Exchange of damaged or mutilated banknotes
The banknotes should be used in such a way as to preserve their integrity. However, some banknotes may become damaged or even mutilated, ceasing to fulfil requirements that are absolutely necessary for their acknowledgement as a form of payment, thus being withdrawn from circulation.
In the case of damaged or mutilated euro banknotes, they will be exchanged for banknotes of an equal value, apt for circulation, providing requirements of Article 3 of the ECB Decision of 20 March 2003 (ECB/2003/4) are fulfilled:
- where doubt exists as to the authenticity of the euro banknotes and, in the case of mutilated banknotes,
- when more than 50 % of the euro banknote is presented or, whenever this is not possible, when the applicant proves that the missing parts have been destroyed.
In such cases, the holder of damaged or mutilated banknotes should take them to one of Banco de Portugal’s branches (or to another Eurosystem national central bank) where appropriate screening will be carried out. Should doubts still persist as to the intention behind such mutilation or damage of the banknotes, the applicant should identify him/herself and present a written explanation for the mutilation or damage or for why the banknotes have missing parts.
Should this prove impossible, on presenting the banknotes/fragments for value confirmation, they may be held by Banco de Portugal for further screening, whereby the applicant will be issued with a receipt from the Bank’s cash office for such banknotes/fragments. The applicant will be informed in writing, at a later date, of the results of such testing. The value attributed to the banknotes/fragments may subsequently be received in any Banco de Portugal cash offices, on receipt presentation. However, the non-valued fragments may only be released at the branch where they were presented for valuing.