Cash handling

Authenticity and fitness checking and recirculation of euro banknotes

The possibility of recirculating euro banknotes enables banks and other cash handlers to supply the currency in a more effective and cost-efficient manner. To ensure the integrity of the banknotes, the European Central Bank (ECB) adopted Decision ECB/2010/14 on the authenticity and fitness checking and recirculation of euro banknotes.

Decision ECB/2010/14 came into effect on 1 January 2011, replacing the "Framework for the detection of counterfeits and fitness sorting by credit institutions and other professional cash handlers". It was amended by Decision ECB/2012/19 of 7 September 2012 to extend its scope to the authenticity and fitness checking and recirculation of new series of euro banknotes and to clarify a few requirements and by Decision ECB/2019/39 of 5 December 2019 to allow the reprocessing of banknotes not clearly authenticated and to introduce of a new category of banknote handling machine.

Authentication devices

The ECB publishes information on tested counterfeit detection devices to help banknote users to choose the one that best suits their needs.

Owners and operators of authentication devices are advised to take steps to have them adapted to euro banknotes of the Europa series well in advance of their issuance dates, liaising with the suppliers of the devices as necessary. In addition, when procuring authentication devices, customers would be well advised to check that they can be easily adapted to handle all Europa series banknotes.

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