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Mint receives power to police ads

The power to levy fines of up to $25,000 has been granted to the U.S. Mint by a new Treasury Department regulation to police the use of the Mint?s names, emblems and symbols as well as those of the Treasury in advertisements and other business-related activities.

Civil fines of up to $5,000 can be imposed on individuals or companies for ?each misleading use of the United States Mint?s or the Treasury Department?s names, symbols, or emblems.?

The stiffer fines of up to $25,000 can be imposed on ?broadcasts and telecasts? for each misuse.

Intent of the rule is to combat advertisements that create false impressions of  ?sponsorship, endorsement or association with the United States Mint or the Treasury Department.?

There is due process provided for offenders and right of appeal to a federal district court.

For details, visit www.usmint.gov/consumer/ under Consumer Awareness, Hot Topics.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register in January 2005 and  public comment was solicited. Authority for the rule is in Title 31 of the United States Code, Section 333.

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