Exchange of Coin, 23877-23880 [2021-09338]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 85 / Wednesday, May 5, 2021 / Proposed Rules justice, and climate change.’’ The President stated that ‘‘[t]o tackle these challenges effectively, executive departments and agencies . . . must be equipped with the flexibility to use robust regulatory action to address national priorities.’’ E.O. 13992 revoked certain executive orders issued prior to January 20, 2021 and directed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the heads of agencies, including DOT, to promptly take steps to rescind any orders, rules, regulations, guidelines, or policies, or portions thereof, implementing or enforcing these revoked executive orders, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law. To respond to the President’s direction in E.O. 13990 and E.O. 13992, the Department seeks input from the public on existing regulations or other agency actions for the Department’s consideration regarding consistency with the policies and objectives of these executive orders. In recognition of the fact that safety is the Department’s highest priority, DOT also seeks comment on those existing regulations or other agency actions that the Department can address without compromising, or to further improve, safety. The Department welcomes public comment on any of its regulations and other agency actions to achieve the goals of E.O. 13990 and E.O. 13992. Content of Comments: The Department will review comments submitted timely to the docket associated with this regulatory review, DOT–OST–2021–0036. To maximize the usefulness of comments, the Department encourages commenters to provide the following information: 1. Specific reference. A specific reference to the regulation or other agency action that the commenter believes the Department should consider with respect to the goals of E.O. 13990 and E.O. 13992. This should be a citation to the Code of Federal Regulations, a guidance document number, or an internet link. A specific reference will assist the Department in identifying the regulation or other agency action, the original source of the action, and relevant documentation that may describe the history and effects of the action. 2. Description of effects. A description of the effects of the identified regulation or other agency action. A comment that describes the relationship between the regulation or other agency action and the goals of E.O. 13990 and E.O. 13992 is more useful than a comment that merely asserts that the action is either consistent or inconsistent with the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 May 04, 2021 Jkt 253001 executive orders. Comments that reflect knowledge of or an understanding of the effects and provide data or other information describing those effects are more creditable than comments that do not provide such information. Verifiable, quantifiable data describing the effects are more useful than anecdotal descriptions. 3. Description of potential alternative actions. If the commenter believes that a regulation or other agency action may be developed that achieves the goals of E.O. 13990 and E.O. 13992, the commenter should describe that regulation or action in detail. Likewise, if the commenter believes that a regulation or other agency action currently meets the goals of one or both executive orders, the commenter should provide that explanation. 4. Examples of affected entities or projects. Commenters may provide examples of entities that are, have been, or will be negatively affected by the identified regulation or other agency action, and examples of entities that will benefit if DOT acts to address the negative effects of the regulation or other agency action. A comment listing specific entities is more useful because it will assist the Department in investigating any negative effects and how DOT may most effectively address these effects. Scope of Comments: The Department is interested in comments on any DOT regulation or other agency action for consideration regarding consistency, with the policies and objectives of E.O. 13990 and E.O. 13992. Dated: April 28, 2021. John E. Putnam, Acting General Counsel. [FR Doc. 2021–09239 Filed 5–4–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY United States Mint 31 CFR Part 100 Exchange of Coin United States Mint, Department of the Treasury. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: The United States Mint proposes to revise its regulations relating to the exchange of uncurrent, bent, partial, fused, and mixed coins. The proposed revisions will enhance the integrity of the redemption process for bent and partial United States coins and prevent fraud. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 23877 Send comments on or before July 6, 2021. ADDRESSES: The United States Mint invites comments on all aspects of this proposed revision. You may send comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for sending comments. • Mail: Submit all written comments to Mutilated Coin Redemption Program; Manufacturing Directorate; United States Mint, 801 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20220. • Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as mail address. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Apryl Whitaker, Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Chief Counsel, United States Mint, at (202) 354–7938 or rulemaking@usmint.treas.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: I. Background The Treasury Regulations appearing at 31 CFR part 100, subpart C, are promulgated under 31 U.S.C. 5120, and relate to the exchange of uncurrent, bent, partial, fused, and mixed coins. The last amendment to 31 CFR part 100, subpart C, was on December 20, 2017. Since then, the United States Mint has identified additional portions of the regulations in need of revision to further enhance the integrity of the redemption process for bent and partial United States coins. For many years, the United States Mint has redeemed bent and partial coins for full face value. The policy’s objective was always to maintain public confidence in United States coinage and protect the integrity of the currency by removing coins that were unfit for circulation through general wear and tear. However, in recent years, the volume of coins submitted for possible redemption has greatly increased. Additionally, the condition of many coins submitted for examination precludes effective authentication. Rather than removing damaged coins from general domestic coin circulation, as was the intended purpose, many participants are seeking to submit large quantities of coins that, in some cases, have already been removed from general circulation (e.g., recovered from scrap or trash processing), or in other cases, are extremely difficult to authenticate due to their condition and volume. Finally, E:\FR\FM\05MYP1.SGM 05MYP1 23878 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 