The euro is well protected against counterfeiting thanks to its sophisticated security features, as well as to the efficiency of European and national law enforcement authorities. 

The circulation of euro banknotes and coins in the 19 euro area countries and in several third countries requires concerted international efforts to protect the currency from counterfeiting. 

While euro area countries remain primarily responsible for the protection of the euro, Community legislation, the harmonisation of national legislations and the establishment of international cooperation ensure the comprehensive, effective and uniform protection of the euro against activities that could compromise its integrity.

Competent anti-counterfeiting authorities

In the context of international cooperation, anti-counterfeiting responsibilities are shared between: 

  • the European Commission/European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
  • the European Central Bank (ECB) 
  • Europol 
  • Eurojust 
  • Interpol. 

The following bodies cooperate in the analysis, classification and withdrawal from circulation of counterfeit euro banknotes and coins:

  • the ECB’s Counterfeit Analysis Centre (CAC) 
  • the National Analysis Centres (NACs) 
  • the Coin National Analysis Centres (CNACs)
  • OLAF’s European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC). 

The Bank of Greece, by establishing the National Counterfeit Centre (NCC), administers access to the CMS (Counterfeit Monitoring System), facilitates the communication regarding CMS-related matters and cooperates with the National Analysis Centre and the Coin National Analysis Centre established by the Hellenic Police. 

Regulations on the protection of euro

To further enhance citizens' confidence in the quality and authenticity of euro banknotes in circulation, the Bank of Greece, by its circulars, lays down the following: 

Banks’ Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) must be loaded exclusively with banknotes  either supplied by the Bank of Greece, or from credit institutions’ own cash that has been processed with modern and reliable devices owned by credit institutions. 

Credit institutions and bureaux de change must withhold any euro banknotes and coins received by them, for which they know or have sufficient reason to believe that they are forged or counterfeit, and deliver them immediately to the local police authorities so that they will be forwarded to the National Analysis Centre of the Hellenic Police. 

Every forged or counterfeit euro banknote or coin received by the Bank of Greece must be delivered to the competent police authorities in order to be forwarded to the National Analysis Centre of the Hellenic Police for counterfeit analysis and classification. 

Public awareness programs

At the same time, in the context of counterfeit deterrence, the Bank of Greece continuously informs citizens  about the security features of euro banknotes and coins by conducting public awareness campaigns. 

Furthermore, it offers professional cash handlers continuous training in the recognition and handling of counterfeit banknotes.

Legal framework

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