Chapter 2. Bills of Exchange
Section 1. Establishment and form of bills of exchange
Art. 735. - Requirements.
A bill of exchange shall contain:
a. the term "bill of exchange" inserted in the body of the instrument and expressed m the language employed in drawing up the instrument;
b. an unconditional order to pay a sum certain in money;
c. the name of the person who is to pay (drawee);
d. the time of payment;
e. the place of payment;
f. the name of the person to whom or to whose order payment is to be made or an indication that it shall be payable to bearer;
g. the date when and place where the bill is issued;
h. the signature of the person who issues the bill (drewer).
Art. 736. - Requirements absent.
Where any of the requirements provided in Art. 735 is absent the instrument shall not be valid 'as a bill of exchange, except in the cases specified in sub-art. (a), (b) and (c) hereunder,:
a. a bill of exchange in which the time of payment is not specified shall be deemed to be payable at sight;
b. unless otherwise expressly specified, the place mentioned beside the name of the drawee shall be deemed to be the place of payment, and at the same time the place of the domicile of the drawee;
c. a bill of exchange which does not mention the place of its issue shall be deemed to have been drawn in the place mentioned beside the name of the drawer.
Art. 737. - Special cases.
1. A bill of exchange may be drawn payable to drawer's order.
2. It may be drawn on the drawer himself.
3. It may be drawn for account of a third person.
Art. 738. - Domiciled bill.
A bill of exchange may be payable at the domicile of a third party, either in the locality where the drawee, has his domicile or in another locality.
Art. 739. - Stipulation as to interest.
1. In a bill of exchange payable at sight or at a fixed period after sight, payment of interest may be provided. A provision as to interest inserted in any other hill of exchange shall be of no effect.
2. The provision for interest shall be of no effect unless the rate is specified ,
3. Interest shall run from the dale of the hill of exchange, unless some other dale is specified.
Art. 740. - Discrepancy in the sum payable.
1. Where the sum payable by a bill of exchange is expressed both in words and figures and there is a discrepancy, the sum expressed in words shall prevail.
2. Where the sum payable by a bill of exchange is expressed more than once in words or more than once in figures and there is a discrepancy, the smaller sum shall prevail.
Art. 741. - Signature of persons incapable of binding themselves.
If a hill of exchange bears signatures of persons incapable of binding themselves by a bill of exchange, forged signatures, signatures of fictitious persons or signatures which for any other reason cannot bind the persons who signed the bill of exchange or on whose behalf it was signed, the obligations of the other persons who have signed it shall be valid.
Art. 742. - Signature without power to act.
Whosoever signs a bill of exchange on behalf of person for whom the had no power to act shall be bound himself as a party to the bill and, if he pays, shall have the same rights as the person for whom he purported to act. The same rule shall apply to an agent who exceeded his powers.
Art. 743. - Liability of drawer.
The drawer guarantees both acceptance and payment. He may release himself from guaranteeing acceptance. Any provision by which he releases himself from the guarantee .of payment shall be of no effect.
Art. 744. - Bill of exchange in blank.
If a bill of exchange, which was incomplete when issued, has been completed otherwise than in accordance with the agreements entered into, the non-observance of such agreements may not be set up against the holder unless he has acquired the bill of exchange in bad faith or, in acquiring it, has committed a fault.
Art. 745. - Ante or post dated bill of exchange.
1. A bill of exchange shall not be null and void far the sole reason that it has been antedated or postdated, provided that there is no fraud or illegality.
2. A person to wham an instrument so dated is delivered is deemed to have acquired it at the date of delivery.
Section 2. Negotiation of bills of exchange
Art. 746. - Negotiability.
1. A bill of exchange to bearer may be transferred by simple delivery of the instrument.
2. Any other bi1l of exchange, even if not expressly drawn to order, may be transferred by endorsement. When the drawer has inserted in a bill of exchange the words "not to order" or similar words, the instrument can only be transferred according to the form, and with the effects, of an ordinary assignment.
