Protecting the euro banknotes and coins against counterfeiting is a demanding task for the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Eurosystem.
We look at the legal framework for the protection of the euro.
Council Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 of 28 June 2001 laying down measures necessary for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting, OJ 4.7.2001 L 181/6, aims to protect the euro banknotes and coins against counterfeiting. The provisions have effect in the member states which have adopted the euro as their single currency.
Council Regulation (EC) No 1339/2001 of 28 June 2001 extending the effects of Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 laying down measures necessary for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting to those Member States which have not adopted the euro as their single currency, OJ 4.7.2001 L 181/11, strives to offer the euro the same level of protection in the member states outside the euro area as inside.
The Recommendation of the European Central Bank of 6 October 2006 on the adoption of certain measures to protect euro banknotes more effectively against counterfeiting (ECB/2006/13), OJ 25.10.2006 C 257/16, suggested amendments to and common action under Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001.
Recommendation of the European Central Bank of 7 July 1998 regarding the adoption of certain measures to enhance the legal protection of euro banknotes and coins (ECB/1998/7), OJ 15.1.1999 C 11/13, sought to discourage misleading euro tokens and the like before the launch of the euro.
The Guideline of the European Central Bank of 7 July 1998 on certain provisions regarding euro banknotes, as amended on 26 August 1999, established the Counterfeit Analysis Centre (CAC) and the counterfeit currency database (CCD) of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB).
Under the aegis of the ECB, the CAC was intended to centralise the technical analysis of and data relating to the counterfeiting of euro banknotes issued by the ECB and the NCBs.
All relevant technical and statistical data concerning the counterfeiting of euro banknotes was centrally stored in the CCD.
A consolidated version (26.3.2003) is available at:
The Decision of the European Central Bank of 8 November 2001 on certain conditions regarding access to the Counterfeit Monitoring System (CMS) (ECB/2001/11), OJ 20.12.2001 L 337/49, renamed the Counterfeit Currency Database (CCD) as the Counterfeit Monitoring System (CMS), and the decision set out detailed provisions concerning the CMS.
The European Central Bank has concluded agreements with Europol and Interpol.
The stated purpose of the Agreement between the European Police Office (Europol) and the European Central Bank (ECB) (2002/C 23/07), OJ 25.1.2002 C 23/9, is to provide for effective cooperation to combat the threats arising from counterfeiting of the euro, and to enhance and coordinate any assistance to the national and European authorities and to international organisations.
The purpose of the Cooperation Agreement between The European Central Bank - ECB – and The International Criminal Police Organisation – INTERPOL (2004/C 134/06), OJ 12.5.2004 c 134/6, is to establish a framework for cooperation between the Parties facilitating the prevention and detection of the counterfeiting of euro banknotes throughout the world, in particular in countries not belonging to the European Union.
The ECB has published a Template Agreement between the European Central Bank and the (acceding country national central bank), OJ 9.7.2003 C 160/7, the purpose of which is to enhance the cooperation between the parties in the areas of prevention and detection of counterfeiting of euro banknotes.
Such agreements have been concluded with the national central banks of six newish member states: Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia.
The agreements are available at: