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UNCITRAL Convention on International Bills of Exchange and International Promissory Notes, 1988

CHAPTER I. - Sphere Of Application And Form Of The Instrument

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

CHAPTER II. - Interpretation

Section 1. - General provisions

Article 4

Article 5

Article 6

Section 2. - Interpretation of formal requirements

Article 7

Article 8

Article 9

Article 10

Article 11

Section 3. - Completion of an incomplete instrument

Article 12

CHAPTER III. - Transfer

Article 13

Article 14

Article 15

Article 16

Article 17

Article 18

Article 19

Article 20

Article 21

Article 22

Article 23

Article 24

Article 25

Article 26

CHAPTER IV. - Rights And Liabilities

Section 1. - The rights of a holder and of a protected holder

Article 27

Article 28

Article 29

Article `30

Article `31

Article `32

Section `2. - Liabilities of the parties

A. - General provisions

Article `33

Article `34

Article `35

Article `36

Article `37

B. - The drawer

Article `38

C. - The maker

Article `39

D. - The drawee and the acceptor

Article `40

Article `41

Article `42

Article `43

E. - The endorser

Article `44

F. - The transferor by endorsement or by mere delivery

Article `45

G. - The guarantor

Article `46

Article `47

Article `48

CHAPTER `V. - Presentment, Dishonour By Non-Acceptance Or Non-Payment, And Recourse

Section `1. - Presentment for acceptance and dishonour by non-acceptance

Article `49

Article `50

Article `51

Article `52

Article `53

Article `54

Section `2. - Presentment for payment and dishonour by non-payment

Article `55

Article `56

Article `57

Article `58

Section `3. - Recourse

Article `59

A. - Protest

Article 60

Article 61

Article 62

Article 63

B. - Notice of dishonour

Article 64

Article 65

Article 66

Article 67

Article 68

Section 4. - Amount payable

Article 69

Article 70

Article 71

CHAPTER VI. - Discharge

Section 1. - Discharge by payment

Article 72

Article 73

Article 74

Article 75

Article 76

Section 2. - Discharge of other parties

Article 77

CHAPTER VII. - Lost Instruments

Article 78

Article 79

Article 80

Article 81

Article 82

Article 83

CHAPTER VIII. - Limitation (Prescription)

Article 84

CHAPTER IX. - Final Provisions

Article 85

Article 86

Article 87

Article 88

Article 89

Article 90

[Post Provisions]

[Post Clauses (If any: Signed; Witnessed; Done; Authentic Texts; & Deposited Clauses)]

Annex - Explanatory Note by the UNCITRAL Secretariat on the United Nations Convention on International Bills of Exchange and International Promissory Notes *[NOTE]

Introduction

A. - Background To The Convention

B. - Salient Features Of The Convention

1. Scope of application and form of the instrument

2. Interpretation of the Convention

3. The concepts of "holder" and "protected holder"

4. Transfer warranties

5. Guarantees and avals

6. Other novel provisions of practical importance

7. Final clauses

Notes

*[NOTE]

Endnotes

Endnotes

Metadata

SiSU Metadata, document information

Manifest

SiSU Manifest, alternative outputs etc.

UNCITRAL Convention on International Bills of Exchange and International Promissory Notes, 1988

United Nations (UN)

copy @ Lex Mercatoria

CHAPTER IX. - Final Provisions

Annex - Explanatory Note by the UNCITRAL Secretariat on the United Nations Convention on International Bills of Exchange and International Promissory Notes *[NOTE]

B. - Salient Features Of The Convention

1. Scope of application and form of the instrument

12. The Convention applies only to international bills of exchange and international promissory notes when they comply with certain requisites of form. In particular, the Convention applies only to international instruments that bear in both their heading and their text the words "International bill of exchange (UNCITRAL Convention)" or "International promissory note (UNCITRAL Convention)". The use of an instrument governed by the Convention is thus entirely optional. Ratification or accession by a State does not subject all international instruments issued in that State to the legal regime of the Convention but merely opens the door for bankers and merchants to opt for this new legal regime if they deem it preferable in their professional judgment.

13. The Convention provides its own definitions of the terms "bill of exchange" and "promissory note" and explicitly states the conditions on which a bill of exchange or promissory note is considered to be international. According to the Convention, a bill of exchange is a written instrument which: a) contains an unconditional order whereby the drawer directs the drawee to pay a definite sum of money to the payee or to its order; b) is payable on demand or at a definite time; c) is dated; and d) is signed by the drawer. A promissory note is a written instrument which: a) contains an unconditional promise whereby the maker undertakes to pay a definite sum of money to the payee or to its order; b) is payable on demand or at a definite time; c) is dated; d) is signed by the maker.

14. In order to qualify as an international bill under the Convention a bill of exchange must specify at least two of the places listed in article 2(1) of the Convention, and any two so specified places must be situated in different States. The places listed are: the place where the bill is drawn, the place indicated next to the signature of the drawer, the place indicated next to the name of the drawee, the place indicated next to the name of the payee, and the place of payment. In its turn an international promissory note must specify at least two of the places listed in article 2(2) of the Convention, whereby any two so specified places must be situated in different States. The places listed are: the place where the note is made, the place indicated next to the signature of the maker, the place indicated next to the name of the payee, and the place of payment.

15. There is one last requirement that an instrument fulfilling the above criteria must meet in order to qualify as an international instrument under the Convention: a certain place of importance situated in a State that is a party to the Convention must also be specified in the instrument. In the case of a bill of exchange, this will either be the place of drawing or the place of payment. In the case of a promissory note, this will be the place of payment. A State may however declare, in becoming a party to the Convention, that its courts will apply the Convention only if both the place indicated in the instrument where the bill is drawn, or the note is made, and the place of payment indicated in the instrument are situated in Contracting States. This is the only reservation permitted under the Convention.

16. The legal rules provided by the Convention will apply even where there has been an incorrect or false statement in respect of a place indicated in an instrument. This rule continues the common policy of domestic bills of exchange laws to the effect that instruments are to be judged only by their texts - the material appearing on their faces. It may also be justified on the pragmatic ground that to have provided otherwise could have cast doubts on the applicability of the rules and eventually impaired the free circulation of international bills and notes. The Convention leaves to domestic laws the question of sanctions that may be imposed where such a false or incorrect statement has been made in an instrument.

17. Following the trend established by some domestic legal systems, the Convention does not allow negotiable instruments to be drawn on two or more drawees or to be issued payable to bearer. Neither restriction is significant in practice: nothing prevents a payee or special endorsee from making an instrument covered by the Convention payable to bearer by endorsing it in blank; and multiple-drawee instruments have proved to be quite rare and a source of confusion when they do occur.

18. The United Nations Convention on International Bills of Exchange and International Promissory Notes does not address international cheques. These have been the subject of a parallel project by UNCITRAL, the latest result of which is a draft Convention. The decision to draw up the uniform rules on international bills of exchange and international promissory notes and the uniform rules on international cheques as separate legal texts and not as a consolidated text was taken mainly to accommodate the civil law jurisdictions which have traditionally considered bills of exchange and cheques as separate instruments fulfilling separate functions. Work on the draft Convention on International Cheques was suspended in 1984, partly due to the fact that cheques were seen to play a less important role in international payments.


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