85 / Wednesday, May 5, 2021 / Proposed Rules there are indicators of current counterfeit coin fraud schemes aimed at the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program, which the revisions are specifically designed to deter. The United States Mint has hired additional staff and developed improved authentication procedures and testing methodology for coin redemptions to ensure that only genuine U.S. coins are accepted for redemption. II. This Proposed Rule The first category of proposed revisions would update and improve the efficiency and security of the redemption process for bent and partial coins. These revisions would provide notice that the United States Mint will establish weight and shipment limits for at a maximum of 1,000 lbs. of coins per month per participant. To implement improved testing and authentication methods for determining the genuineness of coins, the United States Mint will process all future redemptions at its Philadelphia location, which has new equipment and staff capable of performing detailed analyses of coins submitted for redemption. Previously, the United States Mint directed approved bulk redeemers to ship submissions directly to authorized recyclers. Large shipments sent to our recyclers created storage and material control issues during the time necessary for sampling and authentication before melting. A 1,000 lb. limit is necessary to ensure effective controls so that each submission may be carefully reviewed to ensure that only genuine U.S. coinage is redeemed. Under these limits, participants are not guaranteed the right to submit 1,000 lbs. per month. The United States Mint Philadelphia facility’s capacity to process mutilated coins is limited by physical storage capacity, caseload complexity, submission size, and workload. Improved authentication procedures extend the time required for sampling and evaluation, and the amount of time needed to properly authenticate and then process each submission varies. Given the intent of the program, which is to allow for the removal of bent or partial coins from circulation (and not recycling recovered coin from scrap or trash), the proposed weight limit and scheduling restrictions propose a reasonable balance between a discretionary service offered to the public to redeem bent or partial coins received in good faith in commerce and protection against fraud. The second category of proposed revisions would prohibit redemption if a submission contains coins imported from outside of the United States. The VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 May 04, 2021 Jkt 253001 United States Mint has learned of fraud schemes where large amounts of counterfeit coins are manufactured overseas in an attempt to defraud the Government. A high percentage of counterfeits have been identified in imported coins intercepted by law enforcement, as well in as several large submissions to the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program. It is extremely difficult to trace and verify the chain of custody of coins imported from outside of the United States given that the majority of coins coming from abroad are represented to have been found in scrap that has been processed and sold multiple times over. Another consideration is that such coins have been effectively removed from the domestic coin circulation for which the redemption program aims to replace bent or partial coins. A prohibition on imported coins reduces the risk of fraud on the program. The proposed revisions also clarify that coins damaged in industrial processes (such as shredders, burnishers, incinerators, exposure to elevated temperatures), or coins that have been drilled, punctured, ground, polished, etched, or chemically treated by any industrial or recycling process, are not eligible for redemption. Such coins present a high risk of being counterfeit because they are difficult and time-consuming to evaluate and require increased resources to determine whether they are genuine. The regulations already require coins to be readily and clearly identifiable as to genuineness and denomination. The proposed revisions seek to provide examples from the United States Mint’s experience of coins that by their nature are difficult to evaluate and cannot be ‘‘readily and clearly identifiable’’ as genuine. The third category of proposed revisions clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the United States Mint and participants. For example, the proposed revisions clarify under what circumstances a participant will have the opportunity to retrieve a rejected shipment, and under what circumstances an entire submission will be turned over to law enforcement authorities. The purpose is to clearly put members of the public on notice of the potential consequences of submitting coins for examination that are prohibited from redemption. For example, if a submission contains counterfeit coins, the United States Mint will turn the entire submission over to law enforcement. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 III. Procedural Analysis Regulatory Planning and Review The Office of Management and Budget has determined that this proposed rule does not constitute a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866 or Executive Order 13771. Paperwork Reduction Act In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) (PRA), the United States Mint is seeking approval for a new information collection of data and reporting requirements applicable to participants seeking to redeem bent or partial coins. The proposed collection of information described in this notice of proposed rulemaking has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review in accordance with the PRA under OMB No. 1525–NEW. Comments on the collection of information should be sent to the Office of Management and Budget, Attn: Desk Officer for the Department of the Treasury, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503, or via email to OIRA_ Submission@omb.eop.gov, with copies to Mutilated Coin Redemption Program; Manufacturing Directorate; United States Mint, 801 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20220. Comments on the collection of information should be received by July 6, 2021. In accordance with 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), the Department of the Treasury is soliciting comments from members of the public concerning this collection of information to: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. The form for OMB No. 1525–NEW proposed in the information collection rulemaking is as follows: United States Mint Mutilated Coin Redemption Program Instructions and Application Form, Mint Form MF 6006: E:\FR\FM\05MYP1.SGM 05MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 85 / Wednesday, May 5, 2021 / Proposed Rules The burden of the information collections in this proposed rule is estimated as follows: Estimated total annual reporting and/ or recordkeeping burden: 200 hours. Estimated average annual burden per respondent: 1 hour. Estimated number of respondents: 200. Estimated annual frequency of responses: Annually. Under the PRA, an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by the Office of Management and Budget. