-From Monday 1 July 2002 customers should pay no more to withdraw euros from cash machines or make card payments in euros in other EU Member States than they pay for the same services in the country where they live. That will mean significant savings for people travelling on holiday or on business.
The Regulation on Cross-Border Payments was enacted in December 2001, and is, unlike a Directive, directly applicable in the Member States without national implementing measures.
Under the Cross-Border Payments Regulation, from 1 July 2002 charges for withdrawals in euros from cash machines must be the same whether the customer uses a machine in the country where they hold their bank account or a machine in another Member State.
Also from 1 July 2002, charges for the use of credit and payment cards (for payments in euros up to ©½,500), must be the same whether payments are made in the country where the card is issued or in another Member State.
From 1 July 2003 the same principle of equality between charges for national and cross-border transactions in euros (up to ©½,500) will apply to credit transfers between bank accounts.
The Regulation also aims to make it easier for banks to deal with cross-border transactions. From 1 July 2003, use of ISO (International Standards Organisation) standard codes, namely IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and BIC (Bank Identifier Code), will allow banks to process credit transfers in a fully automated way. Also from that date, banks will no longer need to declare to national authorities (for statistical purposes) any payment below ©½,500.
The Regulation also covers payments in non-euro currencies if the Member States where those currencies are used notify the Commission that they want the rules to apply. The Swedish Government announced on 12 June 2002 that it wished to apply the Regulation for Swedish Krona.
Regulation on cross-border payments in euros to apply from 1 July 2002: frequently asked questions
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