News - News Releases 2019


Bi-annual information on euro banknote counterfeiting in Malta

In the second half of 2018, the number of counterfeit euro banknotes reported to the Central Bank of Malta amounted to 286 pieces. This brought the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation for the whole of 2018 to 677 pieces, a 24.2% decrease when compared to the figures of the previous year.

When compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation in Malta (slightly above 11.22 million on average for the second half of 2018), the proportion of euro counterfeits remains insignificant. It is also low (0.11%) as a proportion of the total number of counterfeits seized in the euro area as a whole over the same period, amounting to 262,000 pieces.

Of all the counterfeit euro banknotes seized in Malta during the second half of the year, the €20 and €50 denominations continue to be the most counterfeited ones, accounting for 78% of all counterfeits seized in circulation. During this period, the percentage share of the €50 increased while that of the €20 denomination decreased.

The table below provides a percentage breakdown by denomination, of the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation in the second half of 2018 compared to those withdrawn in the euro area as a whole.










Percentage Breakdown

Euro area
















The Bank would like to remind the public that the new €100 and €200 banknotes, with enhanced security features, being the last two denominations of the Europa Series, will enter into circulation on 28 May 2019. Banknote equipment manufacturers and suppliers will continue to receive support from the Eurosystem in adapting their machines and authentication devices. All commercial enterprises handling cash are advised to contact the suppliers and manufacturers to upgrade their equipment and devices without any delay, to ensure that they only accept genuine banknotes.

Notwithstanding the low figures of counterfeits reported locally, the Central Bank of Malta continues to advise the public to remain alert with regard to the banknotes received in cash transactions. Genuine banknotes can easily be recognised using the simple "FEEL-LOOK-TILT" test, which is described on the Bank's website. The Bank is available to provide support, including training to any local entities which may require such assistance and also to those who need more information relating to the introduction of the new €100 and €200 banknotes.

Anyone who receives a suspect note should contact either the Police on 2294 2120 or the Central Bank of Malta on 2550 6012/13 or by sending an e-mail at the Bank's e-mail address.

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