The European Federation of Jewellery (EFJ) has been proactive on the issue of cash payment thresholds over the last years, notably by providing inputs to the 2018 report of the European Commission on restrictions on payments in cash. Being a strong advocate of the introduction of a harmonised ceiling for cash payments in business to consumer transactions, the Federation welcomes the proposed introduction by the European Commission of a Union-wide limit for large cash payments of 10.000€ while leaving the possibility to Member States to adopt lower ceilings and stricter provisions. Although this proposal will not lead to a full harmonisation, the EFJ is convinced that this is a positive step forward. Moreover, as laid down in Article 63 of the proposal, the European Commission will evaluate the situation by three years from the date of application of the Regulation.
The Federation also supports the figure of 10.000€ as ceiling. Given the current significant disparities between Member States, the sector considers that it is a proportional and reasonable figure, which takes into consideration the different necessities and sensibilities of EU citizens.
Furthermore, the proposal should be reinforced by adding in the final text that Member States can not introduce different ceilings for national residents and non-national residents.
Key points of the position paper:
- The European Federation of Jewellery supports the proposal of the European Commission to introduce a Union-wide limit for large cash payments of 10.000€ and welcomes the possibility left to Member States to adopt lower ceilings and stricter provisions.
- The current different ceilings for cash payments in business to consumer transactions go against the internal market principles, have serious economic impact and can be a cause of money laundering.
- Cash restriction limits often differ within the Member States creating unjustified discriminations among EU citizens between residents and non-residents.
- Due to its market structure, the jewellery sector is particularly exposed to the current lack of harmonisation in the cash limit rules within the EU.
- Cash remains the preferred form of payments in the Euro area: on top of ensuring the protection of personal data, it is universally accepted, costless, flexible and allows the immediate closure of payments.