On 8 July 2008 the Council of the European Union approved Slovakia’s application to join the euro area on 1 January 2009.
On 1 January 2009 the euro became legal tender in Slovakia. It replaced the Slovak koruna (SKK) at the irrevocably fixed exchange rate of €1 = SKK 30.1260.
The pre-distribution (“frontloading”) of euro cash to professional third parties prior to 1 January 2009 helped to ensure a smooth cash changeover, alleviate the logistical burden and reduce the costs of having two currencies circulating at the same time. The frontloading of coins to banks started in September 2008, and the frontloading of banknotes one month later. Some of this cash was passed on to retailers and other companies (“sub-frontloading”). The frontloading of euro banknotes and coins was governed by Guideline ECB/2006/9 as amended by Guideline ECB/2008/4. An unofficial consolidated text has been produced by the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
From 17 January 2009 only euro banknotes and coins can be used for cash payments in Slovakia, but banks will continue to exchange Slovak koruna banknotes until the end of 2009 and Slovak koruna coins until the end of June 2009, at the fixed conversion rate. Fees may be charged by banks as of 20 January 2009 if the amount per customer and transaction exceeds 100 banknotes and 100 coins. Národná banka Slovenska will exchange Slovak koruna banknotes for an unlimited time and coins until the end of 2013.