EPAL fights the supply of "2nd class" Euro pallets and the use of wood from illegal sources

EPAL fights the supply of "2nd class" Euro pallets and the use of wood from illegal sources

EPAL's international quality assurance is not only carried out in the production and repair of EPAL pallets by EPAL's licensees, but also fights the supply and delivery of counterfeit pallets, which are currently being offered by traders as "2nd class pallets". These pallets not only have quality defects, but there is also an urgent suspicion that illegal wood is being used in the process.
EPAL therefore recommends that EPAL Euro pallets should only be purchased from EPAL licensees.

New EPAL pallets being offered designated as 'Class 2'
In recent weeks, EPAL Euro pallets have been offered in individual cases at conspicuously low prices and with the designation ‘Class 2 EPAL pallets’. These offers are specifically being sent out by pallet traders by email, sometimes with photos of the pallets being offered. The photos show that the pallets exhibit significant quality faults. Specifically, the wood being used has wanes and other defects which are not permitted when producing EPAL pallets and incorrect nail positions can also frequently be seen.
Such offers of "2nd class" or even "3rd class" pallets exist in large numbers and for many years for pallets from other pallet systems. In contrast, EPAL has always successfully prevented pallets of poor quality from being offered and sold in the same way and as EPAL pallets.
Therefore we are taking this new development as an opportunity to clearly point out once more that new EPAL pallets may not be offered as ‘Class 2 EPAL pallets’. New EPAL Euro pallets must unreservedly meet the specifications of the EPAL Technical Regulations. Lower quality components and nails may not be used and the pallets may not be offered as ‘Class 2 EPAL pallets’.
If new EPAL Euro pallets are offered with the designation "2nd class", they are counterfeits, as only such pallets may be marked with the brand "EPAL in oval" which comply with the provisions of the EPAL Technical Regulations.
EPAL has therefore informed all licensees and the customs offices that EPAL pallets offered and delivered with the "2nd class" designation and showing recognizable quality defects must be destroyed. In case of doubt whether the pallets are counterfeit, EPAL's inspection company (Bureau Veritas) will inspect the pallets.
In the interest of users and licensees, EPAL will not tolerate new EPAL Euro pallets being offered with the designation ‘Class 2 EPAL pallets’ or "2nd class", as the unrestricted and internationally uniform quality of EPAL Euro pallets is the basis for safe logistics processes and the high reputation of EPAL Euro pallets.
Users of EPAL Euro pallets from industry, trade and logistics should buy EPAL Euro pallets exclusively from EPAL licensees in order to avoid any problem regarding the quality and legality of the pallets.

Exclusive use of wood from legal sources for EPAL pallets
Euro pallets are currently offered at such low prices in some cases that it is not possible to comprehend the pallet prices offered when making a calculation taking into account the prices for round timber or sawn timber.

It is therefore to be feared that such Euro pallets, which are offered at conspicuously low prices, not only have quality defects, but are also produced with wood from illegal origin, which is offered at significantly lower prices than wood from legal origin. This is either wood that has been harvested without the permission of the national authorities or wood that has been imported in violation of the sanctions against Russia and Belarus from these countries. When delivering pallets and wood from Belarus, it is often falsely declared that the wood or wood products come from Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan. In the case of EPAL Euro pallets, this is already wrong because there are no licensees of EPAL in these countries.
EPAL therefore works closely with the customs authorities to prevent the import of illegally produced and counterfeit Euro pallets.
In addition to the provisions of the technical regulations, the licensees of EPAL Euro pallets are also obliged to comply with all legal provisions, including the provisions of the European Timber Regulation (EUTR).
By purchasing EPAL Euro pallets directly from one of EPAL's licensees, users can therefore ensure that the pallets they use comply with all legal provisions and meet the requirements for sustainable forest management.

About EPAL:
As an international association, the European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL) is responsible for organising the EPAL Euro pallet exchange pool. EPAL Euro pallets are the cornerstone of industrial and retail supply chains in Europe. The EPAL brand stands for quality, safety and sustainability in logistics.
There are currently more than 650 million EPAL Euro pallets and approximately 20 million EPAL Box pallets in circulation making the EPAL Euro pallet exchange pool the biggest open pallet exchange pool in the world. More than 1,600 EPAL licensees produce and repair EPAL Euro pallets and other EPAL load carriers.
As a non-profit organisation, EPAL does not pursue any commercial interests. Founded in 1991 as the international association for exchangeable Euro pallets, EPAL is currently active in over 35 countries through national associations and representatives. The central focus of EPAL’s activity is the organisation of the international EPAL Euro pallet exchange pool and the quality assurance of the production and repair of EPAL Euro pallets, EPAL Box pallets, and other EPAL load carriers.
The EPAL Euro pallet exchange pool, with its principles of reuse, exchange, repair and recycling, has been an exemplar for a sustainable circular economy for more than three decades. Wooden EPAL Euro pallets make a significant contribution to protecting the climate. They store CO2, prevent waste and improve the carbon footprint of users in industry, retail and logistics through reuse, exchange, repair and recycling.

For further press information:
European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL)
Bernd Dörre (CEO)
T   +49 (0) 211 98 480 48 95
M +49 (0) 151 16 50 45 74