The court banned the import of counterfeited pallets
Over 90 million new EPAL wooden pallets are placed on the European market every year. Even more of them are being repaired. How long they serve after repairing, depends on different circumstances. Unfortunately, this is a business, where are also dishonest "players".
That the pallet complies with the EPAL standard is demonstrated by its marking. But counterfeiters are trying to counterfeit the EPAL mark. And they falsify also a special phytosanitary treatment mark indicating in which state and in which company the pallet was produced. In 2019 became more active falsifiers from Belarussia, offering cheap pallets with illegally used foreign brands and phytosanitary numbers of other companies (from Poland, Czech Republic and others). The quality of such pallets is clearly critical, endangering the health of workers and the safety of the goods being transported, violating of phytosanitary requirements.
The market situation shows that Phytosanitary inspectors do not perform their duties properly and sellers of pallets with counterfeit phytosanitary markings in Lithuania feel themselves safe. Because greed overcomes caution, managers of companies that avoid transparency, continue to buy and distribute counterfeited pallets with goods on them in the territory of Lithuania and other European countries. The EPAL National Committee in the Baltic States consults employees of different companies and law enforcement officers how to assess the quality and authenticity of europallets. Not only the production and repair of such pallets without a license, but also their usage violates Lithuanian Law.
In 2019, Lithuanian Customs detained several different pallet cargoes. Newly made pallets with counterfeited marking were destroyed at the expense of the the Customer. Refrigerated semi-trailers were used to transport the pallets, making it difficult to control the cargo at the border.
Later, the “shadow actors” apparently concluded that it would be safer to transport used pallets instead of new ones. Thanks to Customs officials, such a batch of counterfeits was also detained. In February 2020, the Vilnius Regional Court in case 2-492-580-2020 decided to confiscate and destroy, at the expense of the defendant, used wooden pallets marked with “EPAL” trademarks detained at Kaunas Territorial Customs. Defendant was also required to reimburse EPAL for legal costs. At the same time, several producers of counterfeited pallets were identified.
EPAL is taking legal actions against the counterfeiters in Belarus itself.