Traders must round off to the nearest 5 cents from 1 December 2019

From the end of next year cash payment will be rounded up or down to the nearest 5 eurocent. The decision to do away with the necessity for 1 and 2 eurocent coins was taken by the Federal Cabinet on Friday morning. However, those of us that have a piggy bang containing hundreds (or thousands) of the low-denomination coins need not worry as we will still be able to spend any 1 or 2 cent coins that we might have.   

The decision has come about as many traders often find that they don’t have enough of the coins in their till and the National Bank also has run out of its stock of 1 and 2 cent coins.

A bill proposing rounding of prices to the nearest 5 cents was tabled in September. Now the cabinet has agreed to the proposals.  

A shortage of coins

The Federal Economy Minister Kris Peeters told VRT News that “Many traders and customers find the small 1 and 2 eurocent coins irritating”.

"A shortage even built up a few months ago because they are more often saved than used”

Traders have been allowed to round off the nearest 5 cent since 2014. However, as no one wanted to be the first to start  

"This is why we are making rounding up or down mandatory for cash payments”, Mr Peeters added.

Rounded up or rounded down?

  • From 1 December 2019:
  • 1 and 2 cent will be rounded down to 0 cent
  • 3 and 4 cent will be rounded up to 5 cent
  • 6 and 7 cent will be rounded down to 5 cent.
  • 8 and 9 cent will be rounded up to 10 cents.