Euro banknotes are produced using sophisticated printing technology. They also have a number of prominent security features, which make them easy to distinguish from counterfeits without using special equipment and which act as a deterrent to counterfeiters.

Counterfeit Analysis Centre

The ECB closely monitors advances in printing and reproduction technologies, as well as the number of counterfeits seized. The counterfeits are analysed by the central banks of the euro area and the ECB’s Counterfeit Analysis Centre, which coordinates technical and statistical information on counterfeits. The information stored in the centre’s database is shared with national police forces and other bodies involved in combating counterfeiting. The ECB also works closely with Europol (the European Police Office), which has been designated as the central office for coordinating the protection of the euro, as well as with Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organization) and the European Commission.

Preventing illegal use of digital banknote images

Counterfeiters are making increasing use of digital imaging hardware and software. In response, the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group – an international group of more than 30 central banks which was set up at the request of the G10 central bank governors – has developed a counterfeit deterrence system (CDS) which prevents the capture or reproduction of images of protected banknotes. The system has been voluntarily adopted by hardware and software producers. High-resolution images of banknotes are however available from the ECB for legitimate purposes.

If you wish to reproduce high-resolution images, please write to and explain why you need them.