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis It is hereby certified that the proposed revisions will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. First and foremost, the regulations do not directly regulate any entities. The redemption of uncurrent, bent, or partial coins is a discretionary service offered to the public; participation is voluntary. Second, the number of entities tendering significant quantities of coins for redemption is small. A large number of entities redeeming coins are individuals. A wide variety of businesses, such as municipal entities, recyclers, coin processors, amusement parks, auto shops, and waste management companies, also have applied for coins to be redeemed in the past. With the proposed limit of 1,000 lbs. per month, that is, at most, equivalent to $240,000 a year. In Fiscal Years (FY) 2014, 2013, and 2012, the United States Mint paid only nine entities more than $240,000. In FY 2011, there were 14, and FY 2010 there were 12. With respect to the proposed ban on coins imported from outside the United States, about 20 applicants listed ‘‘overseas’’ as the source of their coins on their applications submitted from 2018 to 2019. With respect to the proposed ban on coins that have been through industrial processes, about 20 applicants listed ‘‘recycling’’ as the source of their coins on their applications submitted from 2018 to 2019. Even if each entity qualified as a ‘‘small entity’’ within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 605(b), based on a review of past applications as described above, the United States Mint does not believe that the proposed revisions are likely to have a significant economic impact. The proposed rule does not change the redemption rates. Moreover, the regulations already require coins to be readily and clearly identifiable as to genuineness and denomination. The VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 May 04, 2021 Jkt 253001 proposed revisions seek to provide guidance from the United States Mint’s experience of coins that by their nature are difficult to evaluate and cannot be ‘‘readily and clearly identifiable’’ as genuine. Notwithstanding this certification, the United States Mint invites comments on the impacts this rule may have on small entities. IV. Request for Comment Before the proposed revisions to the Treasury Regulations at 31 CFR part 100, subpart C, are adopted as final regulations, the United States Mint will consider any comments that are submitted to the bureau as prescribed in this preamble under the DATES and ADDRESSES sections. The United States Mint and the Department of the Treasury request comments on all aspects of the proposed revisions to these regulations, including the effects on stakeholders of the 1,000 lb. monthly limit and suggestions for alternative ways to achieve a balance between providing for the removal of bent or partial coins, cost, and prevention of fraud. List of Subjects in 31 CFR Part 100 Coins. Words of Issuance For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the United States Mint proposes to amend 31 CFR part 100 as follows: PART 100—EXCHANGE OF PAPER CURRENCY AND COIN 1. The authority for part 100 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 31 U.S.C. 321. 2. Subpart C is revised to read as follows: ■ Subpart C—Request for Examination of Coin for Possible Redemption Sec. 100.10 Request for examination of uncurrent coin for possible redemption. 100.11 Request for examination of bent or partial coin for possible redemption. 100.12 Exchange of fused or mixed coin. 100.13 Notices. § 100.10 Request for examination of uncurrent coin for possible redemption. (a) Definition. Uncurrent coins are whole U.S. coins that are merely worn or reduced in weight by natural abrasion yet are readily and clearly recognizable as to genuineness and denomination and which are machine countable. (b) Redemption process. The United States Mint will not accept uncurrent coins for redemption. Members of the PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 23879 public wishing to redeem lawfully held uncurrent coins must deposit the uncurrent coins with a bank or other financial institution that will accept them, or with a depository institution that has established a direct customer relationship with a Federal Reserve Bank. A Federal Reserve Bank will redeem uncurrent coins, based on the policies described in the Federal Reserve’s Operating Circular 2. (c) Criteria for acceptance. Depository institutions that redeem uncurrent coins must sort the coins by denomination into packages in accordance with the Federal Reserve’s Operating Circular 2. The Federal Reserve Banks have the right to reject any shipment containing objects that are not U.S. coins or any contaminant that could render the uncurrent coins unsuitable for coinage metal. (d) Redemption sites. The Federal Reserve Banks and branches listed in § 100.17 are the only authorized redemption sites at which a depository institution that has established a direct customer relationship with a Federal Reserve Bank may redeem uncurrent coins. § 100.11 Request for examination of bent or partial coin for possible redemption. (a) General. Lawfully held bent or partial coins of the United States may be submitted to the United States Mint for examination in accordance with the provisions in this subpart. Any submission under this subpart shall be deemed an acceptance of all provisions of this subpart. (b) Definitions. (1) Bent coins are U.S. coins that are bent or deformed so as to preclude normal machine counting but which are readily and clearly identifiable as to genuineness and denomination. (2) Partial coins are U.S. coins that are not whole; partial coins must be readily and clearly identifiable as to genuineness and denomination. (3) Participants are individuals or businesses that submit coins through the redemption process. (c) Redemption process. (1) Depending on submission amount and frequency, participants may be subject to a certification process by the United States Mint. The established annual weight threshold and details about the participant certification process will be published on the United States Mint’s website. If certification is required, it must be completed prior to submission. (2) All submissions for review shall include an estimate of the value of the coins and an explanation of how the submission came to be bent or partial. The submission should also contain the E:\FR\FM\05MYP1.SGM 05MYP1 23880 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 85 / Wednesday, May 5, 2021 / Proposed Rules bank account number and routing number