About the European Technical and Scientific Centre
The European Technical and Scientific Centre is established within the Commission in Brussels to analyse and classify every new type of counterfeit coin within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 1338/2001. It uses for that purpose the facilities of the French Mint. Furthermore, the ETSC provides training under the Pericles programme. It assists Coin National Analysis Centres (CNACs) and law enforcement authorities and cooperates with the relevant authorities in the analysis of counterfeit coins and the strengthening of the euro protection. Finally, the ETSC coordinates the implementation of the authentication procedures and the necessary actions to protect euro coins against counterfeiting through periodic meetings of counterfeit coin experts (see cooperation forums).
Tasks and measures
The Commission's European technical and scientific centre supports national efforts to combat counterfeiting of coins by:
- coordinating technical measures, in particular the analysis and classification of the major categories of counterfeit euro coins (common classes)
- providing Coin National Analysis Centres and police authorities with direct technical assistance
- contributing to the development of the European Central Bank’s counterfeits database
- establishing a register of coin-like objects that could be misused as euro coins
- working with the coin-operated industry.
Legal Basis: 2005/37/EC: Commission Decision 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 amended by Commission Decision (EU) 2017/1507 and Commission Decision (EU) 2023/616
Authentication of euro coins/coin-processing machines
In order to improve the protection of the euro against counterfeiting Council Regulation (EC) No 1338/2001 requires credit institutions and, within the limits of their payment activity, other payment service providers and any other institutions engaged in the processing and distribution to the public of notes and coins (hereinafter "institutions") to ensure that euro notes and coins, which they have received and which they intend to put back into circulation, are checked for authenticity and that counterfeits are detected.
For coins that obligation is further detailed in 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 (hereinafter "the Regulation").
The objective of the Regulation is to ensure effective and uniform authentication of euro coins throughout the euro area by providing binding rules for the implementation of common procedures for the authentication of euro coins in circulation as well as for implementation of control mechanisms of the authentication procedures by the national authorities.
Categories of machines
The Regulation provides that the authentication obligation shall be implemented by means of coin-processing machines or by trained personnel.
Following the authentication procedure all suspected counterfeit coins and coins unfit for circulation are to be sent to the Coin National Analysis Centre or another authority designated by the Member State concerned.
Institutions shall use only the types of coin-processing machines that have successfully passed a detection test carried out by the designated national authority or by the ETSC and that were listed on the website referred to in Article 5(2) at the time of their purchase.
The detection test shall be designed to ensure that a coin-processing machine is capable of rejecting the known types of counterfeit euro coins and, in the process, euro coins unfit for circulation and all other coin-like objects that do not comply with the specifications of genuine euro coins.
Publication of test results of successfully tested coin-processing machines
Only coin-processing machines, for which a positive and valid detection test report summary is received or prepared by the ETSC are listed.
The validity period for a successful test is twenty-four months.
Due to the disruption of activities that the coronavirus crisis created, the European Commission extended the validity period of CPM without testing, on an exceptional basis, for the period March 2020 – December 2021.
In view of the general developments, the European Commission has decided to further extend the validity period without testing until the 31st of March 2022.