On 11th July, Europol reported that some 360 tonnes of illegal or counterfeit pesticides were seized in Europe as the result of Operation SILVER AXE III, an annual operation coordinated by Europol with the support of OLAF. Run over the course of 20 days, the operation saw checks being carried out at major seaports, airports and land borders, as well as production and repacking facilities in the 27 participating countries. Pesticides are one of the most regulated products in the world today and can only be traded and used in the EU if the products are proven safe and authorised. The operation focused on the sale and placing on the market (imports) of counterfeit pesticides, including infringements of intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents and copyright, as well as targeting the illegal trade of pesticides. Since 2015, the number taking part in SILVER AXE has grown each year, reflecting the growing commitment to tackle this issue.