Category Archives: Fight against counterfeiting

The European Union (EU) protects the single currency against counterfeiting by centralising information, cooperation, and the analysis and withdrawal of forged euro notes and coins. It sees to it that intellectual property rights are properly protected by harmonising the legislation of EU countries, and it boosts partnership between customs authorities and the business world.
COUNTERFEITING AND PIRACY
European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan
Enforcement of intellectual property rights
Goods infringing intellectual property rights
Customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy
Combating counterfeiting and piracy in the single market

Protection of the euro against counterfeiting

Protection of the euro against counterfeiting

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of the euro against counterfeiting

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Protection of the euro against counterfeiting

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2001/887/JHA of 6 December 2001 on the protection of the euro against counterfeiting.

Summary

With a view to the introduction of the euro on 1 January 2002, this decision supplements a number of existing provisions on the protection of the euro against counterfeiting, namely:

  • Council Framework Decision 2000/383/JHA on increasing protection by criminal penalties and other sanctions against counterfeiting in connection with the introduction of the euro;
  • Council Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 laying down measures necessary for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting.

In the context of investigations into counterfeiting of the euro, this decision requires European Union (EU) countries to ensure that the National Analysis Centres (NACs) carry out the necessary expert analyses of suspected counterfeit notes. For suspected counterfeit coins, the Coin National Analysis Centres (CNACs) must carry out the necessary expert analyses. EU countries must forward the results of these expert analyses to the European Police Office (Europol).

The national central offices responsible for investigations into counterfeiting in EU countries have an obligation to communicate centralised information on investigations into counterfeiting and offences related to counterfeiting of the euro, including information received from non-EU countries, to Europol. At least the following information should be communicated:

  • details on the persons involved;
  • description of the offences;
  • the circumstances in which the offences were discovered;
  • the context of the seizure;
  • any connections to other cases.

To cooperate on their investigations into counterfeiting and offences related to counterfeiting of the euro, EU countries’ competent authorities should make use of the facilities of Eurojust.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2001/887/JHA

14.12.2001

OJ L 329 of 14.12.2001

Pericles action programme 2002-13

Pericles action programme 2002-13

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Pericles action programme 2002-13

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Pericles action programme 2002-13

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2001/923/EC of 17 December 2001 establishing an exchange, assistance and training programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting (Pericles programme) [See amending acts].

Summary

This Decision establishes the Pericles action programme putting in place training and technical assistance for the authorities responsible for combating counterfeiting. Initially intended to run from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2005, the programme was extended to 31 December 2013.

The programme finances in-service training courses, specialist workshops, staff exchanges and any other activity that improves the expertise of those concerned by the single currency (police officers, customs officials, financial officials, representatives of the national central banks and national mints, specialised magistrates and lawyers, or any other professional group concerned). The content of training is multidisciplinary and transnational. It embraces security aspects, the exchange of information, and technical and scientific back-up.

In addition, the Commission makes provision for active contributions of specialist bodies such as the ESCB (European System of Central Banks), the NACs/CNACs (National Analysis Centres/Coin National Analysis Centres) and the ETSC (European Technical and Scientific Centre). Europol, Interpol and the national central anti-counterfeiting offices set up under the Geneva International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency of 20 April 1929 may also participate.

Under certain circumstances, the programme is open to participation by candidate countries and third countries. By Decision 2001/924/EC, the Council also extended the Pericles programme to the Member States which have not adopted the euro.

Projects under the programme may emanate from the competent authorities in the Member States or from the Commission. Member States may present one project a year concerning workshops, meetings or seminars. In order to select the projects submitted to it, the Commission takes the following into account:

  • the European dimension of the project;
  • compliance with the programme’s objectives;
  • the quality of the project in terms of its design, organisation, presentation, objectives and cost-effectiveness ratio;
  • compatibility with work under way or planned by the European Union.

The Commission is responsible for evaluating the way in which projects have been implemented. For that purpose, the beneficiaries of the selected projects must send a final report to the Commission.

The amount allocated for the implementation of the programme for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013 is EUR 7 million.

