Banknote manufacturer accreditation

Keeping euro banknotes to the highest standards

The ECB has a duty to ensure the integrity of the euro as a means of payment by applying the highest environmental, health and safety, security and quality standards throughout the research and development, design, production and supply phases of euro banknotes.

Euro banknotes must therefore be produced to specific industrial standards, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001, and meet strict security requirements.

Manufacturers of euro items must be accredited

The manufacturing of euro items and of euro secure items is also subject to an ECB accreditation procedure. Only accredited manufacturers may participate in procurements and enter into contracts for euro items activities or euro secure activities.

The conditions of this procedure are laid down in Decision ECB/2013/54, which is valid until 17 May 2021. From 18 May 2021 the revised accreditation procedure laid down in Decision ECB/2020/24 will apply. Both decisions are available; however there will be a 12-month transition period between them, beginning on 16 May 2020 and ending on 17 May 2021.

In addition to improving the clarity, consistency and applicability of the accreditation procedure, Decision ECB/2020/24 adds the ethical conduct of business as a fifth main requirement for accredited manufacturers, alongside security, quality, environment and health and safety.

Fields of accredited manufacturers

The ECB may grant accreditation to manufacturers in the following fields:
  • Banknote printing
  • Banknote papermaking
  • Manufacturing of printing inks
  • Manufacturing of holographic foils
  • Manufacturing of banknote security threads
  • Manufacturing of other secure items
  • Further information on ECB accreditation procedures

    For further information, download the Q&A on the accreditation procedures relevant for the current accreditation Decision ECB/2013/54.

    If you are considering accreditation

    Send an email with a short description in English of the products you manufacture (maximum two A4 pages) to Normally we reply within one month.

    We use PGP encryption for secure communication. Please download the PGP key of QEHS.accreditation for use when transmitting sensitive information.

    Other opportunities for cooperation with the ECB

    If you wish to propose new security features or banknote production or processing technologies, please check with Banknote research and development.