Monday, October 14, 2013

Imported motorcycle inner tubes are counterfeit

 THE Chief Inspector of the Merchandise Marks Act (MMA) has ordered the destruction of the 10,600 imported pieces of inner tubes for motorbikes labeled ‘Vee rubber inner tubes’ which have been found to be counterfeit. The said counterfeit products were seized by the inspectors during a normal inspection work of the product which was carried out on 19th June this year in a container number PCIU 273021-9. MMA’s Chief Inspector said in a statement he issued yesterday in Dar es Salaam that, the recently imported counterfeit products for motorbikes by a company known as M/S Martin Mbwana are contrary to section 3 (1) (g) and section 10 (a) of the MMA. In addition to the destruction of such products, the Chief inspector has also ordered that if container in question contained other products which do not bear Vee Rubber brand, these should be released forthwith by the Fair Competition Commission (FCC). The statement said that, the decision for the destruction of the products was made on Wednesday this week by a hearing committee appointed by the Chief Inspector of the MMA in respect of the complaint lodged by the complainant M/S TUK TUK Ltd. The statement further noted that, regulations of 2010 made under section 18A of the MMA, confers upon the Chief inspector the mandate to hear and determine complaints lodged with him by parties challenging the seizure of counterfeit goods. 

The statement is quoted as saying that, in arriving at the decision, then Chief inspector was satisfied that evidence presented by the4 complainant, claimant and the respondent confirmed the fact that the seized motor cycle inner tubes branded Vee Rubber were counterfeit and hence contravened sections 3(1) (g) and 10 (a) of the MMA. The statement note that, the hearing committee was satisfied with the three factors, one is that, the MMA creates only one offense of counterfeit in different circumstances such as importation, selling, transporting and distribution. Secondly, the explanation given by the complainant while differentiating between genuine and counterfeit Vee Rubber inner tubes basing ion elements of elasticity, strip colors, smells packaging materials (letters), country of origin, estimate distance coverage in use as relevant. According to the statement, this evidence was not refuted by the claimant in his testimony and during cross examination. Identification of counterfeit goods by the brand owner (the complainant) evidenced a difference between exhibit of a genuine tube and exhibit of a tube alleged to be counterfeit from the testimony of the complainant which proved that the exhibit belonging to the claimant was a counterfeit. Thirdly, from the claimant’s testimony, it was not disputed that the goods were imported into the country that here ordered the motorcycle tubes of various sizes quoted in the pro-forma invoice shown.

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