UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Homeland Security

14 March 2003

Text: U.S. Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts Effective, Says Treasury

(But new technology will require more security features) (870)
Efforts to protect U.S. currency against international counterfeiting
continue to be effective although advances in computer and
reproduction technology will require ongoing and regular security
enhancements, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
A new report to Congress submitted jointly by Treasury and the Federal
Reserve Board found that the incidence of counterfeiting of U.S.
dollars is low, with approximately one counterfeit note per 10,000
worldwide, Treasury said in a March 14 news release.
The study concluded that counterfeiting of U.S. currency declined
markedly following the introduction of re-designed notes in 1996 and
will likely decline further with the expected introduction in 2003 of
a new currency series with additional security features. Those
features will, for the first time, include use of a color other than
green on U.S. banknotes.
The report to Congress also details cooperative efforts by U.S.
enforcement agencies and their overseas counterparts to combat global
According to Treasury, overseas holdings of U.S currency ranged
between $340,000 million and $370,000 million -- more than half of the
roughly $620,000 million held outside of banks and other institutions
in the last quarter of 2002.
The text of the report is available on the Treasury web site at:
Following is the text of the news release:
(begin text)
The Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department today issued a
joint report to Congress stating that procedures to combat
international counterfeiting of U.S. currency are becoming more
U.S. dollars are held and widely used around the world, and the
popularity and ubiquity of the dollar make it a potential target for
counterfeiters. The incidence of counterfeiting has declined markedly
with the introduction of the 1996-series currency. An upcoming new
series currency, to be introduced later this year, will further
enhance the security of U.S. banknotes.
The report, "The Use and Counterfeiting of United States Currency
Abroad, Part II," mandated by Congress as part of the Anti-Terrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, represents a comprehensive
review of the international use and counterfeiting of U.S. currency.
The report details how the combined efforts of the Treasury, United
States Secret Service, and Federal Reserve have held the incidence of
counterfeiting at relatively low nominal levels.
"We continue to improve our currency and resist efforts by
counterfeiters the world over to produce and pass counterfeit U.S.
notes," said Treasury Secretary John W. Snow. "Only by such efforts
can we guarantee that our currency will continue to remain a symbol of
American strength and stability."
"U.S. currency continues to hold an important place in the payment
system at home and abroad and maintaining its integrity is of utmost
concern to the Federal Reserve," said Roger Ferguson, Vice Chairman of
the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "A secure
currency precludes the need for businesses, merchants and the public
to expend significant resources and time validating the genuineness of
currency. When payment systems work well, the economy functions more
This second report to the Congress on the use and counterfeiting of
U.S. currency abroad provides further evidence that improved note
designs have been more difficult for counterfeiters to copy. The
result has been much smaller proportions of counterfeits of new design
notes among notes processed at Federal Reserve Banks.
According to the report, efforts to protect U.S. currency continue to
be effective. The incidence of counterfeiting is low, with
approximately one counterfeit note per 10,000 notes worldwide. The
United States Secret Service is working closely with overseas banks
and law enforcement agencies to help suppress counterfeiting
The report highlights important steps the U.S. Government is currently
taking to combat global counterfeiting:
-- A Secret Service web site allows law enforcement agencies and
currency handlers worldwide to report instances of counterfeiting and
to learn more about the characteristics of a suspect note.
-- The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has established overseas cash
depots at foreign commercial banks. These facilities allow overseas
dollar users to obtain new U.S. currency more efficiently and increase
the repatriation rate of worn and old-design U.S. currency.
-- U.S. enforcement agencies are working with their overseas
counterparts to target cities and countries that first receive
counterfeit notes in the wholesale distribution chain.
The study concludes that overseas holdings of U.S currency ranged
between $340 billion and $370 billion out of the roughly $620 billion
in U.S. currency held outside of U.S. depository institutions in the
last quarter of 2002.
According to the report, advances in reprographic and computer
technology will continue to necessitate new and innovative responses
to maintain the overall security of U.S. currency. These efforts will
include further security enhancements to the currency design, enhanced
cooperation with international law enforcement agencies and additional
training of foreign law enforcement, and financial officials in
counterfeit detection.
The report is available online at www.treasury.gov/press.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list