for a checking or savings account at a bank or other financial institution (such as a mutual fund, brokerage firm, or credit union) in the United States. (3) Participants will be required to provide information for how the participant came into custody of the bent or partial coins. The United States Mint reserves the right to request additional information. (4) The United States Mint reserves the right to test samples from any submission to authenticate the genuineness of the coins. The size of the sample will be limited to the amount necessary for authentication. Testing may result in partial or complete destruction of the sample. (5) The United States Mint reserves the right to conduct site visits to verify information provided to the United States Mint. (6) Each participant is limited to submitting no more than 1,000 lbs. of coins per month. (7) No redemption will be made when: (i) A submission contains any counterfeit coins; (ii) A submission demonstrates a pattern of systematic or intentional mutilation or demonstrates an attempt to defraud the United States; (iii) A submission appears to be part of, or intended to further, any criminal activity; (iv) A submission contains a material misrepresentation of facts; (v) Material presented is not identifiable as United States coins; (vi) A submission contains any contaminant that could render the coins unsuitable for coinage metal or contains hazardous materials; (vii) A submission contains more than a nominal amount of uncurrent coins; (viii) A submission contains coins imported from outside of the United States; or (ix) A submission, contains coins damaged in industrial or recycling processes (such as shredders, burnishers, incinerators, exposure to elevated temperatures), or coins that have been drilled, punctured, ground, polished, etched, or chemically treated. (8) If redemption is denied on the basis of paragraph (c)(7)(i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) of this section, the entire submission will be turned over to law enforcement authorities. Counterfeit coins and the entire submission may be subject to forfeiture under 18 U.S.C. 492. (9) If redemption is denied on the basis of paragraph (c)(7)(v), (vi), (vii), (viii), or (ix) of this section, the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 May 04, 2021 Jkt 253001 participant will be notified to retrieve the entire submission, at the participant’s sole expense, within 30 days. If the submission is not retrieved in a timely manner, the entire submission will be treated as voluntarily abandoned property, pursuant to 41 CFR 102–41.80, and will be retained or disposed of by the United States Mint. (10) The Director of the United States Mint, or designee, shall have final authority with respect to all aspects of redemptions of bent or partial coin submissions. (d) Redemption rates—(1) Generally. Participants shall separate bent or partial coins by denomination in lots of at least one pound for each denomination category. The United States Mint will redeem bent or partial coins on the basis of their weight and denomination at the following rates: (i) One-Cent Coins: $1.4585 per pound. (ii) 5-Cent Coins: $4.5359 per pound. (iii) Dime, Quarter-Dollar, and HalfDollar Coins: $20.00 per pound. (iv) $1 Coins: $20.00 per pound. (2) Exceptions. (i) The United States Mint will redeem one-cent coins inscribed with a year after 1982 at the rate set forth at paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section unless such one-cent coins are presented unmixed from one-cent coins inscribed with a year before 1983. The United States Mint will redeem unmixed one-cent coins inscribed with a year after 1982 at a rate of $1.8100 per pound. (ii) The United States Mint will redeem $1 coins inscribed with a year after 1978 at the rate set forth at paragraph (d)(1)(iv) of this section unless such $1 coins are presented unmixed from $1 coins inscribed with a year before 1979. The United States Mint will redeem unmixed $1 coins inscribed with a year after 1978 at a rate of $56.00 per pound. (e) Redemption sites. Coins are shipped at the sender’s risk of loss and expense. (1) Bent and partial coins submitted in quantities less than or equal to a threshold established annually by the United States Mint will be redeemed only at the United States Mint at Philadelphia, P.O. Box 400, Philadelphia, PA 19105. (2) Bent and partial coins submitted in quantities greater than a threshold established annually should be scheduled with the United States Mint, and the participant may be required to send the shipment directly to the authorized recycler(s) of the United States Mint. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 § 100.12 Exchange of fused or mixed coin. (a) Definitions. (1) Fused coins are U.S. coins that are melted to the extent that they are bonded together. (2) Mixed coins are U.S. coins of several alloy categories that are presented together, but are readily and clearly identifiable as U.S. coins. (b) Fused and mixed coins. The United States Mint will not accept fused coins for redemption. The United States Mint will not accept mixed coins for redemption, except as provided for in § 100.11(d)(2). § 100.13 Notices. (a) Additional information and procedures about the United States Mint’s redemption of bent or partial coins can be found on the United States Mint’s website. (b) Criminal penalties connected with the defacement or mutilation of U.S. coins are provided in 18 U.S.C. 331. (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subpart, the Director of the United States Mint may provide information pertaining to any bent or partial coin submissions, or turn over the entire submission, to law enforcement officials or other third parties for purposes of investigating related criminal activity or for purposes of seeking a civil judgment. (d) Whoever intentionally files a false claim seeking reimbursement for uncurrent, bent, or partial coins may be held criminally liable under a number of statutes including 18 U.S.C. 287 and 18 U.S.C. 1341 and may be held civilly liable under 31 U.S.C. 3729, et seq. John F. Schorn, Chief Counsel, United States Mint. [FR Doc. 2021–09338 Filed 5–4–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–37–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG–2020–0033] RIN 1625–AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation: Rainy River, Rainy Lake and Their Tributaries, Rainier, MN Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard proposes to authorize the Canadian National Railroad Bridge, mile 85.0, across the Rainy River to operate remotely. The SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05MYP1.SGM 05MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 85 (Wednesday, May 5, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 23877-23880]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-09338]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

