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Retaining counterfeits

 

Credit institutions, exchange offices and payment institutions

Cashiers at credit institutions, exchange offices and payment institutions have the obligation to detect and retain counterfeit or suspect banknotes and coins.

This obligation applies to banknotes and coins presented over the counter in person and banknotes and coins submitted via customer-operated machines.

If the retained banknote or coin was presented over the counter at a credit institution, exchange office or payment institution the form annexed to Instruction of Banco de Portugal No 38/2012 must be filled out. This form serves as a receipt for the banknote or coin retained and:

  1. identifies the person presenting/depositing the banknote or coin (name and address, ID registration and contact number); 
  2. records the information for further police investigation (including data identifying the person who handed the counterfeit banknote or coin to the person presenting/depositing it and the date, place and circumstances).

If customer-operated machines retain a banknote, they must issue a receipt complying with the information laid down in Instruction of Banco de Portugal No 38/2012. The receipt must indicate the number of retained banknotes by denomination and explicitly state that:

  1. retained banknotes are suspected not to be genuine; 
  2. the suspected amounts may only be credited to the account in question depending on the outcome of authenticity tests on retained banknotes;
  3. the deadline for informing the account holder of the outcome of these tests should not exceed five working days from the date of the operation.

If banknotes or coins are retained, the Police (Polícia Judiciária) must be informed as soon as possible, at the most within five business days, by sending the objects that were retained and the form duly filled out.

 

Cash-in-transit companies

Professional cash handlers, specifically cash-in-transit companies, have the obligation to retain counterfeit or suspect banknotes and coins in euro or in a foreign currency. 

Banknotes and coins retained by cash-in-transit companies must be sent to Banco de Portugal, together with the form annexed to Instruction of Banco de Portugal No 38/2012, duly filled out, within five business days of the retention of the banknotes or coins.

Where there is a link between the retained objects and a natural person presenting/depositing them, the banknotes and coins must be handed over to the Police within the same time period.

 

Other entities

Entities which are not professional cash handlers and that retain counterfeit or suspect banknotes and coins must send the receipt stating they were retained and are suspected of being counterfeit, duly filled out, to Banco de Portugal by email (recirculacao@bportugal.pt), within the same time period for submission to the Police.


Recirculation

Banco de Portugal is responsible for supervising the recirculation of euro banknotes and coins.

Professional cash handlers must only recirculate banknotes and coins which have been checked and found to be genuine and fit.

In Portugal, recirculation is regulated by Decree-Laws No 195/2007 of 15 May 2007 and No 184/2007 of 10 May 2007.

 

Entities required to recirculate euro banknotes and coins

Entities which are professionally responsible for handling euro banknotes and coins and delivering them to the public – credit institutions, cash-in-transit companies, exchange offices and payment institutions – are required to check whether they are genuine and fit.

 

Rules on banknote recirculation 

  1. Banknotes may only be returned to circulation via automated teller machines (ATMs) or other customer-operated machines if they have been checked for both authenticity and fitness by banknote handling machines recognised by any Eurosystem central bank and are included in the list published on the European Central Bank’s website.
  2. Banknotes which have been checked for authenticity by trained staff members, either manually or without the use of banknote handling machines recognised by a Eurosystem central bank, must not be returned to circulation via ATMs or other customer-operated devices, but can only be distributed over the counter after being checked for fitness.
  3. Professional cash handlers must retain and immediately hand over counterfeit or suspect banknotes to the Police or Banco de Portugal.
  4. Euro banknotes that do not meet minimum fitness requirements to remain in circulation or that have not been duly checked may not be released to the public and must be handed over to Banco de Portugal.
  5. Professional cash handlers may recirculate banknotes directly provided by Eurosystem central banks either through ATMs or over the counter.
  6. Credit institutions with remote branches and a very low level of cash operations may supply ATMs and other customer-operated machines with banknotes which have been checked only manually for fitness. In these cases, the authenticity check is carried out by a successfully tested banknote authentication machine. This exception only applies to up to 5 per cent of the volume of banknotes that are provided through ATMs and other customer-operated machines in Portugal. Credit institutions intending to operate under this scheme must communicate their intention to Banco de Portugal in advance.

 

Banknote handling machines 

Euro banknotes may be recirculated through banknote handling machines recognised by any Eurosystem central bank.

These machines must be able to identify and separate counterfeit euro banknotes from genuine ones and banknotes that do not meet Eurosystem fitness standards from banknotes fit for circulation, in a reliable way. They must also be adaptable to new authenticity and fitness standards for euro banknotes and ensure the detection of new types of counterfeits.

