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All cash handlers, including banks, cash transporting companies and currency exchangers must remove from circulation all the euro banknotes and coins that come into their hands that they know to be counterfeit or that they have sufficient grounds for believing to be counterfeit. Such notes and coins must be handed over to the national institution responsible under Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 of the Council of the European Union.

Companies can return banknotes into circulation only once the notes have been tested to European standards. Companies that do not use devices to test banknotes in cash processing must test the notes by hand before passing them on to clients to see whether they are authentic and fit for circulation.

The European Central Bank issued a press release on 8 November 2012 Eurosystem to introduce second series of euro banknotes – the “Europa” series announcing the new series. In consequence, Eesti Pank drew the attention of professional cash handlers to the need to reconfigure the devices used to test the authenticity of banknotes so that they were ready to work with the new series of notes. The release of the second series of 50-euro notes will require cash processing devices to be upgraded further so that they continue to work without fault.

Cash handlers, credit institutions and retailers will have to upgrade the devices they use for handling cash. The Eurosystem has given manufacturers of banknote equipment machines the necessary and relevant information that they need so they can adapt their devices for the new 50-euro note. Cash handlers, credit institutions and retailers should contact the suppliers of their devices to have them updated to ensure that the devices are ready for the issuance of new 50-euro notes. To test whether the devices are ready for the new note and meet the requirements, new 50-euro notes can be borrowed from Eesti Pank under a legal contract. Eesti Pank has similarly made the other banknotes of the second series available before issue.

A list of successfully tested banknote authentication devices can be found on the ECB website

What should I do if I think a banknote is counterfeit?

  • Do not accept banknotes if you are suspicious about their authenticity.
  • Approach the client openly and in good faith and ask them to pay with a different banknote.
  • Inform the local police or security services immediately.
  • Remember as many details as you can about the client.
  • If you have received a counterfeit note from a client by accident, it must not in any circumstances be allowed back into circulation. Passing on a counterfeit note is a crime.
  • Suspected counterfeits must be handed over to the police or dealt with at a local bank or your national central bank. If the note turns out to be authentic, the money is returned to its owner.
  • In all cases make certain of your own safety and security.