3. The bill may be endorsed even in favour of the drawee, whether he has accepted it or not, or of the drawer, or of any other party to the bill.
4. These persons may re-endorse the bill.
Art. 747. - Elements of endorsement.
1. An endorsement shall be unconditional. Any condition to which it is made subject shall be of no effect.
2. A partial endorsement shall be null and void.
3. An endorsement "to bearer" is equivalent to an endorsement in blank.
Art. 748. - Forms of endorsement.
1. An endorsement shall be written' on the bill of exchange or on a slip affixed thereto (allonge). It shall be signed by the endorser.
2. The endorsement may leave the beneficiary unspecified or may consist simply of the signature of the endorser (endorsement in blank). In the latter case, the endorsement to be valid shall be written on the back of the bill of exchange or on the slip affixed thereto (allonge).
Art. 749. - Effects of endorsement.
1. An endorsement transfers all the rights arising out of a bill of exchange.
2. If the instrument is in blank, the holder may:
a. fill up the blank either with his own name or with the name of some other person;
b. re-endorse the bill in blank, or to some other person;
c. transfer the bill to a third person without filling up the blank and wil1hout endorsing it.
Art. 750. - Guarantee.
1. In the absence of any provision to the contrary, the endorser guarantees both acceptance and payment.
2. He may prohibit any further endorsement; in this case he gives no guarantee to the persons to whom the bill is subsequently endorsed.
Art. 751. - Establishment of title by holder.
1. The possessor of a bill of exchange shall be deemed to be the lawful holder if he establishes his title to the bill through an uninterrupted series of endorsements, even if the last endorsement is in blank. Cancelled endorsements shall he deemed not to be written. Where an endorsement in blank is followed by another endorsement, the person who signed this last endorsement shall be deemed to have acquired the bill by the endorsement in blank.
2. Where a person has been dispossessed of a hill of exchange, in any manner whatsoever, the holder who establishes his right thereto as provided in sub-art. (1) shall not be bound to give up the bill unless he has acquired it in bad faith or unless in acquiring it he has committed a fault.
Art. 752. - Defences.
Persons sued on a bill of exchange cannot set up against the holder defences based on their personal relations with the drawer or with previous holders, unless the !holder, in acquiring the bill, has knowingly acted to the detriment of the debtor.
Art. 753. - Endorsement by attorney.
1. Where an endorsement contains the words "value in collection," "for collection," "by attorney" or any other similar words implying agency, the holder may exercise all the rights arising out of the bill of exchange, but he can only endorse it in his capacity as agent.
2. The parties liable can only set up against the agent defences which could be set up against the principal.
3. The agency granted by power of attorney shall not terminate by reason of the death of the principal or his becoming legally incapable.
Art. 754. - Endorsement in pledge.
1. Where an endorsement contains the words "value in security," "value in pledge" or any other similar words implying a pledge, the holder may exercise all the rights arising out of the bill of exchange, but an endorsement by him has the effects only of an endorsement by an agent.
2. The persons sued on the bill may not set up against the holder defences based on their personal relations with the endorser unless the holder, in acquiring the bill, has knowingly acted to the detriment of the debtor.
Art. 755. - Endorsement after maturity or after protest.
1. An endorsement after maturity shall have the same effect as an endorsement before maturity. An endorsement after protest for nonpayment, or after the expiration of the limit of time fixed for drawing up vile protest, shall operate only as an ordinary assignment.
2. Unless the contrary is proved, an endorsement without date shall be deemed to have been written on the bill before the expiration of the limit of time fixed for drawing up the protest.
3. Where a refusal to pay has been evidenced by a declaration of the drawee in accordance with Art. 781 (2), an endorsement without date shall be deemed to have been made before the protest.
Art. 756. - Presumption as to the place of endorsement.
Unless the contrary is proved, an endorsement shall be deemed to have been written on the bill at the place where the endorsement is dated.
