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General information about the reproduction of banknotes

It is an offence to deface this currency.

Reproductions of this currency must not be shown in a context that may cause offence (e.g. as part of pornographic or violent material). Reproductions are also prohibited insofar as they infringe copyright rules attached to the euro banknotes.

Article 1 of Guideline ECB/2003/5 sets out the criteria for non-compliant reproductions and Article 2 of Decision ECB/2013/10 sets out the criteria for unlawful reproductions of euro banknotes. Such reproductions of euro banknotes are in principle not allowed. Article 2(3) of the Decision sets out the criteria for reproductions that are deemed lawful and for which no approval is foreseen. For cases that do not meet these criteria, confirmation of compliance with the reproduction rules must be sought.

Reproduction in printed media

There are some limitations. Limitations concerning the size vary, for example, depending on whether the reproduction is one or two-sided. Generally, for a reproduction to be lawful, the rules set out in Decision ECB/2013/10 and Guideline ECB/2003/5 must be complied with.

Reproduction in electronic media

For publicly accessible digital images, a banknote may be reproduced if both the following criteria are met:

  • The resolution of the image is 72 dpi or less.
  • The word “SPECIMEN” is printed diagonally across the reproduction in a contrasting colour – the length of the word “SPECIMEN” must be at least 75% of the length of the reproduction and the height of the characters must be at least 15% of the width of the reproduction.