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Central Bank Act

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Issue and withdrawal of banknotes and coins

The MNB has the exclusive right to issue banknotes and coins. The Governor of the MNB declares the issueand withdrawalof forint banknotes and forint coins in a decree. Prior to their withdrawal, Hungarian legal tenders – including commemorative banknotes and commemorative coins as well – shall be accepted at their face value by all persons in forint payments in Hungary.

The banknotes and coins withdrawn by the Central Bank cease to be legal tender starting from the date indicated (20 years in the case of banknotes and 5 years in the case of coins).

The MNB shall have the exclusive right to sell the coins that are difficult to recognise or qualify as damaged legal tender – excluding commemorative coins issued by the MNB – and the coins already withdrawn by the MNB as raw material.

Payment in cash, exchange of Hungarian legal tenders

In the case of payment by handing over forint banknotes or forint coins

  • only credit institutions and post office cash desks are obliged to accept more than 50 coins in one payment transaction, including cash deposits made into payment accounts;
  • commercial units are obliged to accept not more than 50 coins in a payment transaction;
  • counterfeit or forged (together: suspicious) banknotes and coins may not be accepted;
  • nobody is obliged to accept forint banknotes and forint coins that are difficult to recognise or damaged (incomplete, torn, glued, contaminated etc.).

In respect of legal tender withdrawn from circulation

  • the MNB shall exchange banknotes into Hungarian legal tender at face value for 20 years from the date of the witdrawal and coins into Hungarian legal tender at face value for 5 years from the date of the withdrawal;
  • credit institutions and post offices shall, pursuant to the Central Bank Act effective from 1 January 2012, exchange banknotes for 3 years from the date of the withdrawal and coins for 1 year from the date of the withdrawal into Hungarian legal tender. (Certain credit institutions and post offices shall, beyond the obligation imposed on them by law, also exchange withdrawn banknotes into legal tender and accept them as payment when their services are used.)

Incomplete or damaged banknotes can be exchanged only if a portion exceeding 50% of the original surface of the banknote is handed over.

Pursuant to the Central Bank Act effective from 1 January 2012, such incomplete or damaged banknotes the damaged portion of which is less than 50% of the original surface

  • shall be withdrawn from circulation by the MNB without any payment made;

shall be accepted by credit institutions and post offices without any payment made and forwarded to the MNB for the purpose of withdrawal and destruction.

(Everybody can accept foreign currencies, including the euro, at his own discretion.)

The detailed conditions of cash distribution are regulated by the Governor of the MNB in separate decrees: Banknote Decree and Coin Decree.

    • For further details in connection with the denomination exchange of forint banknotes and forint coins, including the ones that are difficult to recognise and the damaged ones, please.  

Protection of Hungarian and foreign legal tender against counterfeiting

In Hungary, the MNB performs the currency-expert, training, data provision and dissemination tasks related to the protection of Hungarian and foreign legal tender.  For this reason, it is a general obligation for everyone to send the presumably counterfeit or forged (together: suspicious) Hungarian and foreign legal tenders found in the money circulation to the MNB for expert examination or to hand them over to commercial banks, mutual savings banks and post offices for forwarding to the Central Bank.

The MNB does not pay any compensation for Hungarian or foreign legal tenders classified by the Central Bank’s expert examination as counterfeit or forged.

The detailed technical tasks related to the protection of banknotes and coins against counterfeiting are regulated by the Governor of the MNB in separate decrees: Banknote Decree and Coin Decree.

Reproductions of money

Reproductions of forint banknotes and coins issued by the MNB and in circulation or withdrawn from circulation by the MNB but convertible to legal tender may only be produced – for any purpose – in accordance with the stipulations set forth in the separate decrees of the Governor of the MNB.