On 19 December 2016, Rail Cargo Austria AG on behalf of UIC, the Belgian Federal Public Service for the Economy (FPS Economy) and testing agency SGS Germany had reason to suspect a Belgian firm of handling counterfeit EUR pallets. On conducting a spot check, they discovered thousands of counterfeit pallets. The fakes represent a safety risk if used due to their inferior quality, and were immediately seized by the authorities.
Targeting international counterfeiting gangs, the operation was a resounding success for all involved since it took several thousand fake EUR pallets out of circulation. As well as the EUR pallets, some 2,000 inferior-quality and/or counterfeit EPAL pallets were found. These were also seized. Testing agency SGS Germany verified in situ that the EUR pallets were all fakes and confiscated them for later use by FPS Economy. Enquiries by the local authorities showed that the firm’s managing director is an EPAL licence holder and board member of the EPAL National Committee in Germany. The operation is a further refutation of the recent media allegations against UIC and its member railways.
For 55 years, licensed EUR pallet producers have printed the “EUR” oval marking on the right-hand corner block of their pallets. This quality marking indicates that the pallet has been manufactured in accordance with the relevant UIC standard, and that it is exchangeable in the open pallet pool. UIC and its member railways regularly undertake a comprehensive range of measures in various countries in order to guarantee the quality of EUR pallets for users.
Fake EUR pallets represent a significant health & safety risk, both to users and during transport. The UIC member railways thus take a proactive approach to combat counterfeiting, since they are not only licence-issuers and repairers of EUR pallets, but also use them for transshipment and in their own freight services.
The reliable collaboration and support of all market actors are needed to ensure the requisite quality standard in the open pallet pool. Users can help achieve this aim by obtaining all their EUR pallets from licensed manufacturers.
Further information is available via the following link, or on the homepage of the other UIC member railways.