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Medals and tokens similar to euro coins

This regulation lays down uniform conditions for the production of medals and tokens similar to euro coins in order to protect citizens from the risk of confusion or fraud. It defines the use of the terms relating to the euro, on the one hand, and the degree of technical similarity between medals/tokens and euro coins, on the other.

ACT

Council Regulation (EC) No 2182/2004 of 6 December 2004 concerning medals and tokens similar to euro coins [See amending act(s)].

SUMMARY

The regulation is designed to protect the public from the risk of confusion or fraud caused by metallic objects, such as medals and tokens, with strong similarities to euro coins. Not only could such medals and tokens be mistaken for legal tender, they could also be used illegally instead of euro coins.

The regulation prohibits the production, sale, importation and distribution (for sale or for other commercial purposes) of medals and tokens having visual characteristics or properties similar to the single currency. Medals and tokens must not bear the term "euro" or "euro cent" or the euro symbol on their surface. Nor may they include any design similar to designs depicted on euro coins, symbols representing the sovereignty of Member States, the edge shape or design of euro coins or the euro symbol. Lastly, medals and tokens must not be of the same size as euro coins. The Commission is to specify whether a metallic object is a medal or token and whether the prohibitions of this regulation apply.

Medals and tokens bearing the term "euro" or "euro cent" or the euro symbol without an associated nominal value are allowed, provided that their size is sufficiently different from that of euro coins and that they do not include a design similar to the designs and symbols listed above. If, however, they are very similar in size, they must either have a hole in their centre or form a polygon of not more than six edges, or be made of gold, silver or platinum, or be consistently outside the ranges specified.

The Commission may grant specific authorisations to use the term "euro" or "euro cent" or the euro symbol where there is no risk of confusion. In such cases, the economic operator concerned within a Member State must be clearly identifiable on the surface of the medal or token. If the medal or token also bears an associated nominal value, the indication "not legal tender" must be stamped on its obverse or reverse side in addition.

The denominations and technical specifications of euro coins, the only coinage having legal tender in the euro zone, are laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 975/98. For the purposes of the new regulation, medals and tokens are defined as metallic objects that have the appearance and/or technical properties of euro coins, but that are not issued under national or participating third-country legislative provisions or other foreign legislative provisions and that therefore are neither a legal means of payment nor legal tender.

Medals and tokens issued before the entry into force of the regulation may be used until the end of 2009, provided that they are not used instead of euro coins. Such medals and tokens must be recorded in accordance with the procedures applicable in Member States and communicated to the European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC).

This regulation is applicable in all Member States that introduced the euro in 2002 (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain), but its scope is extended by Regulation (EC) No 2183/2004 as amended by Regulation (EC) No 47/2009 to Member States not participating in the monetary union. Member States are to lay down and implement rules on sanctions applicable to infringements of the regulation by 1 July 2005.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2182/2004

21.12.2004

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OJ L 373 of 21.12.2004

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 46/2009

11.2.2009

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OJ L 17 of 22.1.2009

Last updated: 13.08.2009
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