Background

The Nice European Council called on the Member States to adopt efficient arrangements to prevent counterfeiting of the euro as soon as possible in 2001. A Council Framework Decision on increasing protection of the euro by criminal penalties was adopted, as was a Regulation on the necessary protection measures. The Commission feels that these initiatives should be supplemented by training measures for the professionals concerned by the introduction of the new currency.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2001/923/EC

21.12.2001

OJ L 339 of 21.12.2001

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2006/75/EC

8.2.2006

OJ L 36 of 8.2.2006

Decision 2006/76/EC

8.2.2006

OJ L 36 of 8.2.2006

Decision 2006/849/EC

28.11.2006

OJ L of 28.11.2006

Decision 2006/850/EC

28.11.2006

OJ L 330 of 28.11.2006

Successive amendments and corrections to Decision 2001/923/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for information only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council of 23 May 2006 concerning the implementation and results of the Pericles programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting [COM(2006) 243 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Through exchanging information and fostering cooperation, the Pericles programme is helping to protect the euro from counterfeiting. Training and technical assistance play an important role in maintaining and building on the results currently achieved. The Report recommends that the programme is renewed for a further period of at least four years and that the emphasis is placed on practical training. Priority should be given to exchanges of staff and specific training.

Commission Decision 2005/37/EC of 29 October 2004 establishing the European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) and providing for coordination of technical actions to protect euro coins against counterfeiting [Official Journal L 19 of 21.1.2005].
This Decision establishes the European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) within the Commission, attached to OLAF. The ETSC analyses and classifies every new type of counterfeit euro coin and assists the Coin National Analysis Centres (CNAC) and the law-enforcement authorities.

Medals and tokens similar to euro coins

Medals and tokens similar to euro coins

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Medals and tokens similar to euro coins

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Medals and tokens similar to euro coins

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 2182/2004 of 6 December 2004 concerning medals and tokens similar to euro coins [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The regulation is designed to protect the public from the risk of confusion or fraud caused by metallic objects, such as medals and tokens, with strong similarities to euro coins. Not only could such medals and tokens be mistaken for legal tender, they could also be used illegally instead of euro coins.

The regulation prohibits the production, sale, importation and distribution (for sale or for other commercial purposes) of medals and tokens having visual characteristics or properties similar to the single currency. Medals and tokens must not bear the term “euro” or “euro cent” or the euro symbol on their surface. Nor may they include any design similar to designs depicted on euro coins, symbols representing the sovereignty of Member States, the edge shape or design of euro coins or the euro symbol. Lastly, medals and tokens must not be of the same size as euro coins. The Commission is to specify whether a metallic object is a medal or token and whether the prohibitions of this regulation apply.

Medals and tokens bearing the term “euro” or “euro cent” or the euro symbol without an associated nominal value are allowed, provided that their size is sufficiently different from that of euro coins and that they do not include a design similar to the designs and symbols listed above. If, however, they are very similar in size, they must either have a hole in their centre or form a polygon of not more than six edges, or be made of gold, silver or platinum, or be consistently outside the ranges specified.

The Commission may grant specific authorisations to use the term “euro” or “euro cent” or the euro symbol where there is no risk of confusion. In such cases, the economic operator concerned within a Member State must be clearly identifiable on the surface of the medal or token. If the medal or token also bears an associated nominal value, the indication “not legal tender” must be stamped on its obverse or reverse side in addition.

The denominations and technical specifications of euro coins, the only coinage having legal tender in the euro zone, are laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 975/98. For the purposes of the new regulation, medals and tokens are defined as metallic objects that have the appearance and/or technical properties of euro coins, but that are not issued under national or participating third-country legislative provisions or other foreign legislative provisions and that therefore are neither a legal means of payment nor legal tender.

Medals and tokens issued before the entry into force of the regulation may be used until the end of 2009, provided that they are not used instead of euro coins. Such medals and tokens must be recorded in accordance with the procedures applicable in Member States and communicated to the European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC).

