Does Bureau of Engraving and Printing outsource dollar printing?

Somebody I know works for De La Rue subsidiary in London.
De La Rue , according to their web sitemanufactures about 150 different national bank notes.

The person claims that, among others currencies they also print US Dollars .
That made me thinking: would BEP outsource printing to a foreign company.
Is this even legal … security and all that .
I know that there are two BEP printing facilities in the U.S .

So ,could it be true ?

Googling didn’t help.

Sure, it could be true. Is it? No.

samclem care to elaborate ?

There is nothing on Google that would indicate that anyone other than the BEP produces US currency. How can I prove a negative?

Someone needs to produce something in print that would support the allegation that De La Rue produces US currency. Good luck.

It is quite simply not true. I am on my phone, so no cite, but go to, I believe it’s for stats about where notes are printed.

ETA : It’s actually .gov, but the above link redirects to the correct site.


As noted, it isn’t true. The material that U.S. currency is printed on is outsourced. Crane & Co. in Massachusetts makes the ‘paper’ (it is closer to stiff cloth in composition than regular wood fiber based paper) and has for a very long time but even their operation is secure in that area.

The next time someone tells you something like this, be a good Doper and run some skeptical questions through your mind instantly. In this case, it would be the questions of why the U.S. would need to outsource currency printing at all and why it would be the British that were picked if ever such a thing did occur. Anyone can go to the U.S. Bereau of Engraving and Printing in Washington D.C. for a tour like many of us did on school field trips. They explain it all there and you can see it done yourself. There is no need to involve 3rd parties for something so sensitive.

that’s exactly the reason I’ve started this thread.
No need to be patronizing.

Of course I’ve been to the official BEP site and didn’t find anything about outsourcing.

Why would U.S outsource most of the manufacturing to China and other countries ?
Why not to the British ?
Fit of misguided patriotism ?

Look ,I’m not disputing the fact, it’s just I couldn’t find a definitive answer anywhere.

First of all, per their website, “De La Rue Currency is involved in the production of more than 150 currencies.” That doesn’t mean they print all of them. They may just make the security threads or watermarks, etc.

Anyway, in this specific case, American currency is only printed in two locations: the United States and North Korea.

In one of his Big Secrets books, William Poundstone claimed that one step undergone in printing of US currency was running it through a high-pressure roller, which few (none?) of private printers have, and which was one method of making bills that were hard to counterfeit. Poundstone seems to be reliable, and if so, it wouldn’t be possible to outsource bill production if that step couldn’t be performed elsewhere.
Today, with multiple anti-counterfeiting measures undertaken, it seems even less likely. I can’t see the US giving private printing firms the special ink used for the color-changing monetary amount, for instance.

Are you saying that no other currency uses high-pressure rollers? Or color-changing ink? I’m sure that the U.S. could outsource their currency printing very easily, only there is no reason to, plus huge political reasons not to. (Can you imagine the Tea Party reaction if greenbacks were made in a foreign country?)

According to their website and Wikipedia this De La Rue company manufactures Bank of England banknotes, i.e., British currency. I’m sure they could handle printing our currency (even the special cotton paper).

It’s perfectly feasible for a country to outsource the printing of its bank notes. The Reserve Bank of Australia does print, or has printed, bank notes for a host of other countries:

Presumably the US could outsource the printing of its banknotes if it wanted to do so. It’s obviously more secure to do it “in house”, and possibly more efficient. Politically more palatable too, I’d imagine, as **Erdosain **notes.

The answers to those questions are (1) it might be cheaper to outsource, and (2) the British company in question might be the cheapest option meeting the particular printing requirements. Given that these two answers are valid for many other world currencies, it’s perfectly reasonable to ask whether they are valid in the case of American currency as well. It’s also reasonable to ask how any savings made by outsourcing weighs against the risks.