February 13, 2004

Mr. Jonathan G. Katz
Securities and Exchange Commission
450 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20549-0609

Subject: File No. SR-DTC-2003-09

Dear Mr. Katz,

Merrill Lynch would like to go on record supporting the rule change (File No. SR-DTC-2003-09) that would allow The Depository Trust Company ("DTC") to implement a new service that would provide for the destruction of certificates for which transfer agent services have not been available for a period of time. The rule change also provides for the implementation of a fee relating to the custody of certificates in such issues that are not designated for destruction.

Merrill Lynch stands firmly behind any industry initiative, such as this one, that promotes STP, improves efficiency, dematerializes certificates and ultimately reduces industry expenses. The cost savings that will be realized are underlying goals of our Firm and all members of the financial services community.


Brian Urkowitz
First Vice President