This regulation is applicable in all Member States that introduced the euro in 2002 (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain), but its scope is extended by Regulation (EC) No 2183/2004 as amended by Regulation (EC) No 47/2009 to Member States not participating in the monetary union. Member States are to lay down and implement rules on sanctions applicable to infringements of the regulation by 1 July 2005.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2182/2004

21.12.2004

OJ L 373 of 21.12.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 46/2009

11.2.2009

OJ L 17 of 22.1.2009

A new EU Action Plan 2004-2007 to prevent fraud on non-cash means of payment

A new EU Action Plan 2004-2007 to prevent fraud on non-cash means of payment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A new EU Action Plan 2004-2007 to prevent fraud on non-cash means of payment

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

A new EU Action Plan 2004-2007 to prevent fraud on non-cash means of payment

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Central Bank and Europol of 20 October 2004 – A new EU Action Plan 2004-2007 to prevent fraud on non-cash means of payment [COM(2004) 679 final – Official Journal C 49 of 28.6.2006].

Summary

The measures provided for in the Fraud Prevention Action Plan 2001-2003 (FPAP) were successfully carried out. Experience shows that the Commission acted as a catalyst, promoting better information exchange and stronger cross-border cooperation. The Commission considers that cooperation between stakeholders is essential in combating fraud effectively: better cooperation between the public authorities and the private sector in the Member States is desirable. In its view, clarification of Community and national data protection legislation with respect to fraud prevention is necessary to allow an effective exchange of information at European level. The integration of the 10 new Member States (the countries that joined the Union on 1 May 2004) into the Community fraud prevention framework will continue to be a priority. The same applies to the strengthening of relations with public authorities in third countries.

In this Communication, the Commission laid down the priorities for maintaining and reinforcing cooperation between the stakeholders. It planned to:

Organise specific measures, such as pan-European training and conferences

The training of law-enforcement authorities was to be strengthened. The Commission planned to organise pan-European training sessions for specialised law-enforcement officers, as well as high-level conferences for senior police officers, magistrates and prosecutors. These measures were designed to make those concerned more aware of payment fraud and its impact on the financial system. Lastly, the Commission was to organise a seminar on fraud prevention for representatives of the private sector and the public authorities of the new Member States.

Review the system for transmitting data at European level

The Commission regarded the impossibility of exchanging data at EU level on high-risk and fraudulent merchants as a problem, and it wanted data protection rules in the EU to be clarified and harmonised. In its view, stakeholders should be able to exchange information with a view to early detection and notification of fraud attempts, whilst respecting the rights and freedoms of individuals, and the competition rules. The Commission proposed clarifying, in cooperation with national data protection authorities, the limits and conditions for exchanging information related to fraud prevention.

Reorganise the Fraud Prevention Expert Group (FPEG)

The EU Fraud Prevention Expert Group (FPEG) brought together the major stakeholders in fraud prevention, and intensified the exchange of information and cooperation. Its working procedures and participation methods needed to be reorganised in view of the enlargement to 25 Members States. The Commission suggested that there should be a fraud prevention expert in each country and/or sector, who would act as a contact point and disseminate at national level information on progress made by the Group. It also proposed that a steering group be set up to prepare the FPEG’s activities and supervise those of the sub-groups, in order to ensure that the measures envisaged are carried out effectively and that meetings are held regularly. It also proposed that two sub-groups be set up to deal with security and user issues. Lastly, the FPEG was to improve communication with the public and professionals in the sector in order to highlight progress made and the effectiveness of the measures of the new Action Plan.

Improve the security of payment systems and involve the public

Using chip cards improves security and reduces the risk of fraud. The Commission is closely monitoring new, more secure solutions and supports these developments. Individuals should be better informed about the level of security in order to build up their confidence. To that end, they should be provided with clearer information on payment security, while merchants should be given improved educational material and adequate tools to protect themselves from data hacking. A Commission study shows that smaller retailers do not always use the most appropriate technologies owing to the cost of new equipment. The Commission nonetheless regretted that security evaluation criteria were not harmonised, which would reduce costs and the time taken. However, harmonisation should not entail a reduction in the existing level of security. These aspects of security were to be examined by the sub-group referred to above. The Commission was also to launch a study on cardholder verification methods (for card payments) and user verification methods (for e-payments and mobile payments).