United States Mint

31 CFR Part 100


Exchange of Coin

AGENCY: United States Mint, Department of the Treasury.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The United States Mint proposes to revise its regulations 
relating to the exchange of uncurrent, bent, partial, fused, and mixed 
coins. The proposed revisions will enhance the integrity of the 
redemption process for bent and partial United States coins and prevent 
fraud.

DATES: Send comments on or before July 6, 2021.

ADDRESSES: The United States Mint invites comments on all aspects of 
this proposed revision. You may send comments by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for sending comments.
     Mail: Submit all written comments to Mutilated Coin 
Redemption Program; Manufacturing Directorate; United States Mint, 801 
9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20220.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as mail address.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without 
change to regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Apryl Whitaker, Senior Legal Counsel, 
Office of the Chief Counsel, United States Mint, at (202) 354-7938 or 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The Treasury Regulations appearing at 31 CFR part 100, subpart C, 
are promulgated under 31 U.S.C. 5120, and relate to the exchange of 
uncurrent, bent, partial, fused, and mixed coins. The last amendment to 
31 CFR part 100, subpart C, was on December 20, 2017. Since then, the 
United States Mint has identified additional portions of the 
regulations in need of revision to further enhance the integrity of the 
redemption process for bent and partial United States coins.
    For many years, the United States Mint has redeemed bent and 
partial coins for full face value. The policy's objective was always to 
maintain public confidence in United States coinage and protect the 
integrity of the currency by removing coins that were unfit for 
circulation through general wear and tear. However, in recent years, 
the volume of coins submitted for possible redemption has greatly 
increased. Additionally, the condition of many coins submitted for 
examination precludes effective authentication. Rather than removing 
damaged coins from general domestic coin circulation, as was the 
intended purpose, many participants are seeking to submit large 
quantities of coins that, in some cases, have already been removed from 
general circulation (e.g., recovered from scrap or trash processing), 
or in other cases, are extremely difficult to authenticate due to their 
condition and volume. Finally,

[[Page 23878]]

there are indicators of current counterfeit coin fraud schemes aimed at 
the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program, which the revisions are 
specifically designed to deter. The United States Mint has hired 
additional staff and developed improved authentication procedures and 
testing methodology for coin redemptions to ensure that only genuine 
U.S. coins are accepted for redemption.