Section 3. Acceptance
Art. 757. - Presentment for acceptance.
Until maturity a bill of exchange may be presented to the drawee for acceptance at his domicile, either by the holder or by a person who is merely in possession of the bill.
Art. 758. - Order or prohibition as to presentment.
1. In any bill of exchange the drawer may stipulate that it be presented for acceptance with or without fixing a limit of time for presentment.
2. Except in the case of a bill payable at the address of a third party or in a locality other than that of the domicile of the drawee or of a bill drawn payable at a fixed period after sight, the drawer may prohibit presentment for acceptance.
3. He may also stipulate that presentment for acceptance shall not take place before a fixed date.
4. Unless the drawer has prohibited acceptance, every endorser may stipulate that the bill shall be presented for acceptance with or without fixing a limit of time for presentment.
Art. 759. – Obligation to present for acceptance bills of exchange payable lit a fixed period after sight.
1. Bills of
exchange payable at a fixed period after sight shill he presented for
acceptance within one year of their date.
2. The drawer may shorten or extend this period.
3. These periods may be shortened by the endorsers.
Art. 760. – Presentment a second time.
1. The drawee to
whom a bill is presented may demand that such bill be presented again to him on
the following day. Parties interested may not set up that this demand has not
been complied with unless such demand -is mentioned in the protest.
2. The holder shall not be hound to surrender to the drawee a bill presented for acceptance.
Art. 761. – Form of acceptance.
1. An acceptance
shall he written on the hill of exchange and expressed by the word “accepted”
or any other similar words. It shall be signed by the drawee. The simple
signature of the drawee on the face of the bill constitute an acceptance.
2. When the bill is payable at a certain time after sight or when it is to be presented for acceptance within a certain limit of time in accordance with a special stipulation, the acceptance shall be dated as of the day when the acceptance is given, unless the holder requires that it shall be dated as of the day of presentment. If it is undated, the holder in order to preserve his right of recourse against the endorsers and the drawer shall authenticate the omission by a protest drawn up within the proper time.
Art. 762. – Restrictive acceptance.
1. An acceptance
is unconditional but the drawee may restrict it to part of the sum payable.
2. Any other modification introduced by an acceptance in the terms of the bill of exchange shall be deemed to be a refusal to accept. The acceptor shall be bound according to the terms of his acceptance.
Art. 763. – Domiciliation and place of payment.
1. Where the
drawer of a bill has indicated place of payment other than the domicile of the
drawee without specifying a third part y a I whose address payment is to be
made, the drawee may name such third party at the time of acceptance. In
default of this indication, the acceptor shall be deemed to have undertaken to
pay the hill himself at the place of payment.
2. If a bill is payable at .the domicile of, the drawee, the latter may in his acceptance indicate an address in the same place where payment is to be made.
Art. 764. – Effect of acceptance.
1. By accepting
the drawee undertakes to pay the bill of exchange at its maturity.
2. In default of payment the holder, notwithstanding that he is the drawer, may claim under .the bill of exchange against the acceptor for all that can be demanded in accordance with Art. 791 and 792.
Art. 765. – Cancelled acceptance.
1. Where the
drawee who has written his acceptance on a bii1ilbas cancelled it before
restoring the bill, acceptance shall be deemed to be refused. Unless the
contrary is proved the cancellation shall be deemed to have taken place before
the bill was restored.
2. If the drawee has notified his acceptance in writing to the holder or to any party who has signed the bill, he is liable to such parties according to the terms of his acceptance.
Section 4. Acceptance for honour
Art. 766. – Acceptor for honour.
1. Payment of a bill
of exchange may be guaranteed by an acceptance for honour as to the whole or
part of its amount.
2. This guarantee may be given by a third person or even by a person who has signed as a party to the bill.
Art. 767. – Forms of acceptance for honour.
1. The acceptance
for honour shall be given either on the bin itself or on an allonge, or by
separate act showing the place where it is made.