Take account of technological developments

The notification of lost and stolen cards in the EU was to be improved. It is technically feasible and desirable to have a single phone number in the EU for notifying lost or stolen payment cards. The Commission was also planning specific initiatives aimed at preventing identity theft in the EU, often linked to organised crime. It is assessing the merits of setting up a single EU contact point for citizens and businesses faced with identity theft. Efforts were needed to protect commercial websites from unauthorised access. Security breaches of the databases of e-commerce merchants are causing incalculable damage to their reputation and influencing the perception of Internet security, thereby undermining consumer confidence.

At the end of 2007, the Commission was to present a report on progress achieved with the implementation of the action programme.

Related Acts

Commission Staff Working Document of 22 April 2008 – Report on fraud regarding non cash means of payments in the EU: the implementation of the 2004-2007 EU Action Plan [ final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This report presents the implementation of the Action Plan during 2004-2007, as well as an overview of the prevention/fight against payment fraud context. This period is characterised by the implementation of both legislative and non-legislative initiatives. With regard to the first, the most notable are Directive 2005/60/EC on the prevention of money laundering and Directive 2007/64/EC on payment services in the internal market (PSD). As to the latter, the initiatives have been, in most cases, undertaken directly by the payments industry. Of the priorities laid down in the Action Plan (above), the following have been achieved:

Organise specific measures such as pan-European training and conferences
Europol, in collaboration with the payments industry and in some cases funded by the Commission, has organised some specialised training sessions for law-enforcement authorities on the operational aspects of payment card fraud. The Commission organised the high-level conference on identity theft and payment fraud for senior police officers, magistrates and prosecutors in November 2006, and the seminar on the prevention of payment fraud for candidate countries in March 2006.

Review the system for transmitting data at European level
A data management group was created within the FPEG. It produced a report in December 2006 on the barriers to the processing of personal data for the purpose of preventing fraud. In addition, the PSD provides for the processing of personal data by payment systems and service providers whenever necessary for fraud prevention.

Reorganise the FPEG

Membership of the FPEG was streamlined by inviting experts, in particular those representing consumers, to the Group’s meetings. The proposed steering group for the FPEG was also created. Furthermore, additional sub-groups were established within the FPEG on: ATM security, communication, commerce, identity theft, law enforcement issues and security evaluation. A sub-group on users’ issues was not created; however, the topic was discussed in relevant sub-groups. With regard to improving communication on fraud prevention, the Commission presented the Communication COM(2007)808 on consumer financial education in December 2007, which provides suggestions and practical assistance for those delivering financial education.

Improve the security of payment systems and involve the public

The study on user identification methods in card, e-, and mobile payments was completed in November 2007.

Take account of technological developments

In February 2007, the Commission adopted Decision 2007/116/EC, stating that numbers beginning with 116 are reserved as free-phone numbers for services of social value. The issue of establishing a single contact point on identity theft was taken up in a FPEG report and at the high level conference.

The achievements for this period demonstrate that security aspects are extremely important, but that consumer confidence and trust are equally important. The new legal framework, developments by the industry and the Commission (including measures not defined in the Action Plan) are considered to promote both.

Fight against counterfeiting

Fight against counterfeiting

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Fight against counterfeiting

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Fight against counterfeiting

The European Union (EU) protects the single currency against counterfeiting by centralising information, cooperation, and the analysis and withdrawal of forged euro notes and coins. It sees to it that intellectual property rights are properly protected by harmonising the legislation of EU countries, and it boosts partnership between customs authorities and the business world.

