Banco Central de Costa Rica


Against Forgery


As provided for in complementary rule on Currency NC-Numerario  (No. 5), following are the provisions relating to presumably forged currency.


Whenever it is presumed that currency has been forged or counterfeited, interested parties may request the Central Bank of Costa Rica to verify their features, by personally going to its main office, on Streets 2&4, Central & 1st Ave. Otherwise, such banknotes may also be sent through any of the country’s financial entities. These entities will in turn submit the corresponding applications to the Central Bank, as per the procedure detailed in the following Annex.


 Región de Acordeón

Banknotes seized by judicial and police authorities

Attorney General Offices (Fiscalías) throughout the country will present presumably forged banknotes obtained through confiscation or raids to BCCR’s General Custody Division, along with the appropriate form. Banknotes to be used as evidence in courts, and which need to be submitted to forensic analysis, are an exception to this provision. These banknotes must be sent to BCCR when they are no longer required by courts.

Presumably forged currency used in bank operations

Financial entities must withhold any banknotes or coins whose authenticity is questioned, and which are detected in bank operations such as deposits or payments, whether they be presented by a client or if they are actually detected by a bank.


Retained currency must be sent to the General Custody Division of BCCR’s Treasury Department within five working days, all packed and labeled as "Numerario presuntamente falso" (presumably forged currency) together with a dully filled out form (Formulario para la presentación de billetes presuntamente falsos al BCCR.) 

Presumably forged currency in internal financial or business processes.

Whenever presumably forged currency may be detected while processing, those financial entities or the companies processing on their behalf must process said finding as a cash shortage, then fill out the corresponding form (Formulario para la presentación de billetes presuntamente falsos al BCCR) and send the currency to BCCR within 5 working days. If possible, information should be provided as to the origin of the dubious banknotes. Information on the deposit’s beneficiary should be enclosed to the form, so that the cash may be returned in full if the currency were legitimate. 


In the case of processing operations including banknotes obtained in the cash market, the bank that found presumably forged currency must send the origin entity a copy of the form with BCCR’s "Received" stamp as proof of the shortage, while the difference amount is processed. 


In all of the above cases, BCCR will provide a copy of the form, duly stamped as proof that the dubious documents were received.

Expert report on presumably forged currency

BCCR will make a decision within 10 working days after receiving presumably forged currency, based on an expert’s analysis on the currency. To this end, BCCR will produce the corresponding report. If the forms were forged, BCCR will withhold them for analysis and subsequent destruction. If the currency were authentic, BCCR will reimburse the corresponding amount by any of the following means:

- A deposit to the "cuenta cliente" of the individual or juridical person that presented the currency for analysis, and whose number was included in the relevant form (Presentación de billetes y monedas presuntamente falsos).

- A deposit to the SINPE account of the financial entity that presented the currency for analysis. In the communication, reference should be made to the data included in the form, so that the financial entity may track down the beneficiary to credit the funds.

- Cash may be reimbursed directly in BCCR’s offices.


In any of the above cases, BCCR will deliver the digitally signed report through appropriate means.

Registration of Forged Currency

BCCR’s Treasury Department will keep a database on forged currency received, including at least the following information:

- Monthly amount received, specifying denominations.

- Annual rate of units withheld for every million circulating units.

- If possible, details on the number of forged banknotes received per geographical area.

Information to the public

BCCR will publish any information on cash security features by means such as: its web page, advertising campaigns, and training activities, so that the public, business sector, and all other users are kept properly informed about this topic, and about the procedure to be followed in case they were to receive presumably forged cash.


To learn about currency, BCCR has an on-going training program for highly qualified staff. If you are interested please call: 2243-3648, 2243-3672, 2243-3584, or write at


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