Exchanging a damaged banknote

The customer should go at the counters of commercial banks to deliver the damaged banknotes and coins.

The banknotes/coins are exchanged at the bank counter

  • In case the banknotes have light damages (annotations, stains, holes or minor tears) they can be exchanged directly at the bank counter, at their nominal value.

The banknotes/coins are not exchanged at the bank counter

  • In the case of banknotes which are damaged at a higher degree: they miss parts or security features; and/or commercial banks have doubts on the authenticity; then the damaged banknotes/coins  are not directly exchanged at the bank counter, instead they are sent to the Bank of Albania for further examination.

In this case, along with the damaged banknotes/coins, the customer must submit a written claim for the exchange.

  • When the banknotes presented are stained, soiled, soaked, burned or damaged more than 50% of their surface, in addition to the written claim, the applicant must submit a declaration that explains the source of the damage and attach any other additional document issued by the competent authorities or local government bodies, citing the cause and circumstances of damage.
  • For each of the above cases, commercial banks must send to the Bank of Albania the damaged banknotes along with the claim request and the additional documents, no later than 10 business days from the date of submission of the claim by the applicant.
  • The Bank of Albania determines the quantity of the banknotes/coins which fulfil the exchange criteria and transfers the nominal value to the account of the commercial bank. The commercial bank compensates the client that has submitted the damaged banknotes/coins.
  • The Bank of Albania may refuse to exchange the damaged banknotes and coins when it is aware or has sufficient reasons to believe that:
    • The banknotes and coins submitted for exchange have been intentionally damaged (banknotes or coins formed by merging two or more pieces of different banknotes and coins). In this case, the banknotes/coins will be confiscated without compensation.
    • The banknotes and coins submitted for exchange have been obtained through a criminal offence. The Bank of Albania shall qualify these as valid for exchange only if after the competent authorities verify that the source of the banknotes presented is lawful.