THE EURO AND MEANS OF PAYMENT

  • Medals and tokens similar to euro coins
  • Protection of the euro against counterfeiting
  • Measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting
  • Combating fraud and counterfeiting of means of payment
  • Penal sanctions against counterfeiting of the euro
  • Protecting the euro against counterfeiting: the role of Europol
  • European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC)
  • Pericles action programme 2002-13
  • A new EU Action Plan 2004-2007 to prevent fraud on non-cash means of payment

COUNTERFEITING AND PIRACY

  • European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan
  • Enforcement of intellectual property rights
  • Goods infringing intellectual property rights
  • Customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy
  • Combating counterfeiting and piracy in the single market

AGREEMENTS WITH NON-EU COUNTRIES: CUSTOMS

  • Agreement with the Swiss Confederation
  • Customs Agreement with Japan
  • Agreement with China
  • Agreement with India
  • Agreement with Hong Kong
  • Agreement with Canada
  • Agreement with the Republic of Korea

Protecting the euro against counterfeiting: the role of Europol

Protecting the euro against counterfeiting: the role of Europol

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protecting the euro against counterfeiting: the role of Europol

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Protecting the euro against counterfeiting: the role of Europol

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2005/511/JHA of 12 July 2005 on protecting the euro against counterfeiting, by designating Europol as the Central Office for combating euro counterfeiting.

Summary

The European Union is stepping up cooperation among Member States and between Member States and Europol with a view to protecting the euro against counterfeiting at international level. Third countries need a central contact for information on counterfeit euros. All such information is to be brought together for purposes of analysis at Europol, which acts as the Central Office for combating euro counterfeiting pursuant to the International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency agreed on 20 April 1929 in Geneva (“Geneva Convention”).

Role of Europol

Europol acts as the Central Office for combating euro counterfeiting within the meaning of Article 12 of the Geneva Convention, which states “In every country, within the framework of its domestic law, investigations on the subject of counterfeiting should be organised by a central office.”

Within the context of its mandate, Europol:

  • centralises and processes all information of a nature to facilitate the investigation, prevention and combating of euro counterfeiting and forwards this information to the national central offices of the Member States;
  • corresponds directly with the central offices of third countries in accordance with the rules on the transmission of personal data;
  • forwards, in so far as it considers it expedient, to the central offices of third countries a set of specimens of actual euros;
  • regularly notifies the central offices of third countries of new currency issued, the withdrawal of currency from circulation, any discovery of counterfeit or falsified euro currency, details of discoveries of counterfeiting, etc.

Where counterfeiting of all other currencies is concerned, the national central offices retain competence.

Applying the 1929 Geneva Convention effectively

The International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency agreed on 20 April 1929 in Geneva should be applied more effectively. It lays down effective rules for preventing and combating counterfeiting infringements. The word “currency” refers to banknotes and coins having legal tender.

The Council considers it expedient that all Member States should become contracting parties to the Convention.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2005/511/JHA 16.07.2005 Official Journal L 185 of 16.07.2005

Penal sanctions against counterfeiting of the euro

Penal sanctions against counterfeiting of the euro

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Penal sanctions against counterfeiting of the euro

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Penal sanctions against counterfeiting of the euro

Document or Iniciative

Council Framework Decision 2000/383/JHA of 29 May 2000 on increasing protection by criminal penalties and other sanctions against counterfeiting in connection with the introduction of the euro [See amending acts].

Summary

The need to combat counterfeiting and falsification of euro banknotes and coins has been mentioned in various acts, including Regulation (EC) No 974/98 of 3 May 1998 on the introduction of the single currency  and the Commission communication of 23 July 1998 on the protection of the euro [COM(1998) 474 final]. To this end, the Council, by way of Resolution of 28 May 1999 on increasing protection by penal sanctions against counterfeiting in connection with the introduction of the euro, wanted the euro to be appropriately protected in all Member States by effective criminal law measures before the new currency was put into circulation on 1 January 2002.

The 1929 International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency is the basic instrument of protection by penal sanctions against counterfeiting at international level.

The Framework Decision supplements the 1929 Convention by requiring Member States to introduce effective, proportional and dissuasive penalties, including terms of imprisonment which can give rise to extradition, for the following:

  • any fraudulent making or altering of currency;
  • the fraudulent uttering of counterfeit currency;
  • the import, export, transport, receiving, or obtaining of counterfeit currency with a view to uttering the same;
  • the fraudulent making, receiving, obtaining or possession of articles, computer programs, holograms or other instruments or means for the counterfeiting or altering of currency.

