Professional cash handlers are banks, Poste Italiane S.p.A. and other economic agents that engage in the sorting and distribution to the public of banknotes and coins.
The monetary authorities that issue euro banknotes and coins are charged with preserving the public's confidence in the common currency by protecting the integrity and quality of currency in circulation.
Professional cash handlers are required to check the authenticity and fitness to circulate of banknotes and coins, to detect suspect counterfeits promptly and to ascertain the good condition of banknotes and coins in circulation.
Euro banknotes and coins suspected of being counterfeit must be handed over, respectively, to the Bank of Italy and to the State Printing works and Mint, where the national analysis centres for counterfeits operate. Similar procedures have been established for banknotes and coins no longer fit to circulate.
The checking of banknotes is to be performed according to the procedures established by the ECB.
In particular, banknotes distributed to the public by means of automatic teller or other customer-operated machines must be checked previously for authenticity and quality using machines whose proper functioning has been tested by a Eurosystem national central bank and whose characteristics are published on the ECB's website. Banknotes distributed exclusively over the counter may also be checked manually for both authenticity and quality by trained bank or post office personnel.
The Bank of Italy has regulatory and supervisory powers, including that of inspection, in respect of cash handlers and the power to impose sanctions on them for non-compliance with the obligations laid down by regulations. Cash recirculation is monitored on the basis of the data and information periodically transmitted by cash handlers.
The checking of coins is to be performed according to the procedures established by the European Union.
The Ministry for the Economy and Finance has regulatory and supervisory powers in respect of cash handlers and the power to impose sanctions on them for non-compliance with the obligations laid down by regulations. Inspections are carried out by State Printing Works and Mint.