Action against Illegal and Counterfeit Pesticides
The joint operation “Silver Axe IV” enabled authorities to seize 550 tons of illegal/counterfeit pesticides in 2019. The total amount of this seizure would cover a surface of up to 50,000 km² ‒ approximately equivalent to the territory of Estonia.
The operation involved national police, customs and plant protection authorities from nearly all EU Member States plus Switzerland and the Ukraine as well as private organisations, and other EU bodies, Interpol, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
OLAF supported the operation by providing information on the movement of smuggled goods. This enabled the identification of suspicious shipments of pesticides (mainly from China) that were not declared correctly. National authorities carried out checks at major seaports, airports, and land borders and in production and repackaging facilities in participating countries.
In the meantime, Operation Silver Axe is in its fourth year. In total, the operations have led to the seizure of 1222 tons of illegal and counterfeit pesticides.