Penalties and jurisdiction

For the offences of fraudulent making or altering of currency, the maximum penalty provided for may not be set at less than eight years.

Every Member State has jurisdiction over offences committed on its territory. In the case of the counterfeiting of the euro, however, the Member States having adopted the euro may bring prosecutions irrespective of the place where the offence was committed. If several Member States have jurisdiction, they are to cooperate with a view to centralising the prosecution in a single State.

Framework Decision 2001/888/JHA supplements Framework Decision 2000/383/JHA with regard to the recognition of previous convictions. Since 1 January 2003, Member States have had to take on board the principle of the recognition of previous convictions under the conditions prevailing under their domestic laws. Moreover, they have had to recognise, for the purpose of establishing habitual criminality, final sentences handed down in another Member State for the offences referred to in Framework Decision 2000/383/JHA.

This act is affected by the judgment handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Communities in Case C-176/03 concerning the apportionment of competences in criminal matters between the European Commission and the Council of the European Union.

Act Date of entry into force Deadline for transposal in Member States Official Journal
Framework Decision 2000/383/JHA 14.6.2001 29.5.2001 OJ L 140, 14.6.2000
Amending Act Date of entry into force Deadline for transposal in Member States Official Journal
Framework Decision 2001/888/JHA 14.12.2001 31.12.2002 OJ L 329, 14.12.2001

Related Acts

Third Commission Report of 17 September 2007 based on Article 11 of the Council Framework Decision of 29 May 2000 on increasing protection by criminal penalties and other sanctions against counterfeiting in connection with the introduction of the euro [COM (2007) 524 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This third report takes a detailed look at the state of play of transposal of the Framework Decision in the 27 Member States of the European Union. The Commission concludes that, in general, transposal has been satisfactory but draws attention to the fact that some Member States have not correctly transposed the Framework Decision into their national legislation. For example, three Member States still had to make provision for the recognition of convictions handed down in another Member State for establishing repeat offences.

Second Commission Report of 3 September 2003 based on Article 11 of the Council Framework Decision of 29 May 2000 on increasing protection by criminal penalties and other sanctions against counterfeiting in connection with the introduction of the euro [COM(2003) 532 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The Council called on the Commission to draw up a second report incorporating additional information that had still to come from the Member States. On the basis of the information received the Commission was able to make a more comprehensive assessment. The conclusion is that, when all the amendments still in the process of being drafted or adopted enter into force, the Framework Decision will have been transposed in full into national law by all the Member States.

Report from the Commission of 13 December 2001 based on Article 11 of the Council’s Framework Decision of 29 May 2000 on increasing protection by criminal penalties and other sanctions against counterfeiting in connection with the introduction of the euro [COM(2001) 771 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The purpose of the report is to enable the Council to evaluate the measures taken by Member States and to allow the European Central Bank to assess the level of criminal-law protection of the euro on the basis of those measures. The Commission notes that some Member States have not transposed in time the obligations imposed on them under the Framework Decision.

Measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting

Measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 of 28 June 2001 laying down measures necessary for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This regulation seeks to set up an overall system for protecting the euro against counterfeiting, with a view to the introduction of euro notes and coins on 1 January 2002. It supplements a number of decisions taken previously in this field, namely:

  • Guideline ECB/1999/3 of the European Central Bank (ECB) of 26 August 1998 on certain provisions regarding euro banknotes, which established the Counterfeit Analysis Centre (CAC);
  • Council decision of 28 February 2000 providing for the systematic gathering of technical information on euro counterfeiting by the ECB and for the establishment of national centres (Coin National Analysis Centres – CNACs) and a European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) responsible for analysing euro coins;
  • Council Framework Decision 2000/383/JHA of 29 May 2000 on increasing protection by criminal penalties and other sanctions against counterfeiting in connection with the introduction of the euro.

