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Cross-border payments in euros

This summary has been archived and will not be updated, because the summarised document is no longer in force or does not reflect the current situation.

Cross-border payments in euros

This Regulation provides that the charges levied on payments in euros between bank accounts in different Member States must not be higher than those levied on payments in euros within a Member State. Transactions by debit card and withdrawals from ATMs are also covered by the Regulation.


Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 December 2001 on cross-border payments in euro.


This Regulation is designed to put charges for cross-border payments in euros on the same footing as those for payments in that currency within a Member State. It sets a maximum amount of €50 000 and does not apply to cross-border payments between institutions for their own account.

Reducing costs and making cross-border payments easier for citizens

Cross-border payments comprise:

  • cross-border credit transfers: Transactions carried out by the originator via an institution in one Member State, in order to place a sum of money at the disposal of a beneficiary in the latter’s institution in another Member State (the originator and the beneficiary may be the same person);
  • cross-border electronic payment transactions: Cross-border funds transfers effected by an electronic payment method or cash withdrawals;
  • cross-border cheques: paper cheques.

An institution must make available to its customers in a readily comprehensible form, in writing and, where appropriate, by electronic means, prior information on the charges levied in respect of: cross-border payments, payments transacted within the Member State in which it is located and the exchange of currencies into and from euros.

Any change in the charges must be notified in advance of the date of application.

Facilitating cross-border transfers: IBAN number and BIC code

Institutions must notify customers on request of their International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and the institution’s Bank Identifier Code (BIC). In order to pay only the charges that apply to domestic transfers, customers are required to indicate the IBAN of the beneficiary and the BIC of the beneficiary’s institution.

Applying the Regulation to Member States outside the euro zone

This Regulation also applies to cross-border payments made in the currency of another Member State, once the latter has notified the Commission that it has decided to extend the Regulation’s application to its currency. To date, only the Swedish authorities have asked for the Regulation’s application to be extended to their currency, the Swedish krona. This means that cross-border payments within the European Union (EU) in Swedish kroner are covered by the Regulation in the same way as payments in euros. (For more information, please consult the document explaining the practical implications of Article 9 of the Regulation (pdf)).

This Regulation also applies to cross-border transfers to accounts in euros even if they have been opened in an EU country outside the euro zone, such as the United Kingdom.



Entry into force

Transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001



OJ L 344 of 28.12.2001


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2008 on cross-border payments in the Community [COM(2008) 640 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. This proposed Regulation will replace the above Regulation, in order to realise an Internal Market for payment services in euro. Such an Internal Market will provide national and cross-border payments with the same rules and allow for more effective competition within the EU. The new Regulation will also improve consumer protection and establish the necessary legal framework to create an up-to-date and effective European level payment system.

The proposed amendments to the existing Regulation were derived, in particular, from the Commission’s report on its application (below). With the new Regulation, its scope will be extended so that:

  • national and cross-border direct debits will also be covered by the equality of charges principle, meaning that costs for these would be the same in each Member State;
  • the obligation for payment service providers to report on the statistics concerning the balance-of-payments (BoP) will be phased out.

In addition, Member States will be requested to appoint competent authorities and out-of-court redress bodies for ensuring that the new Regulation is applied correctly. These will also provide arbitration and mediation in payment-related disputes.

Co-decision procedure (2008/0194/COD)

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 11 February 2008 on the application of Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001 on cross-border payments in euro [COM(2008) 64 final – Official Journal C 207 of 14.8.2008].

This report examines the practical problems encountered in the application of Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001. It confirms that the Regulation has helped bring about a substantial reduction in the charges linked to cross-border transfers. Also, prompted by the Regulation, the financial services sector has taken the necessary action to realise the notion of an ‘internal payments area’ for non-cash payments, namely the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

Nevertheless, the Commission notes in its report that the Member States should set up competent authorities and proper procedures to permit the amicable settlement of disputes between a bank and its client so as to protect consumers’ rights. In addition, the Regulation should be extended to cover direct debits, a payment method not yet available across borders. The Commission intends to submit a proposal for legislation in autumn 2008.

Communication from the Commission of 2 December 2003 concerning a New Legal Framework for Payments in the Internal Market (Consultative Document) [COM(2003) 718 final – Official Journal C 96 of 21.4.2004]. The purpose of this Communication is to consult interested parties on the general principles underpinning modernisation of the legal framework for retail payment services in the internal market. The consultation, which deals with a number of legal and technical issues, should enable the Commission to put forward appropriate proposals for a new legal framework for payments.

Communication from the Commission of 11 July 2002 pursuant to Article 9 of Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal C 165 of 11.7.2002].

On 28 June 2002, the Commission received notification of the Swedish authorities’ decision to extend the application of the Regulation to the Swedish krona.

Last updated: 14.11.2008