Banknotes and coins

Rules for reproduction

The reproduction of Euro banknotes is not a liberalised activity and requires prior authorisation from the central bank of the country in which the reproduction is to be made, or from the European Central Bank (ECB) if it is to be made in more than one country.
As a general rule, reproductions shall be deemed lawful if they meet the following requirements:

  • Physical reproductions, provided that:
    • In the case of one-sided reproductions, it is equal to or greater than 125 % of both the length and width of the original, or equal to or less than 75 % of both the length and the width of the original.
    • In the case of two-sided reproductions, it is equal to or greater than 200 % of both the length and width of the original, or equal to or less than 50 % of both the length and width of the original.
    • Reproductions of individual design elements of a banknote provided that such a design element is not depicted on a background resembling a banknote.
    • In the case of one-sided reproductions of part of the front or reverse of a euro banknote, that part is smaller than one-third of the original front or reverse of the euro banknote.
    • They are made of a material clearly different from paper.
  • Intangible reproductions made available electronically on websites or similar elements, provided that:
    • The word SPECIMEN appears diagonally across the reproduction, in Arial or similar font, and in an opaque colour contrasting with the dominant colour of the respective euro banknote. In addition, the length of the word SPECIMEN shall be at least 75% of the length of the reproduction, and its height shall be at least 15% of the width of the reproduction.
    • the resolution of the electronic reproduction in its 100 % size does not exceed 72 dots per inch (dpi).
    • Reproductions of individual design elements of a banknote provided that such a design element is not depicted on a background resembling a banknote.

Exceptionally, reproductions which do not meet these criteria may be accepted upon written request, provided that the reproduction cannot be mistaken by the general public for a genuine euro banknote.

In the event that they do not qualify as lawful reproductions or do not qualify for an agreed exemption by the NCB/ECB, they shall be deemed unlawful and their production, possession, transportation, dissemination, selling, promotion, import into the Union and use or attempted use for transactions prohibited.