Banknote processing machines

Euro banknotes may only be recirculated via customer-operated machines or automated teller machines (ΑΤΜs) if they have been checked for authenticity and fitness by a type of banknote handling machine successfully tested by a Eurosystem NCB and classified as genuine and fit.

Staff-operated machines, when used for the purpose of authenticity and fitness checking, and customer-operated machines may only be put into operation by cash handlers if they have been successfully tested by an NCB and listed on the ECB’s website.

To qualify as a banknote handling machine, a machine has to:

  • be capable of processing batches of euro banknotes;
  • be capable of classifying the individual euro banknotes and physically separating the euro banknotes according to their classifications without the intervention of the machine operator, subject to Annex IIa and IIb of the ECB Decision;
  • have the required number of dedicated output stackers and/or other means to ensure the reliable separation of the euro banknotes processed;
  • be adaptable to ensure that they are capable of reliably detecting new counterfeits; and
  • be adaptable to enable the setting up of more or less restrictive fitness sorting standards, if applicable.

Euro banknotes which have been checked for authenticity and fitness and classified as genuine and fit by trained staff members and not by a banknote handling machine type successfully tested by an NCB may only be recirculated over the counter.

Categories of banknote handling machines

The banknote handling machines listed on the ECB’s website are divided in the following categories in accordance with Annex I of the ECB Decision:

Customer-operated machines

  1. Customer-operated machines where cash is deposited with customer tracing
    • Cash-In Machines (CIMs)
    • Cash Recycling Machines (CRMs)
    • Combined Cash-In Machines (CCMs)
  2. Other customer-operated machines
    • Cash-Out Machines (COMs)
  3. Staff-operated machines

    • Banknote Processing Machines (BPMs)
    • Banknote Authentication Machines (BAMs)
    • Teller Assistant Recycling Machines (TARMs)
    • Teller Assistant Machines (TAMs)

Common Test Procedures for Banknote Handling Machine Types

All types of banknote handling machine shall be tested by NCBs according to the common test procedures. Types of banknote handling machines can be distinguished from each other through their specific detector systems, software and other components for the performance of their core functionalities. These are:

  • the authentication of genuine euro banknotes;
  • the detection and separation of euro banknotes suspected to be counterfeit;
  • the detection and separation of unfit euro banknotes from fit euro banknotes; and
  • the tracing of objects identified as suspect counterfeit euro banknotes and of euro banknotes that are not clearly authenticated.

NCBs will not issue to the manufacturers or other third parties any certification of the machines upon completion of a successful test. However, if a machine has successfully been tested by an NCB, a summary test report can be issued.

In addition to the machine type verification test, the Eurosystem common test procedures provide for annual tests, as well as for ad-hoc tests (re-tests). Furthermore, any machine type update which involves its tested functions requires its submission to a test in accordance with the common test procedures.

In order to submit their requests for verification tests or re-tests, manufacturers must contact a

Publication of Test Results

All successfully tested banknote handling machine types are listed on the ECB’s website during the periods of validity of the test results.

Where a type of banknote handling machine is successfully tested, the test results are valid throughout the euro area for one year from the end of the month of their publication on the ECB’s website, provided that it remains capable of detecting all counterfeit euro banknotes known to the Eurosystem during this period. A type of banknote handling machine that becomes unable during this period to detect all counterfeit euro banknotes known to the Eurosystem is removed from the list in accordance with a procedure specified by the ECB.

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