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Inter-American Convention on Conflict of Laws concerning Bills of Exchange, Promissory Notes and Invoices

Done at: Panama

Date enacted: 1975-01-30

In force: 1976-01-16

The Governments of the Member States of the Organization of American States desirous of concluding a convention on conflict of laws concerning bills of exchange, promissory notes and invoices, have agreed as follows:

Article 1

Capacity to enter into an obligation by means of a bill of exchange shall be governed by the law of the place where the obligation is contracted.

Nevertheless, should the obligation be contracted by a person who is not capable under the aforesaid law, the incapacity may not be relied upon in the territory of any other State Party to this Convention if the obligation is valid under the law of that State.

Article 2

The form of the drawing, endorsement, guaranty, intervention, acceptance or protest of a bill of exchange shall be governed by the law of the place in which each one of those acts is performed.

Article 3

All obligations arising from a bill of exchange shall be governed by the law of the place where they are contracted.

Article 4

Should one or more of the obligations contracted in a bill of exchange be invalid under the law applicable according to the preceding articles, this invalidity shall not affect such other obligations as are valid under the law of the place where they were contracted.

Article 5

For the purposes of this Convention, should a bill of exchange not specify the place in which the obligation was entered into, the obligation shall be governed by the law of the place where the bill is payable, and should that place not be specified by the law of the place where it was drawn.

Article 6

The procedures and time-limits for acceptance, payment and protest shall be governed by the law of the place where such acts are or should be performed.

Article 7

The law of the State in which the bill of exchange is payable shall determine the measures to be taken in case of robbery, theft, forgery, loss, destruction, or of the instrument deteriorating to the point of becoming useless.

Article 8

The courts of the State Party in which the obligation is to be honored or the courts of the State Party in which the defendant is domiciled, at the option of the plaintiff, shall have jurisdiction over disputes arising from the negotiation of a bill of exchange.

Article 9

The provisions of the foregoing articles are applicable to promissory notes.

Article 10

The provisions of the foregoing articles are also applicable to invoices between States Parties that are considered to be negotiable instruments under their laws.

Each State Party shall inform the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States whether or not an invoice is considered to be a negotiable instrument under its law.

Article 11

The law declared applicable under this Convention may be refused application in the territory of a State Party that considers it manifestly contrary to its public policy ("ordre public").

Article 12

This Convention shall be open for signature by the Member States of the Organization of American States.

Article 13

This Convention is subject to ratification. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States.

Article 14

This Convention shall remain open for accession by any other State. The instruments of accession shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States.

Article 15

This Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of deposit of the second instrument of ratification.

For each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of the second instrument of ratification, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification or accession.

Article 16

If a State Party has two or more territorial units in which different systems of law apply in relation to the matters dealt with in this Convention, it may, at the time of signature, ratification or accession, declare that this Convention shall ex­tend to all its territorial units or only to one or more of them.

Such declaration may be modified by subsequent declarations, which shall expressly indicate the territorial unit or units to which the Convention applies. Such subsequent declarations shall be transmitted to the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States, and shall become effective thirty days after the date of their receipt.

Article 17

This Convention shall remain in force indefinitely, but any of the States Parties may denounce it. The instrument of denunciation shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States. After one year from the date of deposit of the instrument of denunciation, the Convention shall no longer be in effect for the denouncing State, but shall remain in effect for the other States Parties.

Article 18

The original instrument of this Convention, the English, French, Portuguese and Spanish texts of which are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States. The Secretariat shall notify the Member States of the Organization of American States and the States that have acceded to the Convention of the signatures, deposits of instruments of ratification, accession, and denunciation as well as of reservations, if any. It shall also trans­mit the information mentioned in the second paragraph of Article 10 and the decla­rations referred to in Article 1 6 of this Convention.

In witness whereof the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments, have signed this Convention.

Done at Panama City, Republic of Panama, this thirtieth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-five.