Banknotes and coins

Standards for recirculation


The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) approved in September 2010 Decision ECB/2010/14, subsequently amended by Decision ECB/2012/19, on checking the authenticity and fitness of euro banknotes and their recirculation.

The main objective of this Decision is to ensure the integrity and conservation of euro banknotes in circulation and maintain the trust that citizens place in them.

To achieve this objective, credit entities and other professional cash handlers only give their customers euro banknotes when they consider that their authenticity and fitness for circulation has been checked. In the case of banknotes put into circulation through customer operated cash dispensers, they must also have been selected by successfully tested equipment in a National Central Bank of the Eurosystem, to guarantee the authenticity and good conditions of the banknotes.


The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted the Regulation (UE) No 1210/2010 concerning authentication of euro coins and handling of euro coins unfit for circulation. This Regulation lays down procedures necessary for the effective and uniform authentication of euro coins in the euro zone. 

The Regulation (UE) No 1210/2010 establishes that credit institutions and other professional cash handlers will ensure that the euro coins they receive and intent to put back in circulation will be checked for their legitimacy and condition. They shall implement this obligation by means of:

  1. Coin-processing machines in the list of machines published in the European Commission websiteOpens in a new window at the time of the acquisition
  2. Personnel trained in accordance with the modalities defined by the Bank of Spain

After the authentication, all the suspected counterfeit coins and coins unfit for circulation shall be delivered to the national competent authority (Bank of Spain)

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