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EPAL Work To Fight Counterfeit Pallets In Europe

20 May 2016

One of the most frequently used items in the freight and logistics industry is the humble pallet. It is used for national and international transportation for a huge variety of items. It can be expensive to buy new wooden pallets, however, so companies can buy wooden pallets which have been used but come from a trustworthy source.

It can be quite hard to know what to look for and where to look if you want to buy wooden pallets like these. EPAL (European Pallet Association) is the body that developed the widely used Euro pallet standard. It developed the largest and most trusted exchange pool for pallets in the world. It has now developed a grading system for used pallets which should help customers decide which pallets to buy and to be confident that they pallet they buy is of the right quality.

Why Is a Grading System Necessary?

Wooden pallets can last for a considerable time, and can therefore be bought and re-used by different companies. Different industries require different types of pallets, as do different destinations and different loads, so it’s important that you know your pallets are up to the job. This is easy if you are buying new wooden pallets from a trusted and reputable supplier, but it’s harder if you are acquiring used pallets.

The EPAL scheme, although not mandatory, allows you to choose which grade of pallet you need. There are three grades of used or repaired pallet: A, B and C – with C being the lowest. Although it is the lowest grade, the C grade of pallet meets all the requirements of the EPAL specifications.

The middle grade of pallet, B, will have no splinters or adhesions and a moisture content of less than 22%. A C grade pallet can be slightly skewed, have some slight splintering and some illegible marking – a B grade pallet cannot.

The top grade of pallet, A, will be lighter in colour than the B grade and will have no contamination risk, such as mould, insect droppings, paint, oil, dirt or smell.

Preventing Counterfeiting

EPAL pallets are policed and monitored, and the regulations are strictly enforced. They are repaired to a strict standard, and the repairs are monitored by independent inspectors. Counterfeit pallets – pallets which appear to be EPAL quality marked, but which are in fact inferior – pose a real problem to the freight industry. They can be the source of health and safety problems and legal difficulties.

Counterfeit pallets are unlikely to be produced to the same standards as EPAL pallets – for example, ISPM 15 pallets may not be properly treated. The wood is often of a poorer quality, which can lead to damaged goods, injury to your workers and higher costs. Check that wood pallets for sale have the EPAL grade.

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