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Measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting
The European Union (EU) is strengthening the protection of the euro against counterfeiting by setting up a system for the exchange and centralisation of information, cooperation, including cooperation with non-EU countries, analysis and withdrawal of counterfeit notes and coins.
This regulation seeks to set up an overall system for protecting the euro against counterfeiting, with a view to the introduction of euro notes and coins on 1 January 2002. It supplements a number of decisions taken previously in this field, namely:
- Guideline ECB/1999/3 of the European Central Bank (ECB) of 26 August 1998 on certain provisions regarding euro banknotes, which established the Counterfeit Analysis Centre (CAC);
- Council decision of 28 February 2000 providing for the systematic gathering of technical information on euro counterfeiting by the ECB and for the establishment of national centres (Coin National Analysis Centres - CNACs) and a European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) responsible for analysing euro coins;
- Council Framework Decision 2000/383/JHA of 29 May 2000 on increasing protection by criminal penalties and other sanctions against counterfeiting in connection with the introduction of the euro.
The system for the protection of the euro includes the following elements:
- the systematic transmission of technical data on counterfeit euro notes and coins by the competent national authorities (national central banks, other empowered bodies, etc.) to the ECB, which will be responsible for storage and processing;
- the obligation on the competent national authorities to allow the National Analysis Centre (NAC) to examine suspected counterfeit notes and to allow the CNAC to examine suspect coins. These bodies must send all new types of suspect notes to the ECB and all new types of suspect coins to the ETSC;
- the obligation on credit institutions, on other payment service providers and on other institutions that process and distribute notes and coins to the public:
- to ensure that all euro notes and coins that they have received and that they intend to put back into circulation are checked for authenticity and
- to withdraw from circulation those notes and coins that they know or have good reason to believe are counterfeit and to hand them over to the relevant national authority.
- cooperation between the relevant authorities of EU countries (in particular, the national central offices established under the Geneva Convention), the ECB and the Commission for the purposes of strategic analysis and mutual assistance in the prevention of counterfeiting, including scientific support and training, and between them and the European Police Office (Europol);
- centralisation of the information on euro counterfeiting cases within the national central offices, with a view to transmission to Europol via its national units;
- cooperation with non-EU countries and international organisations.
EU countries must communicate the list of authorities competent to identify forged notes and coins to the Commission and the ECB.
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001||
OJ L 181 of 4.7.2001
|Amending act(s)||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 44/2009||
OJ L 17 of 22.1.2009
Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.