What is a Bill of Exchange?

A Bill of Exchange is one of the key financial instruments in International Trade. The laws regulating Bills of Exchange in different countries come under two different legal spheres of influence:

Bills of Exchange Act (1882) - United Kingdom
Geneva Conventions of 1930
The Bill of Exchange is defined under these systems as follows:

Bill of Exchange Act (1882) - United Kingdom

"A Bill of Exchange is an unconditional order in writing, addressed by one person to another, signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time a sum certain in money to or to the order of a specified person, or to bearer".

For a list of countries following the 'Bills of Exchange Act' see below
http://www.aibtradefinance.com/tf/CommonLawSystem.asp
Common Law System

United Kingdom
Ireland
Cyprus
Hong Kong
India
Israel
Malaysia
Pakistan
Philippines
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Australia
Fiji
New Zealand
Tonga

Convention providing a uniform law for Bills of Exchange and promissory notes (Geneva, 1930) The League of Nations.

Under Article 1 of the above convention a Bill of Exchange must contain:

The term "Bill of Exchange" inserted in the body of the instrument and expressed in the language employed in drawing up the instrument.
An unconditional order to pay a determinate sum of money.
The name of the person who is to pay.
A statement of the time of payment.
A statement of the place where payment is to be made;
The name of the person to whom or to whose order payment is to be made;
A statement of the date and of the place where the bill is issued;
The signature of the person who issues the bill.
For a list of countries following the 'Geneva Conventions' see below
Germany
Korea (South)
Austria
Oman
Belgium
Saudi Arabia
Denmark
Syria
Finland
Taiwan
France
Thailand
Greece
Yemen
Iceland
Poland
Italy
Czech Republic
Liechtenstein
Slovakia
Luxembourg
Hungary
Malta
Albania
Netherlands
Bulgaria
Norway
Romania
Portugal
Croatia
Spain
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Sweden
Macedonia
Switzerland
Slovenia
Turkey
Serbia
Indonesia
Lebanon
Japan
Jordan

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1882/cukpga_18820...
3 Bill of exchange defined (1)A bill of exchange is an unconditional order in writing, addressed by one person to another, signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time a sum certain in money to or to the order of a specified person, or to bearer.
(2)An instrument which does not comply with these conditions, or which orders any act to be done in addition to the payment of money, is not a bill of exchange.
(3)An order to pay out a particular fund is not unconditional within the meaning of this section; but an unqualified order to pay, coupled with (a) an indication of a particular fund out of which the drawee is to re-imburse himself or a particular account to be debited with the amount, or (b) a statement of the transaction which gives rise to the bill, is unconditional.
(4)A bill is not invalid by reason—
(a)That it is not dated;
(b)That it does not specify the value given, or that any value has been given therefor;
(c)That it does not specify the place where it is drawn or the place where it is payable.
Annotations:
Modifications etc. (not altering text)
C1S. 3 amended by Decimal Currency Act 1969 (c. 19), s. 2

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Ireland & England are under the same Bills Of Exchange Act, it was been amended a few times but it's the same act, same title. I know this because I researched it & I asked a solicitor a few months ago & I also asked the guy from Get Out Of Debt Free, Jonathan-Peter: Witterick.

Most countries have adopted codified laws on Bills of Exchange. The legal codes in such countries have created laws that follow the rules agreed at the Geneva Conventions in order to standardise the control of Bills of Exchange. The United Kingdom Bills of Exchange Act 1882 is the basis for rules governing Bills of Exchange in Ireland, U.K. and Commonwealth countries that were part of the British Empire. These countries follow a common law framework to create and modify statutes.

In relation to the most fundamental aspects of a Bill of Exchange the two sets of rules are similar in that both identify the following:

* A Bill of Exchange is an unconditional order to pay a specific amount of money.
* The Bill of Exchange must state a particular time of payment.
* The Bill of Exchange must contain the name of the person who is to pay.

There are, however, certain differences between the Bills of Exchange Act (1882) and the Geneva Convention. In particular the United Kingdom Act sets out fewer formal requirements for example:

* The term "Bill of Exchange", which is an integral part of the physical Bill according to the Geneva Convention, need not be written on the Bill.
* Bills can be made payable to 'bearer'.
* The place and date of issue are also not obligatory parts of the Bill.

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is at present trying to harmonise laws through the "United Nations Convention on International Bills of Exchange and International Promissory notes".

The debt collection act is different to the English one though, (Section 1 of The Protection from Harassment Act 1997) here it is :

Section 11 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 it is an offence to demand payment of a debt in a way designed to alarm, distress or humiliate.(If someone is charged with this offence and it is tried as a summary offence (that is, in a District Court by a judge only) the maximum penalty is E1,270 and or 12 months imprisonment.)

See this pdf (BoE Act) :http://library.du.ac.in/dspace/bitstream/1/7191/5/Ch01-Part1%20Prel...

List of Common Law Countries under the BoE Act :

United Kingdom

Ireland

Cyprus

Hong Kong

India

Israel

Malaysia

Pakistan

Philippines

Singapore

Sri Lanka

Australia

Fiji

New Zealand

Tonga
*Bump*

This is useful.
and this
Does anyone know what part of the Bill of Exchange Act states: He who issues an order is liable for a Bill? I understand the concept behind it but can't find the citation? It seems as though the Order is a Bill, or rather a Bill is an Order. Any thoughts on this guys?

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