Inter-American Convention on Conflicts of Laws concerning Checks [*]
Done at: Panama
Date enacted: 1979-05-08
In force: 1980-06-14
The Governments of the Member States of the Organization of American States,
Considering that it is necessary to adopt in the Inter-American System rules for solving conflicts of laws concerning checks, have agreed as follows:
Capacity to enter into an obligation by means of a check shall be governed by the law of the place in which the obligation was contracted.
However, if such obligation was contracted by a person who was incompetent according to that law, such incompetency shall not be valid in the territory of any other State Party to this Convention if the obligation is valid under the law of that State.
The forms of legal acts such as the drawing, endorsement, guaranty, protest and the like that may appear on a check shall be governed by the law of the place in which each one of those acts is performed.
All obligations arising from a check shall be governed by the law of the place in which they were contracted.
Should one or more obligations arising from a check 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 in which they were contracted.
For the purposes of this Convention, should a check not specify the place where the respective obligation was entered into or the legal act embodied in the document was performed, it shall be understood that the obligation was entered into or the act performed in the place where the check is payable and, should that place not be specified, the place where it was drawn.
The procedures and time limits for the protest of a check or other equivalent act for the preservation of rights against the endorsers, the drawer, or other obligated parties shall be governed by the law of the place where the protest or other equivalent act is or should be performed.
The law of the place in which a check is to be paid shall determine:
Its form and the effects thereof;
The time of presentation;
The persons against whom the check may be drawn;
Whether it may be drawn for deposit only, crossed, or be certified or confirmed, and the effects of these acts;
The rights of the holder in regard to the provision of funds and the nature of such rights;
Whether the holder may demand, or is obliged to accept, partial payment;
The rights of the drawer to cancel the check or oppose payment;
The necessity of protest or other equivalent act for the preservation of rights against the endorsers, the drawer, or other obligated parties;
The measures to be taken in case of robbery, theft, forgery, loss, destruction, or of the instrument deteriorating to the point of being useless;
In general, all matters relating to the payment of a check.
Checks presented to an intraregional clearing house shall be governed by this Convention, where applicable.
The law declared applicable under this Convention may be refused application in the territory of any State Party that considers it manifestly contrary to its public policy (ordre public).
This Convention shall be open for signature by the Member States of the Organization of American States.
This Convention is subject to ratification. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States.
This Convention shall remain open for accession by any other State. The instrument of accession shall be deposited with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States.
Each State may, at the time of signature, ratification, or accesion, make reservations to this Convention provided that each reservation concerns one or more specific provisions and is not incompatible with the object and purpose of this Convention.
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.
When the States Parties to the Inter-American Convention on Conflicts of Laws concerning Checks, signed at Panama City, Republic of Panama, on January 30, 1975, ratify this Convention or accede to it, the former Panama Convention shall no longer be in effect for those States Parties.
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.
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.
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, which will forward an authenticated copy of the text to the Secretariat of the United Nations for registration and publication in accordance with Article 102 of its Charter. The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States shall notify the Member States of that Organization 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 declarations referred to in Article 15 of this Convention.
In witness whereof the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments, have signed this Convention.
Done at Montevideo, Republic of Uruguay, this eighth day of May one thousand nine hundred and seventy nine.
This Convention replaces the Inter-American Convention on Conflict of Laws concerning Checks signed 1975-01-30, in force 1976-01-16.