More than 300 tonnes of counterfeit pesticides illegally transported in the EU were seized as a result of a complex investigative operation specifically targeting illegal trade and sale of counterfeit pesticides, coordinated by Europol with support of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Inspections were carried out in the main seaports, airports and land borders as well as in the production and repacking facilities of 27 EU and non EU countries ( Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, the Netherlands and Italy.)
It uncovered that the pesticides were illegally transported into the EU by a criminal network based in China. The ports of Antwerp, Hamburg and Rotterdam were particularly targeted due to already existing connections and shipping lines between China and the EU.
Beyond infringement of intellectual property rights of major agrichemical companies, the counterfeit products represent a threat for the health and safety of consumers as they are not subject to any tests contrary to authorised pesticides.
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