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In 2019, Banknotes of Old Design were Most Often Counterfeited

Level of hryvnia banknotes counterfeiting remained traditionally low in 2019.

Monitoring of hryvnia banknotes withdrawal from circulation proved that approximately 2.9 banknotes were counterfeited per 1 million pieces of authentic banknotes in 2019 (versus 2.5 banknotes in 2018 and 3.6 banknotes in 2017).

For comparison, in the EU member states, this indicator was approximately 23 counterfeit euro banknotes in 2019 (versus 27 counterfeit euro banknotes in 2018 and 33 pieces in 2017), according to the information on the official website of the European Central Bank.

In general, the hryvnia banknotes incorporate high-level security features that are in line with security systems used for the world’s leading currencies. Moreover, banknotes of new hryvnia designs (banknotes of UAH 20, UAH 50, UAH 100, UAH 500, and UAH 1000 denominations, which the National Bank of Ukraine (the NBU) issued into circulation in 2015–2019) have the enhanced security features for paper as well as innovative polygraphic security features.

Therefore, the most counterfeited banknotes in 2019 were the old design banknotes, in particular those of UAH 500 denomination of 2006 design and UAH 100 denomination of 2005 design. They made 65% and 15%, respectively, of the total number of withdrawn counterfeit banknotes.

At the same time, in 2019, the number of counterfeit banknotes decreased for the following denominations:

  • UAH 200 – by 17%
  • UAH 100 – by 29%
  • UAH 50 and UAH 20 – by 31%.

The counterfeit hryvnia banknotes withdrawn from circulation were mainly printed on printers in an effort to deceive distracted people and inattentive retail cashiers.

Most detected counterfeit banknotes were distributed through fastfood restaurants, retailers, and gas stations.

At the same time, counterfeits were guaranteed to be detected during cash-in transactions and cash processing in the banking system, including self-service kiosks.

The following is a breakdown, by currency, of counterfeit foreign currency banknotes withdrawn from circulation in 2019:

  • US dollars (75% of all counterfeit foreign currency banknotes withdrawn from circulation)
  • euros (23%)
  • Russian rubles and GB pounds (2%).

Foreign banknotes that were most often counterfeited are the following:

  • USD 100 (96% of the total number of withdrawn counterfeit US dollar banknotes)
  • EUR 50 and EUR 500 (56% and 21%, respectively, of the total number of withdrawn counterfeit euro banknotes).

Please, be reminded that when in doubt about a banknote’s authenticity and fitness for commerce, citizens should submit questionable hryvnia banknotes to banks for further examination by the NBU.

The NBU conducts such examinations free of charge. Based on their results, clients are reimbursed the respective amount in the domestic currency if the cash is deemed authentic and fit for commerce.

Counterfeit banknotes are confiscated without reimbursement. The NBU informs the National Police of Ukraine about the withdrowal of counterfeits, which are then handed over to the authorized police officers for further investigation.

For reference.

As with other central banks, the National Bank of Ukraine constantly improves the security features of banknotes to prevent counterfeiting and to make it easier for people to identify authentic banknotes.

Last year the NBU streamlined the banknote and coin denominations and presented an upgraded hryvnia banknote series with the improved design and security system.

Thus, banknotes of the following denominations were put into circulation in 2015–2019:

UAH 100 of 2014 design – on 9 March 2015

UAH 500 of 2015 design – on 11 April 2016

UAH 20 of 2018 design – on 25 September2018

UAH 1000 of 2019 design – on 25 October 2019

UAH 50 of 2019 design – on 20 December 2019.

Additionally, the NBU issued into circulation new circulating coins of UAH 1 and UAH 2 on 27 April 2018 and UAH 5 on 20 December 2019.

The process will be completed with introduction of UAH 200 banknote of 2019 design on 25 February 2020 and UAH 10 new circulating coin in mid-2020.

Please, be informed that the detailed description of all banknotes of the domestic currency in circulation and their security features can be found at the official NBU website.

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