2. It shall be expressed by, the words “good as acceptance for honour” any other similar words followed by the signature of the acceptor for honour.
3. It shall be effective on the sign8lture of the acceptor for honour placed as provided in sub-art. (2).
4. An acceptance for honour shall specify for whose account it is given. In default of this, it shall be deemed to be given for the drawer.
Art. 768. – Effects of acceptance for honour.
1. The acceptor
for honour shall be bound in the same manner as the person for whom he has
become guarantor. .
2. His undertaking shall be valid even when the liability which he has guaranteed is inoperative for any reason other than defect of form.
3. Where he pays a bill of exchange, he may exercise the rights arising out of the bill of exchange against the person guaranteed and against those who are liable to the latter on the bill of exchange.
Section 5. Maturity
Art. 769. – Categories of
1. A bill of exchange may be drawn payable:
a. at sight;
b. at a fixed period after sight;
c. at a fixed period after date;
d. at a fixed date.
2. Bills of exchange at other maturities or payable by instalments shall be null and void.
Art. 770. – Bills of exchange at sight.
1. A bill of
exchange at sight is payable on presentment. It shall be presented for payment
within a year of its date. The drawer may shorten or extend this period. These
periods may be shortened by the endorsers.
2. The drawer may stipulate that a hill of exchange payable at sight shall not be presented for payment before a fixed date. In this ease the period for presentment shall nm from the said date.
Art. 771. – Bills of exchange payable at a fixed period after sight.
1. The maturity of
a bill of exchange payable at a fixed period after sight shall be determined
either by the date of the acceptance or by the date of the protest.
2. In the absence of, the protest, an undated acceptance shall be deemed, so far as regards the acceptor, to have been given on the last day of the limit of time for presentment for acceptance.
Art. 772. – Calculation of periods.
1. Where a bill of
exchange is drawn at one or more months after dale or after sight, the bill
shall mature on the corresponding date of the month when payment shall be made.
If there be no corresponding date, the bill shall mature on the last day of
2. When a bill of exchange is drawn at one or more months, and a half after date or sight, entire months shall first be calculated.
3. The maturity is fixed at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of a month, this shall mean the first, fifteenth or last day of the month respectively.
4. The words “eight days” or “fifteen days” shall indicate not one or two weeks but an actual period of eight or fifteen days.
5. The words “half month” shall mean a period of fifteen days.
Art. 773. – Differences in calendars.
1. Where a bill of
exchange, is payable on a fixed day in a place where the calendar is different
from the calendar in the place of issue, the day of maturity shall be deemed to
be fixed to the calendar of the place of payment.
2. Where a bill of exchange drawn between two places having different calendars is payable at a fixed period after date, the day of issue shall be referred to the equivalent day of the calendar in the place of payment and the maturity shall be fixed accordingly.
3. The time for presenting bills of exchange shall be calculated as provided in sub-art. (1) and (2).
4. This Article shall not apply if a different form of calculation bas been expressly provided in the instrument or results from the particulars entered therein.
Section 6. Payment
Art. 774. – Presentment for payment.
1. The holder of a
bill of exchange payable on a fixed day or at a fixed period after date or
after sight shall present, the bill for payment either on the day on which it
is payable or on one of the two business days which follow.
2. The presentment of a bill of exchange at a financial institution approved by the Government shall amount to presentment for payment.
Art. 775. – Receipts. Partial payment.
1. The drawee who
pays a bill of exchange may require that it be surrendered to him receipted by
2. The holder may not refuse partial payment.
3. In case of partial payment, the drawee may require that mention of this payment be made on the bill and that a receipt therefore he given to him.
4. Payments made on account on the sum expressed in a bill of exchange shall discharge the drawer and the endorser.
5. The holder shall protest the bill of exchange for the remainder.
Art. 776. – Payment in advance and payment maturity.
