeits including the counterfeiters themselves because they also suffer the same effects of other counterfeit products which they do not manufacture,” Muwema remarked. He added that the devastating effects of counterfeits and substandard products to the public health and economy are too severe to ignore. He estimated that more than 1/3 of Uganda’s national budget 2023/24 of Ugx 52.7 trillion is wasted.

 

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