Law On The Protection Against Counterfeiting And Maintaining The Quality Of Currency In Circulation (1)

Original Language Title: Loi relative à la protection contre le faux monnayage et au maintien de la qualité de la circulation fiduciaire (1)

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17 JULY 2013. - Law on the Protection against Faux-Monnayage and the Maintenance of the Quality of Fiduciary Traffic (1)



ALBERT II, King of the Belgians,
To all, present and to come, Hi.
The Chambers adopted and We sanction the following:
Article 1er. This Act regulates a matter referred to in Article 78 of the Constitution.
Art. 2. § 1er. Tickets and coins are subject to this Act. It ensures enforcement and compliance with the following European Union regulations:
1° Article 6 of the Regulation (EC) Council No. 1338/2001 of 28 June 2001 defining measures necessary for the protection of the euro against the counterfeiting;
2° Decision (BCE/2010/14) of the European Central Bank of 16 September 2010 on the verification of authenticity and quality and the delivery of tickets in euros;
3° Regulation (EU) No. 1210/2010 of the European Parliament and the Council of 15 December 2010 concerning the authentication of coins in euros and the processing of coins in euros unfit for circulation.
§ 2. The King is empowered to update references to European Union regulation referred to in the preceding paragraph in the event that such regulation is replaced or supplemented.
Art. 3. For the purposes of this Act, it shall be understood by:
1° "establishment" and "institutions": an establishment or establishments that fall under the scope of the European Union regulation referred to in Article 2;
2° "fals notes" and "fals pieces": tickets and coins denominated in euros or which have the appearance of tickets or coins in euros and which have been fraudulently manufactured or altered;
3° "Presumed banklets neutralized": Euro notes, on which there are sufficient grounds to think that they have been rendered unfit for use following the initiation of a neutralization system referred to in Article 5, § 2, of the Royal Decree of 7 April 2003 regulating certain methods of monitoring and protection of the transport of values and relating to the technical specificities of the vehicles for the carriage of values".
Art. 4. On the proposal of the National Bank of Belgium regarding the notes and the Royal Mint of Belgium with respect to the parts, the King shall determine the additional rules to be observed by the establishments for the purposes of this Act and the regulation of the European Union referred to in Article 2.
Art. 5. Institutions have the obligation to withdraw from circulation all suspected neutralized tickets they have received and to issue them promptly to the National Bank of Belgium.
When presumed banknotes are discovered in a banknote automaton or in a transaction with an establishment, the establishments ensure that these tickets are not refunded or that the account of the person presenting these tickets is not credited. Institutions also ensure that the identity of the applicant or the holder of the destination account is identified.
The presumed neutralized notes given to the National Bank of Belgium are only refunded in accordance with the decision of the European Central Bank of 19 April 2013 concerning unit values, specifications, reproduction, exchange and withdrawal of tickets in euros.
Art. 6. The National Bank of Belgium with respect to the banknotes and the Royal Mint of Belgium with respect to the coins may control whether the establishments comply with the regulation of the European Union referred to in Article 2 and the rules referred to in Articles 4 and 5. The establishments allow the National Bank of Belgium and the Royal Mint of Belgium to:
1° carry out investigations, inspections and expertise announced or not, on site or outside of the establishments;
2° test machines, if any with the assistance of one or more employees, agents or representatives of the manufacturer or machine vendor;
3° examine procedures for the use and control of ticket and parts processing equipment, the handling of tickets and checked parts and the manual verification of authenticity and quality;
4° to read on site and make a copy of any document, file and record;
5° have access to any computer system.
With respect to the obligation to hand over false notes and false documents, the federal police service performing the duties of the national central office referred to in Article 12 of the Geneva Convention of 20 April 1929 for the suppression of false money, may request to participate in or be called upon to participate in the controls referred to in the preceding paragraph.
Institutions bring their full cooperation in these controls.
Art. 7. Where an establishment fails to comply with the regulations of the European Union referred to in Article 2 or the rules referred to in Articles 4 or 5, the National Bank of Belgium with respect to the notes or the Royal Mint of Belgium with respect to the exhibits may propose to the Minister of Finance to impose an administrative fine.
If the facts disclosed are likely to constitute a criminal offence, the Minister of Finance shall inform the King's Attorney. The King's Attorney has a period of thirty days to decide whether to prosecute or not on the basis of the facts disclosed. He informs the Minister of Finance of this decision without delay. If the King's Attorney waives or fails to notify his decision within the specified time limit, the Minister of Finance may make an administrative fine to the institution concerned, after hearing or at least having duly summoned him.
With respect to the delivery of the false notes and the false documents, the National Bank of Belgium or the Royal Mint of Belgium shall act as appropriate on the basis of the information provided by the Federal Police Service referred to in Article 6, second paragraph.
Art. 8. The amount of the fine referred to in Article 7 cannot be less than 250 euros or exceed 50,000 euros.
The fine is recovered, for the benefit of the treasury, by the T.V.A. Administration, of registration and domains.
Art. 9. All sanctions are communicated by the Minister of Finance to the control authority of the sanctioned institution.
Sanctions for the delivery of suspected neutralized tickets are communicated by the Minister of Finance to the Minister of the Interior.
Art. 10. § 1er. Where it is found that an establishment does not comply with the regulations of the European Union referred to in Article 2 or the rules referred to in Articles 4 or 5 concerning tickets, the National Bank of Belgium, after hearing the establishment or at least having duly summoned it, requests that corrective action be taken within the time limit it fixes. The National Bank of Belgium may, in any case, prohibit an establishment or some of its seats, offices or agencies from circulating receipts or certain denominations of such tickets, as long as the violation of the provisions continues.
The decisions of the National Bank of Belgium referred to in the preceding paragraph are effective, with respect to the establishment, from the date of their notification by registered letter or by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.
§ 2. Where it is found that an establishment does not comply with the regulations of the European Union referred to in Article 2 or the rules referred to in Article 4 concerning the exhibits, the Minister of Finance shall, on the proposal of the Royal Belgian Mint and after hearing the establishment or at least having duly summoned it, take corrective action within the time limit that it sets. The Minister of Finance may, in any event, prohibit an establishment or some of its seats, offices or agencies from releasing the documents received or certain names of such documents, as long as the violation of the provisions continues.
The decisions of the Minister of Finance referred to in the preceding paragraph are effective with respect to the establishment on the date of their notification by registered letter or registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.
Art. 11. The law of May 12, 2004 on protection against false money, as amended by the Royal Decree of March 3, 2011, is repealed.
Promulgate this law, order that it be clothed with the seal of the State and published by the Belgian Monitor.
Given in Brussels, 17 July 2013
ALBERT
By the King:
K. GEENS
Minister of Finance,
Seal of the state seal:
The Minister of Justice,
Ms. A. TURTELBOOM
___
Note
(1) Documents of the House of Representatives:
53-2771 - 2012/2013:
001: Bill.
002: Amendment.
003: Report.
004: Text adopted by the Finance and Budget Commission.
005: Text adopted in plenary session and transmitted to the Senate.
Full report: 13 June 2013.
Senate documents:
5-2152 - 2012/2013:
001: Project not referred to by the Senate.