1   Short title

   2   Interpretation


Bills of Exchange Form and Interpretation

   3   Bill of exchange defined

   4   Inland and foreign bills

   5   Effect where different parties to bill are the same person

   6   Address of drawee

   7   Certainty required as to payee

   8   What bills are negotiable

   9   Sum payable

   10   Bill payable on demand

   11   Bill payable at a future time

   12   Omission of date in bill payable after date

   13   Ante-dating and post-dating

   14   Computation of time of payment

   15   Case of need

   16   Optional stipulations by drawer or indorser

   17   Definition and requisites of acceptance

   18   Time for acceptance

   19   General and qualified acceptances

   20   Inchoate instruments

   21   Delivery


Capacity and Authority of Parties

   22   Capacity of parties

   23   Signature essential to liability

   24   Forged or unauthorised signature

   25   Procuration signatures

   26   Person signing as agent or in representative capacity


The Consideration for a Bill

   27   Value and holder for value

   28   Accommodation bill or party

   29   Holder in due course

   30   Presumption of value and good faith


Negotiation of Bills

   31   Negotiation of bills

   32   Requisites of a valid indorsement

   33   Conditional indorsement

   34   Indorsement in blank and special indorsement

   35   Restrictive indorsement

   36   Negotiation of overdue or dishonoured bill

   37   Negotiation of bill to party already liable thereon

   38   Rights of the holder


General Duties of the Holder

   39   When presentment for acceptance is necessary

   40   Time for presenting bill payable after sight

   41   Rules as to presentment for acceptance, and excuses for non-presentment

   42   Non-acceptance

   43   Dishonour by non-acceptance and its consequences

   44   Duties as to qualified acceptances

   45   Rules as to presentment for payment

   46   Excuses for delay or non-presentment for payment

   47   Dishonour by non-payment

   48   Notice of dishonour and effect of non-notice

   49   Rules as to notice of dishonour

   50   Excuses for non-notice and delay

   51   Noting or protest of bill

   52   Duties of holder as regards drawee or acceptor


Liabilities of Parties

   53   Funds in hands of drawee

   54   Liability of acceptor

   55   Liability of drawer or indorser

   56   Stranger signing bill liable as indorser

   57   Measure of damages against parties to dishonoured bill

   58   Transferor by delivery and transferee


Discharge of Bill

   59   Payment in due course

   60   Banker paying demand draft whereon indorsement is forged

   61   Acceptor the holder at maturity

   62   Express waiver

   63   Cancellation

   64   Alteration of bill


Acceptance and Payment for Honour

   65   Acceptance for honour supra protest

   66   Liability of acceptor for honour

   67   Payment to acceptor for honour

   68   Payment for honour supra protest


Lost Instruments

   69   Holder's right to duplicate of lost bill

   70   Action on lost bill


Bill in a Set

   71   Rules as to sets


Conflict of Laws

   72   Rules where laws conflict


Cheques on a Banker

   73   Cheque defined

   74   Presentment of cheque for payment

   75   Revocation of banker's authority

   76   General and special crossings defined

   77   Crossing by drawer or after issue

   78   Crossing a material part of cheque

   79   Duties of banker as to crossed cheques

   80   Protection to banker and drawer where cheque is crossed

   81   Effect of crossing on holder

   82   Protection to collecting banker


Promissory Notes

   83   Promissory note defined

   84   Delivery necessary

   85   Joint and several notes

   86   Note payable on demand

   87   Presentment of note for payment

   88   Liability of maker

   89   Application of Part II to notes



   90   Good faith

   91   Signature

   92   Computation of time

   93   Saturdays

   94   When noting equivalent to protest

   95   Protest when Notary not accessible

   96   Dividend warrants may be crossed

   97   Savings




[Date of Commencement: 1893]

Cap 40.

Act 25 of 1968.


1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Bills of Exchange Act.

