Court Ruling: Repair of EPAL/EUR Pallets without a License is Prohibited

The EUR / EPAL pallet is one of the most famous and most used pallets in international trade and Nederpal is the Dutch branch of EPAL and has been active since 2005.

Recently the Court of The Hague ruled in two separate lawsuits by EPAL and Nederpal against two pallet repairers. The EUR / EPAL pallets are part of a pool system in which they are exchanged. Within this pallet pool system the guarantee of a consistent quality of the pallets of great importance. For this reason, the production of new pallets and sorting and repairing used pallets are bound by rules. The pallets must meet certain specifications and standards regarding, among other things, the use of wood, wood moisture, thickness of the boards, brand mark, the nails and the nail distribution and blocks. To ensure that the pallets in circulation are of high quality and remain that way, the production and repair of EUR / EPAL pallets is reserved for companies with a license issued by EPAL.

In both lawsuits Nederpal and EPAL were against repairers of EUR / EPAL pallets that were not affiliated with EPAL or Nederpal and therefore did not have a license. The repair of the pallets was also not conforming to the applicable rules for repair.

The court ruled that in case of repair of EUR / EPAL pallets the state of the pallets is changed. The repair and trading of reconditioned pallets that carry the original brand is not allowed since in this case the pallets trademark law is not exhausted. Trading is allowed only when either the repairer has an official license or the repairer is doing everything reasonably possible to make clear that the products are not reconditioned under the control of the trademark holder.

These conditions were not met in both issues. The repairers did not have an EPAL license, nor did they mention on the pallets that these were repaired by them.

Nederpal has welcomed the rulings of the court. President Arjan Kuiper: “The ruling indicate that all pallet repairers that repair EUR / EPAL pallets are required to apply for a license. In this way, control body SGS can monitor the quality of the pallets. This increases the quality of the EUR / EPAL pallet pool and ensures equal market conditions for all pallet repairers. Nederpal will, in close cooperation with SGS, ensure that the rules are followed. ”

Contact person: Willem-Jan Lieve

Source: EPAL

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