PRESS RELEASE

New rules on the reproduction and exchange of euro banknotes

25 March 2003

The European Central Bank (ECB) published today new rules that clarify the conditions under which:

  1. reproductions of euro banknotes are allowed;
  2. damaged euro banknotes may be exchanged.

The aim of the new reproduction rules is to grant adequate protection to euro banknotes and avoid reproductions being confused with genuine banknotes. The reproduction rules set criteria under which reproductions are allowed and prohibit potentially confusing reproductions of euro banknotes. Strict criteria are laid down in particular for intangible reproductions available on web sites, since print-outs of such reproductions might be confused with genuine banknotes. In the event of doubt, third parties may seek confirmation from the ECB or the National Central Banks of the euro area that the reproductions are allowed.

The amended rules on the exchange of euro banknotes now also provide for the possibility of exchanging intentionally damaged euro banknotes, presented by applicants in good faith, or euro banknotes with only minor damage such as scribbling on them.

The new set of rules laid down in the Decision on the denominations, specifications, reproduction, exchange and withdrawal of euro banknotes and the Guideline on the enforcement of measures to counter non-compliant reproductions of euro banknotes and on the exchange and withdrawal of euro banknotes were adopted by the ECB Governing Council at its meeting on 20 March 2003 and have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union today. They will enter into force on the day following their publication.

Media contacts