II. This Proposed Rule

    The first category of proposed revisions would update and improve 
the efficiency and security of the redemption process for bent and 
partial coins. These revisions would provide notice that the United 
States Mint will establish weight and shipment limits for at a maximum 
of 1,000 lbs. of coins per month per participant. To implement improved 
testing and authentication methods for determining the genuineness of 
coins, the United States Mint will process all future redemptions at 
its Philadelphia location, which has new equipment and staff capable of 
performing detailed analyses of coins submitted for redemption. 
Previously, the United States Mint directed approved bulk redeemers to 
ship submissions directly to authorized recyclers. Large shipments sent 
to our recyclers created storage and material control issues during the 
time necessary for sampling and authentication before melting. A 1,000 
lb. limit is necessary to ensure effective controls so that each 
submission may be carefully reviewed to ensure that only genuine U.S. 
coinage is redeemed. Under these limits, participants are not 
guaranteed the right to submit 1,000 lbs. per month. The United States 
Mint Philadelphia facility's capacity to process mutilated coins is 
limited by physical storage capacity, caseload complexity, submission 
size, and workload. Improved authentication procedures extend the time 
required for sampling and evaluation, and the amount of time needed to 
properly authenticate and then process each submission varies. Given 
the intent of the program, which is to allow for the removal of bent or 
partial coins from circulation (and not recycling recovered coin from 
scrap or trash), the proposed weight limit and scheduling restrictions 
propose a reasonable balance between a discretionary service offered to 
the public to redeem bent or partial coins received in good faith in 
commerce and protection against fraud.
    The second category of proposed revisions would prohibit redemption 
if a submission contains coins imported from outside of the United 
States. The United States Mint has learned of fraud schemes where large 
amounts of counterfeit coins are manufactured overseas in an attempt to 
defraud the Government. A high percentage of counterfeits have been 
identified in imported coins intercepted by law enforcement, as well in 
as several large submissions to the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program. 
It is extremely difficult to trace and verify the chain of custody of 
coins imported from outside of the United States given that the 
majority of coins coming from abroad are represented to have been found 
in scrap that has been processed and sold multiple times over. Another 
consideration is that such coins have been effectively removed from the 
domestic coin circulation for which the redemption program aims to 
replace bent or partial coins. A prohibition on imported coins reduces 
the risk of fraud on the program. The proposed revisions also clarify 
that coins damaged in industrial processes (such as shredders, 
burnishers, incinerators, exposure to elevated temperatures), or coins 
that have been drilled, punctured, ground, polished, etched, or 
chemically treated by any industrial or recycling process, are not 
eligible for redemption. Such coins present a high risk of being 
counterfeit because they are difficult and time-consuming to evaluate 
and require increased resources to determine whether they are genuine. 
The regulations already require coins to be readily and clearly 
identifiable as to genuineness and denomination. The proposed revisions 
seek to provide examples from the United States Mint's experience of 
coins that by their nature are difficult to evaluate and cannot be 
``readily and clearly identifiable'' as genuine.
    The third category of proposed revisions clarifies the roles and 
responsibilities of the United States Mint and participants. For 
example, the proposed revisions clarify under what circumstances a 
participant will have the opportunity to retrieve a rejected shipment, 
and under what circumstances an entire submission will be turned over 
to law enforcement authorities. The purpose is to clearly put members 
of the public on notice of the potential consequences of submitting 
coins for examination that are prohibited from redemption. For example, 
if a submission contains counterfeit coins, the United States Mint will 
turn the entire submission over to law enforcement.

III. Procedural Analysis

Regulatory Planning and Review

    The Office of Management and Budget has determined that this 
proposed rule does not constitute a ``significant regulatory action'' 
under Executive Order 12866 or Executive Order 13771.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3507(d)) (PRA), the United States Mint is seeking approval for a new 
information collection of data and reporting requirements applicable to 
participants seeking to redeem bent or partial coins. The proposed 
collection of information described in this notice of proposed 
rulemaking has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) for review in accordance with the PRA under OMB No. 1525-NEW.
    Comments on the collection of information should be sent to the 
Office of Management and Budget, Attn: Desk Officer for the Department 
of the Treasury, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 
Washington, DC 20503, or via email to [email protected], with 
copies to Mutilated Coin Redemption Program; Manufacturing Directorate; 
United States Mint, 801 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20220. Comments 
on the collection of information should be received by July 6, 2021.
    In accordance with 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), the Department of the 
Treasury is soliciting comments from members of the public concerning 
this collection of information to:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection of information;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those 
who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
    The form for OMB No. 1525-NEW proposed in the information 
collection rulemaking is as follows:
    United States Mint Mutilated Coin Redemption Program Instructions 
and Application Form, Mint Form MF 6006:

[[Page 23879]]

    The burden of the information collections in this proposed rule is 
estimated as follows:
    Estimated total annual reporting and/or recordkeeping burden: 200 
hours.
    Estimated average annual burden per respondent: 1 hour.
    Estimated number of respondents: 200.
    Estimated annual frequency of responses: Annually.
    Under the PRA, an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person 
is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it 
displays a valid control number assigned by the Office of Management 
and Budget.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    It is hereby certified that the proposed revisions will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
First and foremost, the regulations do not directly regulate any 
entities. The redemption of uncurrent, bent, or partial coins is a 
discretionary service offered to the public; participation is 
voluntary.
    Second, the number of entities tendering significant quantities of 
coins for redemption is small. A large number of entities redeeming 
coins are individuals. A wide variety of businesses, such as municipal 
entities, recyclers, coin processors, amusement parks, auto shops, and 
waste management companies, also have applied for coins to be redeemed 
in the past. With the proposed limit of 1,000 lbs. per month, that is, 
at most, equivalent to $240,000 a year. In Fiscal Years (FY) 2014, 
2013, and 2012, the United States Mint paid only nine entities more 
than $240,000. In FY 2011, there were 14, and FY 2010 there were 12. 
With respect to the proposed ban on coins imported from outside the 
United States, about 20 applicants listed ``overseas'' as the source of 
their coins on their applications submitted from 2018 to 2019. With 
respect to the proposed ban on coins that have been through industrial 
processes, about 20 applicants listed ``recycling'' as the source of 
their coins on their applications submitted from 2018 to 2019.
    Even if each entity qualified as a ``small entity'' within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. 605(b), based on a review of past applications as 
described above, the United States Mint does not believe that the 
proposed revisions are likely to have a significant economic impact. 
The proposed rule does not change the redemption rates. Moreover, the 
regulations already require coins to be readily and clearly 
identifiable as to genuineness and denomination. The proposed revisions 
seek to provide guidance from the United States Mint's experience of 
coins that by their nature are difficult to evaluate and cannot be 
``readily and clearly identifiable'' as genuine. Notwithstanding this 
certification, the United States Mint invites comments on the impacts 
this rule may have on small entities.

