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Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence

The Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence (ACD) program was established in July 1982 at the Departmental Offices level of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to monitor and communicate counterfeit deterrence issues with the Secretary of the Treasury. The ACD acts as liaison to the Secretary of the Treasury, reporting the combined findings of the committee, which includes senior executives from the Department of the Treasury, the BEP, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the United States Secret Service (USSS) and the Currency Technology Office (Bank Operations).

Currency redesign is based on maintaining the security of Federal Reserve notes.  Therefore, the ACD is dedicated to maintaining and ensuring the integrity of U.S. currency by exploring existing and emerging technologies to deter the counterfeiting of U.S. currency in the U.S. and worldwide. Its goals are:
  • To provide information and make recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury on counterfeiting issues, anti-counterfeiting technologies and advanced digital printing technologies;


  • To evaluate and recommend incorporation of advanced security features in the design of U.S. currency;


  • To support the development and implementation of technical solutions to deter counterfeiting of U.S. currency;


  • To create a cooperative working relationship with government and industry to identify technologies to deter counterfeiting;


  • To promote international awareness of counterfeit-deterrence efforts through the internet on U.S. currency features, and Treasury's efforts to deter counterfeiting worldwide;


  • To educate the public, and money-handlers, so they may detect, reject, and report suspected counterfeits;


  • To provide the public with up-to-date information on the latest currency design series and the security features incorporated to combat counterfeiting.
What is the role of each of the organizations sitting on the committee?
The ACD charter requires its member organizations to collaborate on developments related to new designs of Federal Reserve notes. 

The BEP is ultimately responsible for currency production.  The FRB has oversight responsibility for currency issuance and circulation, and the USSS has relevant information about how the notes must function in circulation to be user friendly and secure against counterfeiting.  The Secretary of the Treasury approves each new currency design.

In close collaboration with the FRB, the BEP leads and implements the plan to develop new currency designs, integrating input from appropriate sources, including the FRB, Currency Technology Office of the FRB, and the USSS, internal working groups, external studies, and any other sources that provide input and technical support to the development plan.

Are there other groups or committees involved in developing new currency designs?
Yes, the ACD steering committee established the Interagency Currency Committee (ICC).  The ICC was established to provide guidance on design and other subjects related to new currency.

Who does the ICC report its findings to?
Members of the ICC report to their respective agencies; the ICC as a group reports its findings and recommendations to the ACD.

Regular ACD steering committee meetings facilitate monthly BEP, FRB, USSS reporting  to discuss ICC recommendations and other issues.

Are there counterfeit deterrence studies I can read?
Yes.  The following are available to download for free after subscribing to the service.

A Path to the Next Generation of U.S. Banknotes: Keeping Them Real, 2007.  National Research Council, funded by the Department of the Treasury.

Is That Real? Identification and Assessment of the Counterfeiting Threat for U.S. Banknotes, 2006.  National Research Council, funded by the Department of the Treasury.

Counterfeit Deterrent Features for the Next Generation Currency Design, December, 1993.  National Research Council, funded by the Department of the Treasury.