In the majority of the Member States of the EU, in-store purchases are definite. Hence consumers cannot withdraw form a purchase or an order. In principle the right of withdrawal for consumers solely exists for online purchases or distanced contracts.
However, some traders accept either the exchange of or the reimbursement for products. This is a commercial practice by the trader and not a right of the consumer.
In case of a defect of the product, the consumer does however bear the right to demand either the repair or the exchange of the product. Alternatively, the consumer bears the right of reimbursement for the product. It is important to note that this right originates from the legal guarantee and not from the right of withdrawal.
Cash payments: the limits in each EU Member State
Even if cryptocurrencies and contactless payments are becoming more common, bringing home a holiday souvenir paid for in cash might end up costing you!
Were you particularly attracted to a painting during your holiday in Italy? Be careful if you plan to pay for it in cash: there are limits on cash payments in some EU Member States.
While 15 EU Member States (including Norway and the UK) have opted not to limit the amount in respect of cash payments (Luxembourg, Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden), others have chosen to limit this possibility both in terms of the amount of the cash payment and the way in which it is made (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia).
Please find below the details of the study conducted by the European Consumer Centres Network:
No cash limit.
Consumers who wish to pay more than €10,000 in cash in Germany must show identification. The seller must be able to prove the first name, surname, date and place of birth, address and nationality of the buyer.
For goods and services, the cash limit is €3000. This restriction does not apply between consumers.
According to Belgian law:
- The price for the acquisition of real estate cannot be paid in cash.
- If copper cables are sold to a contractor, the contractor is not permitted to pay in cash, even if the seller is a consumer.
- Cash payments between contractors for scrap metal and items containing valuable materials are prohibited.
- If a consumer sells such materials to a contractor, the cash payment is limited. The contractor must also verify the identity of the selling party.
These restrictions do not apply if the execution of the contract takes place under the supervision of a bailiff. Any violation of these restrictions is punishable by a fine of between €250 and €225,000.
The limit for cash payments is 10,000 Lev = approx. €5,108.
Amounts above 10,000 Lev must be paid by bank transfer or bank card, even if the amount is to be paid in instalments.
For payments in another currency, the limit of 10,000 lev is set according to the exchange rate of the Bulgarian National Bank on the day of payment.
Cash payments are limited to €15,000.
There is no limit on cash payments between individuals.
Merchants are not allowed to accept cash payments of more than DKK 20 000 (approx. € 2689). This does not however apply to banks and other financial service providers.
The use of €500 banknotes and the use of more than 25 coins is prohibited. When paying an amount in coins, a maximum of 25 coins per transaction may be used. The maximum amount that can be paid exclusively in coins is DKK 962.50 (approximately EUR 129).
For services, payment in cash is not recommended above an amount of DK 8,000 (about EUR 1,075). The reason: if the trader does not pay income tax and VAT on the purchase price, the consumer can be held liable. The buyer can avoid this liability by declaring the purchase to the relevant tax office (within 14 days of payment, at the latest one month after receipt of the invoice).
Cash limit to traders: €1,000.
For a consumer who does not have tax residence in Spain, the limit is €10,000.
In case of violation of this rule, the penalty is 25% of the sum concerned.
No limit up to 50 coins or banknotes, regardless of their value. The Central Bank of Estonia and credit institutions must accept without limit the coins/notes handed over.
No legal limit.
However, a trader may refuse a cash payment, for example, if there are more than 50 coins or a high value note, provided this is stated before the sale.
The limit for cash payments is €1000 (for French tax residents and professionals) and €15,000 for non-French tax residents.
Cash payments between individuals (e.g. car purchases) are not limited, but an invoice is required above €1,500 to be able to prove the payment. This applies if you want to buy a car in France from a private individual, for example. However, be aware of the limits on the amount of cash you can carry within the European Union.
In principle, it is up to the consumer to make up the difference (Article L112-5 of the monetary and financial code).
A trader is obliged to accept cash payments (Article R 642-3 of the Criminal Code) but is not obliged to accept a payment consisting of more than 50 coins or of high-value banknotes if it greatly exceeds the price to be paid.
Be aware that a shopkeeper may refuse a torn banknote. They may also ask you for your identity if they have doubts about the authenticity or origin of the money.
Cash payments at treasury counters are limited to €300. This applies in particular to payments of income tax, local taxes, taxes (e.g. audiovisual licence fee), fines, as well as hospital bills or rental amounts paid to public institutions. Beyond that, payment must be made by electronic means (online payment, monthly direct debit or direct debit on due date).
The limit is €500 (except for the purchase of a vehicle). Beyond that, payment by bank transfer, bank card or cheque is required.
No limit for consumers. However, limit of HUF 1.5 million/month (approx. €4,200) for legal persons, business associations and individuals subject to the VAT system.
There is no limit under national law. However, there restrictions in practice may arise.
As part of the fight against money laundering and tax fraud, cash payments are limited to €1,000 as of 1 January 2022. For any payment above this limit, it is therefore necessary to use a bank card, a cheque or to issue a bank transfer.
In case of fraud, the penalty will be at least €1,000.
The maximum amount that can be paid in cash is €7 200.
Infringements are sanctioned by fines amounting to 15% of the sum concerned.
There is a limit of €3000.
Certain items and goods cannot be paid for in cash for an amount equal to or greater than €10,000. These include antiques, real estate, jewelry, precious metals, pearls, precious stones, cars, boats and art.
In the case of offences, the fines are at least 40% of the amount in question.
There is no limit on payments between individuals.
But you cannot pay an item worth more than NOK 40 000 (about EUR 3841) to a professional. For services, the limit for cash payments is NOK 10 000 (about EUR 958). The reason: if the service provider does not pay income tax, VAT and social security contributions, the consumer can be held responsible.
There are no limits on cash payments.
However, there is an obligation to report suspicious transactions above €2000. This applies to professionals such as banks, liberal professions, insurance companies, casinos, etc.
For payments between merchants, the limit is PLN 15 000 (about EUR 3 267).
There are no restrictions for individuals.
Payments of EUR 3 000 or more cannot be made in cash.
For a person subject to income or corporte tax in Portugal, cash payments of EUR 1 000 or more are not allowed.
If the payment is made by a consumer who is not domiciled in Portugal, cash payments are only prohibited for amounts of EUR 10,000 or more.
Taxes can only be paid in cash up to and including EUR 500.
Payments to businesses may only be made in cash up to 5 000 Romanian lei (approximately €1 016) per day.
For the delivery of goods and services, this limit is 10 000 lei (about €2033) per day.
Payments between consumers, for example for the purchase of goods, services or rent, can be made in cash up to 50 000 lei (about €10 165) per day.
270,000 CZK/day (approximately €10,500/day).
Merchants, however, must register with the tax authorities as “High Value Dealers” if they accept cash payments in excess of €10,000. However, exceptions do apply.
Good to know: In England and Wales, one pays in English pound notes. However, in Scotland and Northern Ireland, English pound notes may not be accepted. Similarly, Scottish and Northern Irish pound notes may not be accepted in shops in England and Wales.
For change, there are unlimited payments of £5, £2 and £1. Coins with a face value of 50p, 25p and 20p can pay amounts up to £10, with 10p and 5p up to £5 and with 2p and 1p up to 20p.
Cash payments up to €5000 are possible for transactions between traders and for a purchase between a consumer and a trader.
For individuals, the maximum limit is €15,000.
Merchants can only accept cash payments up to and including €5,000.
There is no limit for cash payments.
However, a trader can refuse cash. In this case, the trader must clearly inform the consumer in good time (i.e. by displaying a notice in the shop).