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Economy and Finance

Copyright and reproduction rules of euro coins and notes

Euro coins and banknotes are important symbols of European unity and commitment. For this reason there are clear rules on how and when their images can be used. 

These are designed to protect the images on euro coins and banknotes from misuse and avoid confusion, while allowing for appropriate use by others when needed.

Reproduction rules for coins

The reproduction rules of the common sides are decided by the European Commission and are intended to avoid confusion between genuine euro coins and medals and tokens of a similar size and with similar properties. Only the following reproductions are allowed:

  • reproductions in a format without relief (drawings, paintings, films) provided that they are not detrimental to the image of the euro.
  • reproductions in objects with relief, other than coins, medals and tokens, provided that they are not liable to be confused with coins.
  • reproductions on plastic objects and malleable tokens of a size at least 50% larger or smaller than the normal size.

Copyright on the design of the common sides of the euro coins belongs to the European Union represented by the Commission. However, the European Commission has assigned each euro area Member State all the Community rights as regards their territory. Member States belonging to the euro area are therefore obliged to enforce the copyright within their territories, while the Commission enforces it outside the euro area and the EU. Either the Commission or individual euro-area countries may initiate legal proceedings if unauthorised reproduction is detected.

Reproduction of the national sides of the euro coins is governed by the legislation of the issuing countries, since these are the holders of the copyright in the design of the national sides.

For authorisation to reproduce the national side of a commemorative coin, please contact the competent national authority.

Reproduction rules for banknotes

The copyright on the euro banknotes belongs to the European Central Bank, which has defined reproduction rules to ensure that the public can distinguish genuine banknotes from reproductions. The national central banks of the Member States of the European Union and the European Central Bank may initiate legal proceedings against anyone infringing the copyright.

Requirements for Euro banknote reproductions can be found on the website of the ECB.

Related links

Legislation on the euro coins


Related documents

Copyright of the national sides of euro circulation coins