IV. Request for Comment

    Before the proposed revisions to the Treasury Regulations at 31 CFR 
part 100, subpart C, are adopted as final regulations, the United 
States Mint will consider any comments that are submitted to the bureau 
as prescribed in this preamble under the DATES and ADDRESSES sections. 
The United States Mint and the Department of the Treasury request 
comments on all aspects of the proposed revisions to these regulations, 
including the effects on stakeholders of the 1,000 lb. monthly limit 
and suggestions for alternative ways to achieve a balance between 
providing for the removal of bent or partial coins, cost, and 
prevention of fraud.

List of Subjects in 31 CFR Part 100

    Coins.

Words of Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the United States Mint 
proposes to amend 31 CFR part 100 as follows:

PART 100--EXCHANGE OF PAPER CURRENCY AND COIN

0
1. The authority for part 100 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  31 U.S.C. 321.

0
2. Subpart C is revised to read as follows:

Subpart C--Request for Examination of Coin for Possible Redemption

Sec.
100.10 Request for examination of uncurrent coin for possible 
redemption.
100.11 Request for examination of bent or partial coin for possible 
redemption.
100.12 Exchange of fused or mixed coin.
100.13 Notices.


Sec.  100.10  Request for examination of uncurrent coin for possible 
redemption.

    (a) Definition. Uncurrent coins are whole U.S. coins that are 
merely worn or reduced in weight by natural abrasion yet are readily 
and clearly recognizable as to genuineness and denomination and which 
are machine countable.
    (b) Redemption process. The United States Mint will not accept 
uncurrent coins for redemption. Members of the public wishing to redeem 
lawfully held uncurrent coins must deposit the uncurrent coins with a 
bank or other financial institution that will accept them, or with a 
depository institution that has established a direct customer 
relationship with a Federal Reserve Bank. A Federal Reserve Bank will 
redeem uncurrent coins, based on the policies described in the Federal 
Reserve's Operating Circular 2.
    (c) Criteria for acceptance. Depository institutions that redeem 
uncurrent coins must sort the coins by denomination into packages in 
accordance with the Federal Reserve's Operating Circular 2. The Federal 
Reserve Banks have the right to reject any shipment containing objects 
that are not U.S. coins or any contaminant that could render the 
uncurrent coins unsuitable for coinage metal.
    (d) Redemption sites. The Federal Reserve Banks and branches listed 
in Sec.  100.17 are the only authorized redemption sites at which a 
depository institution that has established a direct customer 
relationship with a Federal Reserve Bank may redeem uncurrent coins.


Sec.  100.11  Request for examination of bent or partial coin for 
possible redemption.

    (a) General. Lawfully held bent or partial coins of the United 
States may be submitted to the United States Mint for examination in 
accordance with the provisions in this subpart. Any submission under 
this subpart shall be deemed an acceptance of all provisions of this 
subpart.
    (b) Definitions. (1) Bent coins are U.S. coins that are bent or 
deformed so as to preclude normal machine counting but which are 
readily and clearly identifiable as to genuineness and denomination.
    (2) Partial coins are U.S. coins that are not whole; partial coins 
must be readily and clearly identifiable as to genuineness and 
denomination.
    (3) Participants are individuals or businesses that submit coins 
through the redemption process.
    (c) Redemption process. (1) Depending on submission amount and 
frequency, participants may be subject to a certification process by 
the United States Mint. The established annual weight threshold and 
details about the participant certification process will be published 
on the United States Mint's website. If certification is required, it 
must be completed prior to submission.
    (2) All submissions for review shall include an estimate of the 
value of the coins and an explanation of how the submission came to be 
bent or partial. The submission should also contain the

[[Page 23880]]

