Pallet exchange can offer a simple, effective approach to pallet management. But vigilance is also required to ensure that pool quality is not diluted by the acceptance of inferior pallets, which can lead to increased replacement and operating costs, as well as safety concerns. Such has been the case with EPAL, the European Pallet Association in its relationship with UIC. Until recently, an exchange agreement between both parties had been in place.
EPAL recently announced that due to quality concerns it expressed about UIC pallets, it was recommending that pallet users no longer recognize UIC pallets manufactured after Feb. 28, 2017, as being exchangeable with EPAL pallets.
In this update, EPAL offers practical advice for pallet users. EPAL Exchange Advice
More counterfeit UIC pallets found in Ukraine
Further to the exchange termination, a large numbers of counterfeit UIC/EUR pallets have been uncovered in the Ukraine, according to an announcement from EPAL. The counterfeits were discovered at two pallet producers in Kiev. The companies had both used and new counterfeit UIC/EUR pallets in inventory. The investigation suggested that the production and sale of counterfeit UIC/EUR pallets, even in large numbers, posed no problem for the counterfeiters. They reported being unconcerned about any problems with the UIC.
EPAL stated that its investigation clearly shows that the production and sale of counterfeit UIC/EUR pallets in Ukraine continues unabated. “The UIC and Rail Cargo Austria AG (RCA) are evidently still not taking any effective measures as the owners of the “UIC” and “EUR in Oval” trademarks or as guarantors of the quality assurance of UIC/EUR pallets, to prevent the distribution of counterfeit, inferior quality UIC/EUR pallets,” EPAL stated. In March 2017, UIC was critical of EPAL’s decision to curtail exchange.
Martin Leibrandt, CEO of EPA said, “UIC’s denial of the counterfeiting of UIC/EUR pallets, hasn’t survived a week. Once more you have to ask yourself if the UIC is in a position to and intends to fulfill its duties to effectively fight counterfeit and inferior quality UIC/EUR pallets. Our decision to terminate the exchangeability agreement was and is the right decision. The open Euro pallet exchange pool organized by EPAL will continue to stand for quality and safety in the future.”