Crop Protection

CropLife Europe took part in a CEPOL Workshop on Combating Illegal and Counterfeit Pesticide Trade

12 December 2023, EUPesticides play a vital role in agriculture, contributing to crop protection, pest and disease control, food sovereignty and agricultural productivity.

Illegal and counterfeit pesticide trade, valued at billions of euros globally according to Europol, poses significant threats to farmers` health, the environment, and the European economy.

At CropLife Europe, we recognise the urgency to address illegal and counterfeit pesticide trade, which is why our experts took part in a collaborative workshop organised by CEPOL, the European Agency for Law Enforcement Training, in Budapest from 4-6 December 2023.

Other key stakeholders taking part included the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, and representatives of EU Member States, and from neighboring regions.

The primary objective of the workshop was to enhance the capabilities of law enforcement agencies in comprehending and tackling the nature of illicit and counterfeit pesticide trade.

The challenges are multifaceted, encompassing intricate international supply chains managed by criminal networks, the proliferation of counterfeit and unregistered products, and the necessity for comprehensive enforcement involving customs, laboratory analyses, and international cooperation.

Sessions focused on intelligence gathering, identification of emerging threats, and risk analysis. The participants also had the opportunity to gain practical exposure through a field visit to a customs border, where strategies for controlling the illegal flow of pesticides were showcased.

The clear conclusion was the imperative need for a coordinated response, for the exploration of practical strategies and for international collaboration, emphasizing the opportunities linked to public-private partnerships. The event served as a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and strategies, fostering a collective approach among the participating countries.

A key outcome of the workshop? The development of investigators’ guidelines aimed at standardizing and enhancing enforcement procedures across borders.

CropLife Europe is dedicated to combating illegal and counterfeit pesticide trade: actively participating in collaborative initiatives such as this workshop is therefore a key priority for our association.

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