Shortage of 5, 10, and 20 euro cent coins: pay digitally or put your coins back in circulation

1 December 2022 - 4 min Reading time

We have observed that the coins of 5, 10, and 20 Euro cents are not circulating adequately. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have been using these coins less frequently for purchases, and they are likely being hoarded. This reduced usage has resulted in a scarcity of these coins among merchants and banks.

  • Furthermore, due to the conflict in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, there is a shortage of essential raw materials, preventing the government from minting new coins. This shortage is contributing to the scarcity of 20, 10, and 5 Euro cent coins.
  • Febelfin, Unizo, and Comeos are calling for increased digital payments at merchants, even for small amounts, and they are urging consumers who pay in cash to use exact change whenever possible, including 5, 10, and 20 Euro cent coins. These coins can also be donated to a charitable cause.
  • Consumers with large quantities of 5, 10, and 20 Euro cent coins can always deposit them at their bank.

Lack of raw materials & circulation


The conflict in Ukraine and international and European sanctions against Russia have disrupted the supply of certain raw materials in Europe. This has impacted various sectors, including the production of new coins. Due to a shortage of adequate raw materials, it is challenging to mint additional 5, 10, and 20 Euro cent coins to address the shortage.

Currently, there are more 5, 10, and 20 Euro cent coins in circulation than ever before, but these coins are not circulating sufficiently. Consumers have significantly reduced their use of these coins for purchases since the COVID-19 pandemic and tend to keep them, preventing them from returning to merchants and banks. However, merchants still require these coins, resulting in a coin shortage.

Pay exact or electronically

Febelfin, Unizo and Comeos are jointly appealing to consumers:

  • If you pay with cash, empty your coin jar at home and pay as exactly as possible at merchants. Pay for your purchases digitally whenever possible, even for small amounts. Contactless payments are a fast, secure, and user-friendly alternative to cash payments. Alternatively, put your 5, 10, and 20 Euro cent coins back into circulation by donating them to a charity. An example of this could be the Rospot campaign in support of the "Kom op tegen Kanker" (Stand Up to Cancer) initiative.

Depositing large volumes


Consumers with substantial quantities of 5, 10, and 20 Euro cent coins can deposit them at their bank.

Many banks offer free coin deposits for individuals, and for larger volumes, there may be a minimal cost associated with counting, sorting, and transporting the coins. The fees can vary from zero euros to a few euros per deposit. Please consult your bank (or its fee schedule) to determine the applicable fee.

Febelfin, Unizo, and Comeos request understanding from consumers regarding this unique situation due to the conflict in Ukraine and hope for a more permanent solution in the near future.