Europe’s freight trains fighting against counterfeit EUR pallets

UIC network stands for security and quality – counterfeit euro pallets are withdrawn from circulation without exception

Europe’s freight trains fighting against counterfeit EUR pallets

As counterfeit EUR pallets mean a significant risk to the safety of users and the transport of goods, the Rail Cargo Group (RCG), the cargo division of the ÖBB, and the entire UIC network apply a zero-tolerance policy against counterfeiters. This led to visible results also last spring.

In May 2017, the Frankfurt customs office sent pictures of suspicious EUR pallets to the Rail Cargo Group. As a trademark holder of the “EUR” mark in the oval, they were able to immediately confirm that these were counterfeit EUR pallets from Belarus. The counterfeits were destructed on 14 June 2017 under the supervision of the customs authorities and in the presence of national press representatives. The culprit will be sued for the total costs of some thousand euros, which incurred for the handling, storage, transport and destruction of the counterfeits.

RCG, the trademark holder of the EUR sign in the oval, as well as the other UIC railway companies, which grant licenses for the production and repair of EUR pallets, are constantly working to improve the monitoring and are in close contact among eah other as well as with the responsible authorities in the individual countries. This is based on the realisation that only high-quality and quality-assured EUR pallets guarantee a smooth and safe swap in the open pallet pool.

The measures introduced and the ongoing improvements are showing an effect. Against this background, the Rail Cargo Group and the cargo railways in the UIC network call upon all users to report suspicious EUR pallets or dodgy offers on EUR pallets immediately.

According to the Rail Cargo Group, the EUR-pallets produced by a licensed manufacturer can be recognised by the UIC sign on the left corner block and the EUR symbol in the oval on the right corner block. The ISPM stamp, the licensing UIC railway company (UIC-RU), as well as the manufacturer’s identification with the year and month of manufacturing, can be found on the middle section of the long side. In addition, an inspection bracket is on one of the center blocks, which documents the quality assurance carried out by an authorised testing organisation.

Also poor quality of the wood and poor assembly can help to detect a counterfeit. Licensed manufacturers are subject to strict and unannounced quality control by independent and certified testing organisations.