Increasing quantities of illegal pesticides are being produced, marketed and sold in Europe with the consequent risks to human, animal and environment health as well as for the economy, including the loss of thousands of jobs.
Despite the EU legislation is one of the most restrictive in the world, the EU Commission estimates that the illegal pesticides account for a 10% of the total market.
The counterfeit and illegal pesticides might:
- Not be currently authorised for sale by Competent Pesticide Authorities. Therefore, non-tested products can lead to residue levels that might be unacceptable for human, animal and/or environmental health.
- Contain chemicals that are either banned or restricted in the EU due to the potential risks they may pose to human and/or animal health and/or the environment.
The current counterfeit and illegal pesticides are unknown and have not been evaluated under EU Regulatory framework for pesticides. Pesticides can only be marketed and used in the EU if they are duly authorised because they are considered safe when used according to the approved use instructions.
In cooperation with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), EUROPOL seized 122 tonnes of banned or fake pesticides in only 10 intensive days of inspection at ports, airports and borders. The main route of entrance in Europe is the traditional trade route from China to Europe where Belgium, The Netherlands and Poland are the main entries where more illegal pesticides have been seized during this operation.