Report to Congress on U.S. Efforts to Confront Global Counterfeiting
March 19, 2003
Circular No. 11507

To All Depository Institutions and Others Concerned in the Second Federal Reserve District:

In a joint press release, the Federal Reserve System and the U.S. Department of Treasury announced the issuance of a joint report to Congress stating that procedures to combat international counterfeiting of U.S. currency are becoming more effective.

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.

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.

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 joint report to Congress is attached.

Questions on this matter may be directed, at this Bank to Jeffrey B. Pruiksma, Staff Director, Cash and Custody Function.