Before submitting a damaged banknotes claim you should familiarise yourself with the claim requirements.
The Reserve Bank of Australia offers a claims service (The Damaged Banknotes Facility) for damaged banknotes that are either incomplete or badly damaged/contaminated. This Facility is only offered to members of the public who have unwittingly come into possession of damaged banknotes or those whose banknotes are accidentally damaged, with the aim of ensuring that they do not face financial hardship.
Claims submitted to the Reserve Bank's Damaged Banknotes Facility must be accompanied by a completed claim form. Contaminated banknotes must be placed in a bag, with the details of the contaminant written on the outside of the bag.
Where there is doubt as to the identity of a claimant, how the banknotes were damaged or how the damaged banknotes came into possession of a claimant, the Reserve Bank may ask for additional information before proceeding with the processing of a claim. This could include additional information on the claimant, the source of damage to the banknotes or the source of the banknotes. If the claimant is a business, or a representative of a business, the Reserve Bank may also seek information about the business, the beneficial owners of the business and its business activities.
Information obtained from a claimant may be verified against third party sources. If the Reserve Bank determines that a claimant has provided incomplete or inaccurate information on the claim form or in response to any other request for information, the Reserve Bank may not complete the processing of the claim. The Reserve Bank may also refuse to proceed with the processing of a claim if to do so would give rise to an unacceptable risk to the health or safety of its staff.
There are offences under the Crimes (Currency) Act 1981 relating to the deliberate damage of Australian banknotes. The Reserve Bank will, therefore, not complete the processing of claims where either the cause of the damage or the source of the damaged banknotes is not explained by the claimant to the reasonable satisfaction of the Reserve Bank. Where the Reserve Bank believes an offence may have been committed in relation to the relevant banknotes or their source, the matter will be referred to the police.
The Damaged Banknotes Facility is provided free of charge. In exceptional cases, however, the assessment of a claim may be so complex or time-consuming that it may become prohibitively expensive for the Reserve Bank to process it. In such cases, the Reserve Bank reserves the right to ask a claimant for reimbursement of some or all of the costs of assessment prior to proceeding with the processing of the claim.
If the Reserve Bank refuses to complete the processing of a claim, for any reason, it will normally notify the claimant. The exception is if a matter is referred to the police, in which case the action taken by the Reserve Bank will be consistent with any action taken by the police. In situations where a claim is not processed, the relevant banknotes will not be returned to the claimant. Unless the claim has been referred to the police and the relevant banknotes are required by the police, they will be destroyed with no value paid.
If a claimant wishes to obtain information about the status of their claim, that request should be made to the financial institution with which they lodged the claim or, if the claimant sent a claim directly to the National Note Processing and Distribution Centre, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.