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Brussels, 15 July 2010

Q&A on the proposal for an EU Regulation to facilitate professional cross-border transportation of euro cash by road between euro-area Member States

(see IP/10/949)

1. What is the problem?

Professional cash transportation is generally carried out by dedicated cash-in-transit (CIT) companies, but the national regulations governing this sector are very different from Member State to Member State. Regulatory differences concern a wide range of issues such as the possession and carrying of firearms by the CIT-staff, armouring and equipment of the CIT-vehicles, number of staff in the vehicles, training requirements, the use of intelligent banknote neutralisation systems (IBNS), information towards the police, licence rules and penalties etc.

Due to the strong differences between the relevant national legislations it is generally very difficult to transport euro banknotes and coins between euro-area Member States on a professional basis and very little cross-border land transportation therefore takes place.

That euro banknotes and coins cannot circulate and be transported, in most cases, across national borders within the euro area is, however, contrary to the logic of monetary union and prevent cash handlers in border regions from taking full advantage of the single currency.

2. What is the Commission proposing?

The Commission proposes to facilitate cross-border transports of euro cash within the euro area by replacing the different national rules by a set of common EU rules for professional cross-border cash transports by road. Domestic transports of euro cash will not be affected by the EU Regulation.

In order to ensure the security of the staff and the general public, it is foreseen that a company that wants to carry out cross-border transport of euro cash must ask for a specific cross-border cash-in-transit licence from its Member State of origin. As a pre-condition, the company must be approved by its national authorities to carry out domestic cash transports.

Strict rules are foreseen regarding minimum number of staff, armouring of vehicles, training of staff, 'intelligent' neutralisation systems for banknotes (smart-boxes which neutralise the banknotes, for example by staining them with indelible ink, in case of unauthorized opening of the box), penalties in case of infringement of the rules etc.

3. What are the benefits?

The proposal will make it possible to increase the efficiency of the cash cycle and lower the costs for CIT-companies and their customers by allowing for more efficient transport routes and more competition in border regions.

Banks, retailers and other professional cash handlers will be able to benefit from integrated contract management and cash handling across borders. They will also benefit from increased competition between CIT-companies in border regions and a wider choice of service providers.

CIT-companies will be able to optimise logistics of transport and cash handling and have access to a larger market in border regions.

Lower costs for CIT-companies and their customers and possibilities for better service will ultimately also benefit the consumer.

4. What is covered by the rules?

All professional transportation, i.e. carried out for remuneration on behalf of third parties (or carried out within a CIT-company), by road of euro banknotes and/or coins between euro-area Member States are covered by the rules. However, transports between Central Banks, Mints or printing works that are escorted by police or military are excluded.

In addition, the rules will also apply to the territory of Member States that have not yet adopted the euro as from the date when the Council decides that they are allowed to introduce the euro, that is to say from around six months before the changeover.

5. Why must this problem be solved at EU level?

Action at EU level is the most efficient and in practice the only realistic way of reconciling the different national regulatory regimes that govern cash transport in the current and future Member States of the euro area.

6. When is the proposal likely to come into effect?

The adopted Commission proposal must be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in order to enter into force.

Adoption of the Regulation may be expected in 2011, although this obviously depends on the discussions in the European Parliament and Council. A transitional period of six months is thereafter foreseen in order to allow the concerned stakeholders and Member States sufficient time to adapt to the new rules.

7. Will there be any follow-up once the rules are in force?

It is proposed to set up a Committee to monitor the implementation of the Regulation, which will consist of representatives of the Commission, Member States and the ECB.

It is furthermore foreseen that the Commission shall report on the implementation of the Regulation within two years after the entry into effect of the rules. The report shall be drawn up after consultation of the relevant stakeholders, including the social partners.

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