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The Government response to the consultation on UK enforcement measures for EU regulations 44/2009 and 45/2009 on counterfeit Euros
The Government consulted on a proposal to introduce a new criminal offence rather than a new regulatory penalty and regime. The consultation sought views on both options and the costs and benefits of each. This was intended to ensure that the UK’s enforcement of the EU Regulations is effective and proportionate, consistent with existing practice on counterfeit currency and minimises the impact of these regulations on businesses in the UK.
View were welcomed from businesses that may be affected, including financial institutions, money service businesses, cash transportation businesses, law enforcement agencies and other interested parties.
Following this consultation, the Government has introduced legislation to Parliament and the new criminal offence will have effect from 31 December.
Two European Regulations, published in 2009, strengthen and modernise the steps that all Member States, including countries like the United Kingdom that have not adopted the Euro, need to take to address the risks of counterfeit Euros being put into circulation.
The Regulations, taken together, require relevant UK businesses to have in place measures to identify and remove counterfeit Euros from circulation. In particular, the Regulations introduced new requirements on certain businesses to check euro notes and coins, so that counterfeits are more easily identified. The Regulations set out what steps need to be taken if counterfeit Euros are found or suspected.
The UK has a deadline of 31 December 2011 to implement any domestic measures required to ensure compliance with the EU Regulations.
The EU Regulations already have direct effect in the UK, and do not need to be transposed into UK law like a Directive. However, the UK is required to take the necessary measures to ensure that the regulations are complied with in the UK.
These measures have no impact on any steps to join the Euro. The Government has made it clear that it will not join or prepare to join the Euro in this Parliament.