1. The holder of a
bill of exchange cannot be compelled to receive payment thereof before
2. The drawee who pays before maturity does so at his own risk and peril.
3. He who pays at maturity is validly discharged, unless he has been guilty of fraud or committed a fault. He shall be bound to verify the regularity of the series of endorsements but not the signature of the endorsers.
Art. 777. – Payment in a foreign currency.
1. When a bill of
exchange is drawn payable in a currency which is not that of the p1ace of
payment, the sum payable may be paid in the currency of the place of payment,
according to its value on the date of maturity. If the debtor is in default,
the holder may at his option demand that the amount of the bill be paid in the
currency of the place of payment according to the rate on, the day of maturity
or the day of payment.
2. The drawer may specify that the sum payable shall be calculated according to a rate expressed in the bill.
3. The foregoing rules shall not apply to the case in which the drawer has stipulated that payment shall be made in a certain specified currency (provision for payment in foreign currency).
4. If the amount of the bill of exchange is specified in a currency having ~he same denomination, but a different value in the country of issue and the country of payment, reference shall be deemed to be made to the currency of the place of payment.
Art. 778. – Deposit.
When a bill or exchange is not presented for payment within the limit of time fixed by Art. 774, any debtor is authorised, to deposit the amount with a financial institution approved by the Government at the charge, risk and peril of the holder.
Art. 779. – Opposition to payment.
Payment may only be opposed in the case of loss of the bill of exchange or the bankruptcy of the holder.
Section 7. Recourse for lion-acceptance or non-payment
Art. 780. Recourse of the holder.
The holder may
exercise his right of recourse against the endorsers, the drawer and other
1. at maturity, where payment has not been made; or
2. before maturity:
a. if there has been total or partial refusal to accept; or
b. in the event or bankruptcy of the drawee, whether he has accepted or not, or in the event of a stoppage of payment on his part even when not declared by a judgment, or where execution has been levied on his goods without result; or
c. in the event of bankruptcy of the drawer of a non -acceptable hill.
Art. 781. – Protest. Conditions and periods.
1. Default of
drawn up payment).
2. A dated declaration, written on the bill itself may replace this deed, except where the drawer, in the text of; the bill itself, stipulates for a protest by dede drawn up by a public officer.
3. Protest for non-acceptance shall be made within the limit of time fixed for presentment for acceptance. Where, in the case provided in Art. 760 (1), the first presentment takes place on the last day of that time, the protest may be drawn up on, the next day.
4. Protest for non-payment of a bill of exchange payable on a fixed day or at a fixed period after sight shall be made on one of the two working days following the day on which the bill is payable. In the case of a bill payable at sight, the protest shall be made as provided in sub-art. (3).
5. Presentment for payment and protest for non-payment shall not be necessary where protest for non-acceptance is made.
6. Where the drawee, whether he has accepted or not, has suspended payment or where execution on his goods has been unsuccessful, the holder may not exercise his right of recource until after presentment of the bill to the drawee for payment and after the protest has been drawn up.
7. Where the drawee, whether he has accepted or not, is declared bankrupt, or where the drawer of a non-acceptable bill is declared bankrupt, the production of the judgment in bankruptcy shall enable the holder to exercise his right of recourse.
Art. 782. – Responsible public officer.
A protest shall be drawn up by a notary or by a court registrar.
Art. 783. – Place of drawing-up of the protest.
A protest shall
be drawn up, in one document:
a. at the domicile of1ihe person on whom the bill of exchange was payable or at his last known domicile;
b. at the domicile of the persons specified on the bill of exchange as paying it in need;
c. at the domicile of the third party having accepted by intervention.
Art. 784. – Requirements.
1. A protest shall
a. The name of the person or business organisation for and against whom it is drawn up;
b. a statement that the person or business organisation against which the protest is drawn up have been unsuccessfully summoned to satisfy the entitlement arising out of the bill of exchange, or that they cannot be found;
c. the place and day on which the summons was made or unsuccessfully presented;
d. the signature of the person who has drawn up the protest.
