Fake Pallets Seized in Belgium

Belgian officials spotted a large number of counterfeit Euro Pallets (EPAL) during a targeted check near the Dutch border, confiscating them. They originated in the Ukraine, marked with the official EPAL logo.

 

Belgian officials spotted a large number of counterfeit Euro Pallets (EPAL) during a targeted check near the Dutch border, confiscating them. They originated in the Ukraine, marked with the official EPAL logo.   

Seized pallets. The (fake) EPAL logo is well visible  -  courtesy of European Pallet Association
Seized pallets. The (fake) EPAL logo is well visible - courtesy of European Pallet Association

In total, Belgian controllers stopped four Ukrainian trucks, laden with thousands of counterfeit Euro Pallets and confiscated their loads.
The seizure was a result of a close cooperation between the Belgian National Committee of the EPAL, Belepal, and the EPAL representative office in the Ukraine, states the pallet association in an announcement.

Massive counterfeiting
Apart from Belepal, the International Union of Railways (UIC) and its audit organization Geneva-based Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) were also involved, as the Ukrainian representative of EPAL had increasingly pointed to the problem of massive counterfeiting of UIC pallets in Ukraine and EPAL had urged UIC to take action.
Of the confiscated counterfeits, 90% bear the EUR / EUR or UIC logo, 10% are marked with EPAL. The seized pallets are of poor quality but resemble originals at first sight. While in use and moved by forklifts during loading or unloading of trucks or within cargo terminals, they can easily crack or completely break into pieces if laden with large or heavy loads. This way they pose a constant risk for the operating staff as well as the risk of possible “load-shifting” in-flight when placed on aircraft pallets.

Hands off of fake pallets
In an announcement, the European Pallet Association points out that it had repeatedly warned the transport industry from being ripped-off by fake pallets offered to potential utilizers at discount prices. Instead, forwarders, ground handlers and others should purchase pallets only from licensed manufacturers and recognized repair shops, urges EPAL.

Lucrative frauds
For outsiders it is surprising that pallet counterfeiting seems to pay off at all since users have to pay only €16.49 for a standard Euro Pallet. However, in case of mass use of these wooden platforms even a price difference of 2 or 3 euros per piece generates savings amounting to a lucrative sum of money at the end of the day.   
EPAL, comprising roughly 1,500 members and an annual Euro pallet production of 67 million pallets, was founded in 1991 to work predominantly with European railway companies but also other members of the shipping and transportation industry to maintain a Europe-wide quality assurance and inspection standard for the Euro pallet.
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. The Swiss firm with 85,000-plus staff operates a network of more than 1,800 offices and laboratories around the world.

Heiner Siegmund

Write a comment

Comments: 0