The system for the protection of the euro includes the following elements:

  • the systematic transmission of technical data on counterfeit euro notes and coins by the competent national authorities (national central banks, other empowered bodies, etc.) to the ECB, which will be responsible for storage and processing;
  • the obligation on the competent national authorities to allow the National Analysis Centre (NAC) to examine suspected counterfeit notes and to allow the CNAC to examine suspect coins. These bodies must send all new types of suspect notes to the ECB and all new types of suspect coins to the ETSC;
  • the obligation on credit institutions, on other payment service providers and on other institutions that process and distribute notes and coins to the public:
    1. to ensure that all euro notes and coins that they have received and that they intend to put back into circulation are checked for authenticity and
    2. to withdraw from circulation those notes and coins that they know or have good reason to believe are counterfeit and to hand them over to the relevant national authority.

    European Union (EU) countries must provide for effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties applicable to institutions that fail to discharge their obligations;

  • cooperation between the relevant authorities of EU countries (in particular, the national central offices established under the Geneva Convention), the ECB and the Commission for the purposes of strategic analysis and mutual assistance in the prevention of counterfeiting, including scientific support and training, and between them and the European Police Office (Europol);
  • centralisation of the information on euro counterfeiting cases within the national central offices, with a view to transmission to Europol via its national units;
  • cooperation with non-EU countries and international organisations.

EU countries must communicate the list of authorities competent to identify forged notes and coins to the Commission and the ECB.

Regulation (EC) No 1339/2001, as amended by Regulation (EC) No 45/2009, extends Articles 1 to 11 of this regulation to the EU countries that have not adopted the euro as their single currency.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001

4.7.2001

OJ L 181 of 4.7.2001

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 44/2009

23.1.2009

OJ L 17 of 22.1.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Regulation (EU) No 1210/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2010 concerning authentication of euro coins and handling of euro coins unfit for circulation [Official Journal L 339 of 22.12.2010].
This regulation introduces common binding rules for checking the authenticity of euro coins in circulation and for handling and reimbursing euro coins unfit for circulation within the euro area.
Credit institutions, other payment service providers and any other institutions that process and distribute euro coins to the public must apply a procedure of authentication by coin-processing machines or trained personnel to coins intended for re-circulation.
All counterfeit coins and coins unfit for circulation must be handed over to the designated national authority. EU countries must withdraw from circulation and reimburse or replace any unfit coins.

Decision ECB/2010/14 of the European Central Bank of 16 September 2010 on the authenticity and fitness checking and recirculation of euro banknotes (2010/597/EU) [Official Journal L 267 of 9.10.2010].
This decision establishes common rules and procedures for checking the authenticity and fitness of euro banknotes intended for recirculation by credit institutions, other payment service providers and any other institutions that process and distribute them to the public. These checks may only be carried out by a type of banknote handling machine that has been successfully tested by a national central bank (NCB) or manually by a trained member of the cash handler’s staff.
Banknotes classified as genuine and fit following a check by a type of banknote handling machine may be put back into circulation through customer-operated machines or cash dispensers. Banknotes checked manually by a staff member may only be re-circulated over the counter.
All counterfeit banknotes must be handed over to the competent national authorities, while all unfit banknotes must be handed over to the relevant NCB.

referred to in Article 2(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 [Official Journal C 56 of 10.3.2009].
This document lists the authorities that EU countries have designated as competent at national level for the fight against counterfeiting, for the purposes of Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001.

Council Decision 2003/861/EC of 8 December 2003 concerning analysis and cooperation with regard to counterfeit euro coins [Official Journal L 325 of 12.12.2003].
Under this decision, the Commission has the task of establishing the ETSC and ensuring its functioning and the coordination of the activities of the competent technical authorities to protect euro coins against counterfeiting. Council Decision 2003/862/EC extends these provisions to the EU countries that have not adopted the euro.

Decision ECB/2003/4 of the European Central Bank of 20 March 2003 on the denominations, specifications, reproduction, exchange and withdrawal of euro banknotes (2003/205/EC) [Official Journal L 78 of 25.3.2003].

between the European Police Office (Europol) and the European Central Bank (ECB) [Official Journal C 23 of 25.1.2002].
The agreement, concluded under Article 3 of the present regulation, gives Europol access to the technical and statistical data held by the ECB that relate to counterfeit notes and coins discovered both in EU and in non-EU countries. Europol will thus have access to information in the ECB-managed Counterfeiting Monitoring System (CMS), but will not be able to enter data directly.
Furthermore, the ECB and Europol are to:

  • promptly exchange information;
  • consult each other and coordinate their policies, training activities and public information campaigns;
  • provide mutual technical assistance needed for certain analyses.