Only manufacturers may request that Eurosystem central banks perform tests on their machines. In the case of Banco de Portugal, this request should be addressed to recirculacao@bportugal.pt.

 

Rules on coin recirculation 

  1. Euro coins may only return to circulation if they have been checked for authenticity and fitness by coin-processing machines or qualified professionals with training in euro coin authenticity and fitness that is recognised by Banco de Portugal. 
  2. Professional cash handlers must retain and immediately hand over to the Police or Banco de Portugal counterfeit or suspect coins in euro or in a foreign currency. They must comply with the provisions laid down in Instruction of Banco de Portugal No 38/2012.
  3. Euro coins unfit for circulation, either because they are defective or because their technical properties and identification features have been altered by accident, may not be released to the public and must be submitted to Banco de Portugal, in accordance with the rules regarding quantity and packaging, as laid down in Circular Letter No 8/2008 and Instruction of Banco de Portugal No 17/2014. The accounts of credit institutions held at Banco de Portugal are credited accordingly with the value of the genuine euro coins unfit for circulation. 
  4. Professional cash handlers may distribute over the counter euro coins directly provided by Eurosystem central banks.

 

Coin-processing machines

Euro coins may be recirculated through coin-processing machines that have been successfully tested by the European Technical and Scientific Centre, national coin analysis centres or a Eurosystem central bank.

These machines must be able to process all euro coin denominations and detect/reject euro coin-like objects, in particular counterfeit coins and medals. They must also be adaptable to new standards on the authenticity and features of euro coins and be able to detect new types of counterfeits and implement new criteria for checking euro coins.

 

Professional trainings

Banco de Portugal promotes training for professionals involved in cash recirculation activities.

Entities recirculating euro banknotes and coins should promote training among cash professionals, ensuring that they are qualified to manually check euro banknotes and coins received from the public for authenticity and fitness before these are recirculated.

Training on euro banknotes and coins for professionals working at cash-in-transit companies must always be delivered face to face.  

Face-to-face courses are conducted at Banco de Portugal’s training centres – Braga, Carregado, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Funchal, Lisbon, Ponta Delgada, Porto and Viseu – and through e-learning.

Face-to-face training courses have a duration of four hours for banknotes and three hours for coins and include a theoretical presentation and a practical session on the analysis of counterfeit and genuine banknotes/coins. Courses are limited to 14 trainees. 

E-learning training may be attended free of charge through the entity’s e-learning platform or the BANCA platform of Instituto de Formação Bancária (Portuguese Banking Training Institute).

The e-learning course has a duration of four hours. In order to successfully complete it, cash professionals must pass the questionnaires at the end of each of the course’s modules. Approval requires at least 80% in each questionnaire.

Trainees attending the face-to-face course or passing the e-learning  course receive a certificate issued by Banco de Portugal and may exercise cash recirculation activities for a period of three years (banknotes, coins or both).

For more information, contact the National Counterfeit Centre: cncontrafaccoes@bportugal.pt

 

Reporting to Banco de Portugal

Entities entering into a contract with Banco de Portugal to recirculate euro banknotes and coins are required to report on developments in this activity. 

Information to be reported is set out in Instruction of Banco de Portugal No 9/2014 (euro banknotes) and Instruction of Banco de Portugal No 5/2012, amended by Instruction No 31/2013 (euro coins).

Reporting to Banco de Portugal should take place exclusively through the dedicated application in BPnet, Banco de Portugal’s website for operational communication with the financial community (SIN – Sistema Integrado de Numerário > RAR-Nota > Aplicação RAR-Nota).

Deadlines and frequency of reporting on recirculation activities are as follows:

Main data – first reporting and update

Main data – periodic reporting

Operational data

First reporting: within one month of signing the contract

First reporting: during the six-month period immediately following that in which the contract is signed

First reporting: during the six-month period immediately following that in which the contract is signed

Changes to reporting: whenever necessary

1st reporting period: 1 January to 30 June

1st reporting period: 1 January to 30 June

2nd reporting period: 1 July to 31 December

2nd reporting period: 1 July to 31 December

Data reporting periods: for banknotes, within two months and, for coins, within one month of the end of the respective reporting period

Data reporting periods: for banknotes, within two months and, for coins, within one month of the end of the respective reporting period

Changes to reported data: during the periods for data reporting

Changes to reported data: during the periods for data reporting


Intelligent Banknote Neutralisation Systems

Intelligent Banknote Neutralisation Systems (IBNS) are devices installed in ATMs and cash-in-transit systems designed to neutralise banknotes in case of theft by rendering them useless as a means of payment.

