Brepal, which regulates EPAL (European Pallet Association) business within the UK and Ireland, says it has received reports of counterfeit EPAL pallets in circulation in the UK market.
At a recent check at a pallet user by EPAL’s inspection company, Bureau Veritas, several pallets carrying the EPAL mark were judged to be substandard. Many were found to have undersized boards and used timber that showed extensive wane.
Although these inferior pallets carried the licence number of a legitimate Polish producer, they didn’t have the holographic control staple that should accompany it. EPAL immediately carried out an investigation at the producer in Poland and finding no problems concluded that the pallets were forgeries.
Brepal CEO Paul Davidson said that the organisation’s inspectors were continually monitoring the quality of EPAL pallets, new and used.
“The EPAL mark is there to give users and their customers the confidence that each pallet that carries it has been produced, or repaired, to the high quality standards that we specify,” he said. “This covers the size, strength, load-bearing ability and durability, and overall condition of the pallet; and it means exchange of pallets is straightforward and users have quality assurance, fairness and added safety.
“Pallets that are not up to EPAL standards may be faulty or break. If they compromise the supply chain, they can damage a business’s reputation, be a hazard in the workplace, and cause significant economic losses.
“We are constantly monitoring our pool for evidence of fake or poorly maintained EPAL pallets in the pool, because they compromise users’ confidence that they are receiving a pallet that is fit for purpose. If any company is concerned that it is receiving fake or otherwise substandard pallets, they should contact me at the Brepal office directly. Brepal can also arrange for an on-site pallet audit and report.”
In recent months, EPAL has successfully pursued cases of non-conformance to its standards of in Europe courts.