Subject to compliance with certain conditions relating to criminal proceedings, the ECB provides Europol with a sample of counterfeit euro notes for analysis.

Council Decision 2001/923/EC of 17 December 2001 establishing an exchange, assistance and training programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting (the “Pericles” programme) [Official Journal L 339 of 21.12.2001].

Council Decision 2001/887/JHA of 6 December 2001 on the protection of the euro against counterfeiting [Official Journal L 329 of 14.12.2001].

Decision ECB/2001/11 of the European Central Bank of 8 November 2001 on certain conditions regarding access to the Counterfeit Monitoring System (CMS) (2001/912/EC) [Official Journal L 337 of 20.12.2001].
Under this decision, the ECB reorganised the database on counterfeit money into the Counterfeiting Monitoring System (CMS). This system is a central database containing all the technical information and statistics relating to the counterfeiting of euro notes and coins supplied by EU or non-EU countries.

Agreement with India

Agreement with India

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Agreement with India

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Agreement with India

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2004/633/EC of 30 March 2004 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of India on customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters.

Summary

The aim of the Agreement is to facilitate effective cooperation between the administrative authorities responsible for applying customs legislation *. This is achieved by establishing channels of communication between the customs authorities to facilitate the secure and rapid exchange of information. The cooperation provided for in this Agreement may be increased and supplemented by means of agreements on specific sectors and matters.

Customs cooperation

The parties undertake to develop customs cooperation by:

  • facilitating the legitimate movement of goods and exchanging information and expertise relating to customs techniques and procedures and computerised systems;
  • providing technical assistance to each other;
  • exchanging staff.

Mutual administrative assistance

The parties undertake to assist each other to ensure the correct application of customs legislation. The Agreement provides for two types of assistance:

  • assistance on request: the requested authority * furnishes the applicant authority * with all relevant information to enable it to ensure that customs legislation is correctly applied and to detect operations in breach of such legislation. The information may concern offences such as the presentation of incorrect or falsified documents and the regularity of export and import procedures between the two countries.

The Agreement also provides that special surveillance may be requested where there are grounds for believing that persons, places, goods or means of transport are involved in operations in breach of customs legislation.

  • spontaneous assistance: the parties assist each other if they consider that to be necessary for the correct application of customs legislation. In particular, they communicate to each other any information which can help to avoid substantial damage to the economy, public health or similar vital interests.

Formal aspects and exceptions to assistance

Requests must be made in writing, except in urgent cases where oral requests may be made, confirmed in writing thereafter. Requests must contain data on the applicant authority, the measure requested, the object of and the reason for the request, all the legally binding instruments involved and the persons who are the target of the investigation.

The requested party may refuse to provide assistance if to do so would be likely to prejudice the sovereignty, public policy, security or other essential interests of one of the parties. The obligation to provide assistance may also be waived where to do so would violate an industrial, commercial or professional secret, or involve currency or tax regulations other than customs legislation. The requested party may also decide to postpone assistance on the ground that it interferes with an ongoing investigation, prosecution or proceedings.

The Agreement contains confidentiality clauses in relation to the information supplied, which is covered by the obligation of professional secrecy. A high level of protection is given to personal data.

The Agreement provides for the establishment of a Joint Customs Cooperation Committee which sees to the proper functioning of this Agreement and examines all issues arising from its application.

Key terms used in the act
  • Customs legislation: customs legislation includes any legal provisions adopted by the European Community or India governing the import, export and transit of goods and their placing under any other customs procedure, including measures of prohibition, restriction and control.
  • Requested authority: means the competent customs authority which receives a request for assistance.
  • Applicant authority: means the competent customs authority which makes a request for assistance.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2004/633/EC 30.3.2004 OJ L 304 of 30.9.2004