2   Interpretation

   In this Act-

   "acceptance" means an acceptance completed by delivery or notification;

   "action" includes counter-claim and set-off

   "banker" includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not, who carry on the business of banking;

   "bankrupt" includes any person whose estate is vested in a trustee or assignee under the law for the time being in force relating to bankruptcy;

   "bearer" means the person in possession of a bill or note which is payable to bearer;

   "bill" means bill of exchange and "note" means promissory note;

   "delivery" means transfer of possession, actual or constructive, from one person to another;

   "holder" means the payee or indorsee of a bill or note who is in possession of it, or the bearer thereof;

   "holiday" means any day appointed by law, to be kept as a holiday, or as a day of fast or thanksgiving, but not Christmas Day or Good Friday;

   "indorsement" means an indorsement completed by delivery;

   "issue" means the first delivery of a bill or note, complete in form, to a person who takes it as a holder;

   "person" includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not;

   "value" means valuable consideration;

   "written" includes printed, and "writing" includes print.

Bills of Exchange Form and Interpretation

3    Bill of exchange defined

   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 certain sum in money to or to the order of a specified person, or to bearer.

   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.

   An order to pay out of 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 reimburse 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.

   A bill is not invalid by reason-

   (c)    that it is not dated;

   (d)   that it does not specify the value given, or that any value has been given therefor;

   (e)   that it does not specify the place where it is drawn, or the place where it is payable.

4   Inland and foreign bills

   An inland bill is a bill which is, or on the face of it foreign bills purports to be-

   (a)   both drawn and payable within this Island; or

   (b)   drawn within this Island upon some person resident therein.

   Any other bill is a foreign bill.

   Unless the contrary appear on the face of the bill, the holder may treat it as an inland bill.

5   Effect where different parties to bill are the same person

   A bill may be drawn payable to or to the order of the drawer; or it may be drawn payable to or to the order of the drawee.

   Where in a bill drawer and drawee are the same person, or where the drawee is a fictitious person or a person not having capacity to contract, the holder may treat the instrument, at his option, either as a bill of exchange or as a promissory note.

6   Address of drawee

   The drawee must be named or otherwise indicated in a bill with reasonable certainty.

   A bill may be addressed to two or more drawees, whether they are partners or not, but an order addressed to two drawees in the alternative, or to two or more drawees in succession, is not a bill of exchange.

7   Certainty required as to Payee

   Where a bill is not payable to bearer, the payee must be named or otherwise indicated therein with reasonable certainty.

   A bill may be made payable to two or more payees jointly, or it may be made payable in the alternative to one of two, or one or some of several payees. A bill may also be made payable to the holder of an office for the time being.

   Where the payee is a fictitious or non-existing person the bill may be treated as payable to bearer.

8   What bills are negotiable

   When a bill contains words prohibiting transfer, or indicating an intention that it should not be transferable, it is valid as between the parties thereto, but is not negotiable.

   A negotiable bill may be payable either to order or to bearer.

   A bill is payable to bearer which is expressed to be so payable, or on which the only or last indorsement is an indorsement in blank.

   A bill is payable to order which is expressed to be so payable, or which is expressed to be payable to a particular person, and does not contain words prohibiting transfer or indicating an intention that it should not be transferable.

   Where a bill, either originally or by indorsement, is expressed to be payable to the order of a specified person, and not to him or his order, it is nevertheless payable to him or his order at his option.

9   Sum payable

   The sum payable by a bill is a sum certain within the meaning of this Act, although it is required to be paid-

   (a)   with interest;

   (b)   by stated instalments;

   (c)   by stated instalments, with a provision that upon default in payment of any instalment the whole shall become due;

   (d)   according to an indicated rate of exchange, or according to a rate of exchange to be ascertained as directed by the bill.

   Where the sum payable is expressed in words and also in figures, and there is a discrepancy between the two, the same denoted by the words is the amount payable.

   Where a bill is expressed to be payable with interest, unless the instrument otherwise provides, interest runs from the date of the bill, and if the bill is undated from the issue thereof.

10   Bill payable on demand

   A bill is payable on demand-

   (a)   which is expressed to be payable on demand, or at sight, or on presentation; or

   (b)   in which no time for payment is expressed.

   Where a bill is accepted or indorsed when it is overdue it shall, as regards the acceptor who so accepts, or any indorser who so indorses it, be deemed a bill payable on demand.

11   Bill payable at a future time

   A bill is payable at a determinable future time within the meaning of this Act which is expressed to be payable-

   (a)   at a fixed period after date or sight;

   (b)   on or at a fixed period after the occurrence of a specified event which is certain to happen, though the time of happening may be uncertain.

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.