At the beginning of 1961 and in the following years several European railways and members of the UIC (Union International des Chemins de fer), International Union of Railways, have concluded an agreement about the exchange of a pallet – today known as EUR-flat pallet – in all subscribing countries.
At the end of 1968 several railways have concluded an agreement about the exchange of a box pallet – today known as EUR-box pallet – in all subscribing countries.
The subscribing railways commit to monitoring and guaranteeing a compliance with the standards for the manufacture and repair of EUR-flat pallets and EUR-box pallets in their area and also to enabling a smooth exchange within the EPP (European Pallet Pool) – the member railways constitute the responsible body of this pool.
Since the mid-seventies the German Railways have assigned their rights on the trademarks on EUR-pallets (DB in emblem, RAL-RG 993, EPAL in oval and EUR in oval are trademarked names) to the Gütegemeinschaft Paletten and afterwards to the European umbrella organisation EPAL.
The Gütegemeinschaft Paletten e.V. is a registered association having legal capacity. As the German National Committee of the EUROPEAN PALLET ASSOCIATION (EPAL) it is among others responsible for the quality assurance of EUR-flat pallets and EUR-box pallets (see above) and represents the trademark owner.
The Gütegemeinschaft Paletten is a full member of the RAL, the German Institute for Quality Assurance and Certification e.V. in St. Augustin. As such it is among others subject to their statutory obligations to guarantee an always reproducible control of the compliance with the quality requirements.
Furthermore there are numerous co-operations with several institutes and associations, e.g. the Research Association for Intermodal Transport (SGKV), the Association Goods Traffic and Logistics e.V. (BGL) and the Association Wood Packaging Pallets Export Packing e.V. (HPE).