On behalf of Rail Cargo Austria, the inspection company SGS Germany has carried out an unannounced inspection with a Belgian pallet trader. They were able to seize 3,700 forged and just as many illegally repaired wooden pallets there.
During the inspection, more trucks with pallets of dubious origin and quality arrived, which were also seized immediately. Apart from SGS Germany the inspection close to the Belgian-Dutch border involved auditors of the local SGS subsidiary, a representative of the Belgian National Committee of Epal (Belepal) and the Belgian competent authority (Algemene Directie Economische Inspectie).
Such inspections, in addition to regular quality control of manufacturers and repairers, are an important part of comprehensive quality assurance of UIC/EUR pallets. All across Europe inspection experts of SGS carry out the testing on behalf of the licensor Rail Cargo Austria. In May 2016 already a case of product piracy in Germany was detected, and the forged pallets were withdrawn from circulation. The pallets were neither produced by a licensed manufacturer nor did they meet the stringent quality requirements of the UIC.
“The pallets seized in Belgium are of such poor quality, that their use can easily result in damages to persons and property,” explains Stephan Preilowski, project manager in charge of charge carriers at the SGS inspection company.
Original UIC/EUR pallets should only be purchased from licensed companies. At the same time users should ensure that the pallets are provided with the quality control bracket on the center block. It is the distinctive mark for original, high-quality UIC pallets.