Article Credit: Tamara Kutonova, OSCE Secretariat
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), recently released a publication that describes the most commonly used methods of smuggling pesticides. The paper, Counteraction to Counterfeit and Сontraband Pesticides. Methodology, also presents a methodology to combat counterfeit and contraband pesticides, using a holistic approach that includes prevention, preparedness and response to crime.
According to various estimates, the share of counterfeit pesticides on the global pesticide market is as high as 25%, with about 70% of this coming in small packages for private agricultural producers and small farmers. The use of counterfeit pesticides pose a threat to human life and health and to the environment. Detected counterfeit pesticides are subject to destruction, as they are classified as a hazardous waste are dangerous when accumulated in storage. In spite of all efforts made, counterfeit pesticides often return to the market under new branding.
Customs risk analysis and management systems are at the forefront of anti-counterfeiting and anti-smuggling efforts. All customs, regardless of whether a particular country is, or is not, a Party to the Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Kyoto Convention, 1973), use some form of risk management and implementing procedures to detect illegal activities. Some parameters for customs risk profiles for transboundary movements of pesticides include:
Raising public awareness is another key element of an effective trafficking prevention strategy.
It is essential to ensure the involvement of responsible businesses, social activists, and international organisations, as well as the development of inter-agency and international cooperation. The effectiveness of anti-counterfeiting and anti-smuggling activities greatly depends on interdepartmental and intergovernmental cooperation (particularly between customs authorities of different countries), communication with businesses, civil society and international organisations.