EUR/EPAL Court Rulings Clamp Down on Illegal Pallet Repairs

Legal action brought against two European pallet repairers has found both companies had
been repairing EUR/EPAL pallets without a licence and not complying with the rules of
repair.

The lawsuits, brought by EPAL and its Dutch subsidiary NEDERPAL in the Court of The
Hague, ruled that the state of a pallet is changed when it is repaired. However, the original
trademark remains valid – so the pallet cannot be repaired or traded if it still carries the
original EUR/EPAL brand.

The only exception to this rule is when the company has an official licence to repair EUR/
EPAL pallets, or when it is doing everything reasonably possible to indicate that the repairs
were done outside of the control of EPAL, the holder of the trademark; in practice this
means obliterating the trademark on the pallets before they are traded.

Martin Leibrandt, CEO of EPAL said: “These twin rulings highlight the importance that any
companies repairing EUR/EPAL pallets can only do so legally if they hold a licence. Our
pallets are part of a pooling and exchange system where the guarantee of consistently high
quality is vital, so the process of initial production, sorting and repair is governed by strict
rules. This allows us to guarantee set specifications for wood use, moisture content, board
thickness, brand mark, nails, nail distribution and blocks.

“A licence allows EPAL and auditor SGS to monitor and control quality and ensures an
equal market for all pallet repairers. We are continuing to work hard to ensure that the rules
are followed by all users and repairers of EUR/EPAL pallets.”

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