In Portugal, before new neutralisation systems are installed and changes to the systems currently in use are introduced, these systems must be submitted to testing by Banco de Portugal. These tests focus on how the devices work and their results.

The use of IBNS was regulated by Instruction of Banco de Portugal No 1/2011, amended by Instruction of Banco de Portugal No 37/2012 and Circular Letter No 1/2011/DET.

List of successfully tested IBNS

Representative

Type of equipment

Manufacturer

Neutralising agent(s)

Date of testing

Observations

Feérica

Smartstain Meta CIT (system for cash-in-transit)

Feérica

SICPA (code 995710) – green colour ink

15.01.2018

Feérica

Smartstain R, manufactured by PNP Tech (system for ATMs)

PNP Tech

SICPA (code 995710) – Green ink

10.05.2016

ServiCash

Q-Case Mini (system for cash-in-transit)

 StrongPoint

SICPA (code 995710) – Green ink

18.01.2016

Feérica

Smartstain Meta (system for cash-in-transit)

Feérica

SICPA (code 995710) – Green ink

27.05.2015

Feérica

Smartstain, manufactured by PNP Tech (system for ATMs)

Feérica

SICPA (Tinta Sujando 2NS Negro-2NS7501) – Black ink

27.10.2011

SICPA (code 995710) – Green ink

25.07.2013

-

Q-Cut Electronic (system for ATMs); Security Case Q-Collector 380 (system for cash-in-transit)

SQS

SQS Security Qube System AB; Black ink (Art No. 104461); Red ink (Art No. 108172)

28.09.2010

The system uses two different ink colours.

Feérica

VCC ALU 190/270/320 EURO CASE (system for cash-in-transit)

Villiger

Villiger (Penetration Ink Violet, Ref. 1151.400185) – Violet ink

21.07.2010

Diusframi Sistemas

ICSD L3 (system for ATMs)

Oberthur

SICPA (ENCRE MACULANTE VIOLET AX 124-026 ) – Violet ink

09.06.2010

SICPA (ENCRE MACULANTE 2NS55999 Vert) – Green ink

14.10.2011

-

Scorpion System (system for ATMs)

3SI Security Systems

Sun Blue Ink (3SI-08) – Blue ink

08.06.2010

Maxicofre

a2m (system for ATMs); ibox (system for cash-in-transit)

Spinnaker

SICPA (Ref. 2BS8503) – Violet ink

22.01.2010

Feérica

ATM Cassette Ink Kit (system for ATMs)

Villiger

SICPA (Banknotestain red 2NS3301) – Red ink

18.12.2009

TECNOCOM

MactwinBox (system for cash-in-transit)

Mactwin

Rapid Flare – version 2.0 - (manufacturer: Cesaroni Technology Inc.) – Burning agent; Cashield, Luminescent Degradation Ink, AzSure – Orange (manufacturer: Printcolor)

11.2008

Terms of use 

  1. Customer-operated devices, specifically Multibanco ATMs, which use neutralisation systems must provide information that banknotes neutralised by these anti-theft systems and put into circulation must not be accepted by the public and must be handed over to Banco de Portugal, the banking system or the police authorities.
  2. If a theft triggers the banknote neutralisation system through, for example, ink staining (the neutralisation technique most frequently used in Portugal and Europe), devices should not provide their users with any more banknotes.
  3. Neutralisation systems using ink staining must:
  • clearly identify the ink containers, pyrotechnic charges or similar contents and their capacity or power; 
  • comply with requirements set out by Banco de Portugal in the instruction and circular letter on the ink-stained surface and the ink’s resistance to external agents.

 

Exchange of neutralised banknotes

Banco de Portugal may exchange neutralised banknotes through anti-theft systems, provided these systems are included in the list of eligible systems and the appropriate technical and expert analyses have been carried out.

Banco de Portugal may exchange banknotes neutralised by systems used in other euro area countries.

 

Responsibilities of credit institutions when withdrawing neutralised banknotes from circulation

Credit institutions must receive, without any quantitative limits and under any circumstance, neutralised banknotes submitted directly by individuals or enterprises. These banknotes must be sent to Banco de Portugal for technical and expert analysis.


Cash offices

Banco de Portugal provides the following cash operations to credit institutions:

  • euro banknote deposits and withdrawals;
  • euro coin deposits and withdrawals.

These operations are carried out by credit institutions using the GOLD application – Gestão Integrada das Operações de Levantamentos e Depósitos (Integrated management of cash withdrawals and deposits), available at BPnet, Banco de Portugal’s website for operational communication with the financial system.