On February 9, 2002, the Irish pound or punt ceased to be legal tender and was officially replaced by the euro. On January 1, 1999, the euro became the official currency in eurozone countries like Ireland, but the state did not began to withdraw the pound from national circulation until January 1, 2002. The withdrawal of the Irish pound was relatively slower than tender withdrawal in most other eurozone countries. By February 9, 2002, only 45% of the coins had actually been withdrawn. The state still allows all Irish coins and banknotes, from the formation of the Irish Free State onwards, to be exchanged for the euro at the Central Bank in Dublin.