PRESS RELEASE

The exchange of national banknotes of other participating Member States by participating national central banks

3 November 1998

The euro will become the currency of the participating Member States as from 1 January 1999 and the national currency units will be sub-units of the euro. The euro banknotes and coins will not be available until 1 January 2002. To ensure substitutability between the national currency units, the Governing Council of the ECB has decided that each participating national central bank shall arrange for it to be possible, at one location at least, to exchange legal tender banknotes of other participating Member States against national banknotes and coins at the official conversion rate.

The national central banks may limit the number and/or the total value of banknotes they are prepared to accept for any given transaction or on any one day. The national central banks may also approve the submission of banknotes of other participating Member States from commercial banks and bureaux de change to be repatriated to the issuing central bank.

The preparations being made by the national central banks concerning exchange and repatriation will be finalised before the beginning of December 1998.

Further information may be requested from the ECB, at the address below.

[Note: Further information is now available at the new section: The exchange of national banknotes in the euro area.]

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