There may be defective 100-kroon banknotes in circulation

A percentage of Estonian 100-kroon banknotes printed in 1999 is missing a security feature, which is invisible to the eye. These banknotes do not have a green rectangle, which should be located to the right of the portrait of Lydia Koidula and become visible when exposed to a special device, i.e, ultraviolet lamp. Such banknotes are not counterfeit but defective.

The German printing facility Bundesdruckerei, which produced the 100-kroon notes of 1999, confirmed in its report of 10 January to Eesti Pank that the banknotes are defective. The problem was discovered in October 2005, and since then Eesti Pank has been systematically withdrawing and destroying the faulty banknotes.

Currently there are still 5,849 deficient banknotes undestroyed, which constitutes 0.008 per cent of all the banknotes in circulation in Estonia. 2,151 banknotes have been withdrawn from circulation and 22, 495 faulty banknotes have been destroyed from the vault of Eesti Pank. More than 80 per cent of the defective cash has been destroyed. The chance of a person coming across one of the faulty banknotes is minimised.

When the problem emerged in October 2005, Eesti Pank immediately informed the police and offered them assistance in solving possible incidents on-site, for example, in shopping centres, services companies and elsewhere.

Should anyone suspect they have a deficient banknote, it is recommended they contact a commercial bank and the banknote will undergo expert examination. If the banknote proves out to be genuine but faulty, it will be compensated to its holder. If a deficient banknote is discovered at a store, for example, the procedure to be followed is similar to that of a counterfeit suspicion – call the police, who will identify the person and send the banknote to be examined. Eesti Pank and the police have established certain procedures to solve each incident related to the faulty banknotes in a way as convenient as possible to the citizen.

Sometimes there do occur deficiencies in the production of cash. In October 2005 Eesti Pank immediately contacted the printing facility Bundesdruckerei and asked them to inquire into the problem and to specify, among other things, also the volume and numbers of the faulty banknotes. The occurrence of deficiencies is, without doubt, regrettable, but unfortunately no producer is fully protected from mistakes.

Eesti Pank would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the defective banknotes.