bank account number and routing number for a checking or savings 
account at a bank or other financial institution (such as a mutual 
fund, brokerage firm, or credit union) in the United States.
    (3) Participants will be required to provide information for how 
the participant came into custody of the bent or partial coins. The 
United States Mint reserves the right to request additional 
information.
    (4) The United States Mint reserves the right to test samples from 
any submission to authenticate the genuineness of the coins. The size 
of the sample will be limited to the amount necessary for 
authentication. Testing may result in partial or complete destruction 
of the sample.
    (5) The United States Mint reserves the right to conduct site 
visits to verify information provided to the United States Mint.
    (6) Each participant is limited to submitting no more than 1,000 
lbs. of coins per month.
    (7) No redemption will be made when:
    (i) A submission contains any counterfeit coins;
    (ii) A submission demonstrates a pattern of systematic or 
intentional mutilation or demonstrates an attempt to defraud the United 
States;
    (iii) A submission appears to be part of, or intended to further, 
any criminal activity;
    (iv) A submission contains a material misrepresentation of facts;
    (v) Material presented is not identifiable as United States coins;
    (vi) A submission contains any contaminant that could render the 
coins unsuitable for coinage metal or contains hazardous materials;
    (vii) A submission contains more than a nominal amount of uncurrent 
coins;
    (viii) A submission contains coins imported from outside of the 
United States; or
    (ix) A submission, contains coins damaged in industrial or 
recycling processes (such as shredders, burnishers, incinerators, 
exposure to elevated temperatures), or coins that have been drilled, 
punctured, ground, polished, etched, or chemically treated.
    (8) If redemption is denied on the basis of paragraph (c)(7)(i), 
(ii), (iii), or (iv) of this section, the entire submission will be 
turned over to law enforcement authorities. Counterfeit coins and the 
entire submission may be subject to forfeiture under 18 U.S.C. 492.
    (9) If redemption is denied on the basis of paragraph (c)(7)(v), 
(vi), (vii), (viii), or (ix) of this section, the participant will be 
notified to retrieve the entire submission, at the participant's sole 
expense, within 30 days. If the submission is not retrieved in a timely 
manner, the entire submission will be treated as voluntarily abandoned 
property, pursuant to 41 CFR 102-41.80, and will be retained or 
disposed of by the United States Mint.
    (10) The Director of the United States Mint, or designee, shall 
have final authority with respect to all aspects of redemptions of bent 
or partial coin submissions.
    (d) Redemption rates--(1) Generally. Participants shall separate 
bent or partial coins by denomination in lots of at least one pound for 
each denomination category. The United States Mint will redeem bent or 
partial coins on the basis of their weight and denomination at the 
following rates:
    (i) One-Cent Coins: $1.4585 per pound.
    (ii) 5-Cent Coins: $4.5359 per pound.
    (iii) Dime, Quarter-Dollar, and Half-Dollar Coins: $20.00 per 
pound.
    (iv) $1 Coins: $20.00 per pound.
    (2) Exceptions. (i) The United States Mint will redeem one-cent 
coins inscribed with a year after 1982 at the rate set forth at 
paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section unless such one-cent coins are 
presented unmixed from one-cent coins inscribed with a year before 
1983. The United States Mint will redeem unmixed one-cent coins 
inscribed with a year after 1982 at a rate of $1.8100 per pound.
    (ii) The United States Mint will redeem $1 coins inscribed with a 
year after 1978 at the rate set forth at paragraph (d)(1)(iv) of this 
section unless such $1 coins are presented unmixed from $1 coins 
inscribed with a year before 1979. The United States Mint will redeem 
unmixed $1 coins inscribed with a year after 1978 at a rate of $56.00 
per pound.
    (e) Redemption sites. Coins are shipped at the sender's risk of 
loss and expense.
    (1) Bent and partial coins submitted in quantities less than or 
equal to a threshold established annually by the United States Mint 
will be redeemed only at the United States Mint at Philadelphia, P.O. 
Box 400, Philadelphia, PA 19105.
    (2) Bent and partial coins submitted in quantities greater than a 
threshold established annually should be scheduled with the United 
States Mint, and the participant may be required to send the shipment 
directly to the authorized recycler(s) of the United States Mint.


Sec.  100.12  Exchange of fused or mixed coin.

    (a) Definitions. (1) Fused coins are U.S. coins that are melted to 
the extent that they are bonded together.
    (2) Mixed coins are U.S. coins of several alloy categories that are 
presented together, but are readily and clearly identifiable as U.S. 
coins.
    (b) Fused and mixed coins. The United States Mint will not accept 
fused coins for redemption. The United States Mint will not accept 
mixed coins for redemption, except as provided for in Sec.  
100.11(d)(2).


Sec.  100.13  Notices.

    (a) Additional information and procedures about the United States 
Mint's redemption of bent or partial coins can be found on the United 
States Mint's website.
    (b) Criminal penalties connected with the defacement or mutilation 
of U.S. coins are provided in 18 U.S.C. 331.
    (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subpart, the 
Director of the United States Mint may provide information pertaining 
to any bent or partial coin submissions, or turn over the entire 
submission, to law enforcement officials or other third parties for 
purposes of investigating related criminal activity or for purposes of 
seeking a civil judgment.
    (d) Whoever intentionally files a false claim seeking reimbursement 
for uncurrent, bent, or partial coins may be held criminally liable 
under a number of statutes including 18 U.S.C. 287 and 18 U.S.C. 1341 
and may be held civilly liable under 31 U.S.C. 3729, et seq.

John F. Schorn,
Chief Counsel, United States Mint.
[FR Doc. 2021-09338 Filed 5-4-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-37-P