31 countries (25 of which are EU members) and several international organizations (European Union Intellectual Property Office, EUIPO; European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF; DG SANTE; CropLife Europe, CropLife International) participated in the Silver Axe VII operation coordinated by Europol.
Different modus operandi were identified, such as the import of almost finalised products in containers resembling well-known brands. Once imported, they need only to be labelled before going on the black market. The second is the import of illegal ingredients to produce pesticides. The misuse of the approval system is also a general modus operandi.
Frauds in the plant protection area affects many goods and sectors and besides, threatens environmental and human health. The efforts of the public and private sector have led to the seizure of a total of almost 5000 tonnes of illegal pesticides during the past six Silver Axe operations. Because of the growing trend, even closer international cooperation is needed in the future.