Counterfeiting is a $1.7 trillion global problem we typically think about regarding high-end goods and parts. The issue is also important for wood pallets.
The European Pallet Association has made a breakthrough in the battle against counterfeiters of EPAL Euro pallets. This win is vital in its effort to curb the distribution of inferior pallets which increase the risk of worker injury, product damage and operational inefficiencies in the supply chain. Uncurbed, counterfeits can also undermine the sales of established EPAL member companies, and erode the EPAL brand.
“The use of illegally produced pallets for transportation and storage facilities conceals considerable risks for logistics and retail companies,” stated Martin Leibrandt, CEO of EPAL. “Investigation of the counterfeit pallets has revealed that the overwhelming majority are produced from low-grade materials and undersized boards. Counterfeit pallets, therefore, do not have the stability and safe working load of original EPAL Euro pallets. The use of counterfeit pallets can lead to extensive disruptions to transportation and warehouse logistics, which can create additional costs and claims for compensation.”
EPAL representation in Ukraine in conjunction with the independent inspection company Bureau Veritas, have identified a producer of illegal EPAL pallets in that country. In a joint campaign with the local police force, Bureau Veritas and Ukrainian lawyers, EPAL located and seized large quantities of counterfeit EPAL Euro pallets, as well as false branding plates. The counterfeiter will face criminal prosecution for the commercial infringement of trademark laws.
European Pallet Association (EPAL) is focusing on professional counterfeiters in the Ukraine. EPAL wishes to track down the producers of counterfeit EPAL Euro pallets, seize the illegal pallets and destroy them. At the same time, EPAL is informing Ukraine pallet manufacturers about the advantages of producing and repairing EPAL Euro pallets under an EPAL license. It is also communicating to retail and logistics trade about the disadvantages of using counterfeit pallets.
If goods are exported to the EU from Ukraine on counterfeit EPAL pallets, the customs authorities can hold the complete load for up to ten days. When authorities determine that suspect pallets are counterfeits, the entire shipment must be repalletized at the expense of the carrier or exporter. Bogus pallets spotted by officials can result in a delay of delivery, contractual penalties or the delivery rejection. Customs authorities authorize the destruction of counterfeits. This information also applies if the counterfeit pallets have been bought in Ukraine and shipped abroad. In such cases, there is the risk of losing the entire value of the goods.