2. Any partial payment shall be stated in the protest.
3. Where the drawee to whom a bill of exchange is presented for acceptance requires that a second presentment be made on the day after, this request shall be entered in the protest.
Art. 785. – Form of the protest.
1. A protest shall
be drawn up by separate act and attached to the bill of exchange.
2. Where the protest is drawn up on presentment of identical parts of the same bill of exchange or of the original and a copy of the bill, it shall be attached to any of the parts or to the original bill.
3. A note to this effect shall be made on the other parts or on the copy.
Art. 786. – Partial acceptance.
Where acceptance is limited to a part of the amount and a protest is drawn up to this effect, a copy of the hill shall be made and the protest written on this copy.
Art. 787.- Copy of the protest.
officer has drawn up the protest shall make a copy thereof which shall contain:
a. the amount payable;
b. the date of maturity;
c. the place and date of issue of the bill of exchange;
d. the drawer, the drawee, and the person of business organisation to whom or to whose order payment should he made;
e. the person or business organisation required to pay, if not the drawee;
f. those persons designated as having to pay in case of need and persons accepting by intervention.
Art. 788. – Notice.
1. The holder
shall give notice of non-acceptance or non-payment to his endorser and to the
drawer within the four working days, which follow the day of protest or, in
case of provision “retour sand frais,” the day of presentment.
2. The public officer who has drawn up the protest shall inform in writing the persons bound by the bill of exchange whose addresses are either specified on the bill of exchange or known to the public officer or specified by the persons having required the protest. The expenses arising out of such notice shall be added to the costs of the protest.
3. Every endorser shall within the two working days following the day an which he receives notice, notify his endorser of the notice the has received, mentioning the names and addresses of, those who have given the previous notices, and so on through the series until the drawer is reached. The periods mentioned above shall run from the receipt of the preceding notice.
4. Where in accordance with sub-art. (3) notice is given, to a person who has signed a bill of exchange, the same notice shall be given within the same limit of time to his acceptor for honour.
5. Where an endorser either has not specified his address or has specified it in an illegible manner, notice shall he given to the preceding endorser.
6. A person required to give notice may give it in any form or by returning the bill of exchange.
7. He shall show that he has given notice within the prescribed time. This time-limit shall be deemed to have been observed if a letter giving the notice has been pasted within the prescribed time.
8. A person who does not give notice within the prescribed time shall not forfeit his rights. He shall be liable for the damage, if any, caused by his negligence, but the damages shall not exceed the amount of the hill of exchange.
Art. 789. – Provision “sans protet”.
1. The drawer, an
endorser or acceptor for honour may, by the provision “retour sans frais,”
“sans protet” or any other similar words written on the instrument and signed,
release the holder from having a protest of non-acceptance or non-payment drawn
up in order to exercise his right of recourse.
2. This provision shall not release the holder from presenting the bill within the prescribed time, nor from the notices he is required to give. The burden of proving the non-observance of the limits of time lies on the person who seeks to set it up against the holder.
3. Where the provision is written by the drawer, it shall be effective against all persons who have signed the bill; where it is written by an endorser or acceptor for honour, it shall be effective against such endorser or acceptor for honour.
4. Where, in spite of the provision written by the drawer, the holder has the protest drawn up, he shall bear the expenses thereof. Where the provision has been written by an endorser or acceptor for honour, the costs of the protest, if any, may be recovered from all the persons who have signed the bill.
Art. 790. – Joint and several guarantee of persons bound by bill.
1. All drawers,
acceptors, endorsers or acceptors for honour of a bill of exchange shall be
jointly and severally liable to the holder.
2. The holder may claim against all these persons individually or collectively without being required to observe the order in which they have become liable.
3. Any person signing the bill who has taken it up and paid it has the same right.
4. Proceedings against one of the parties liable shall not bar proceedings against the others, even though they may be subsequent to the party first proceeded against.
Art. 791. – Extent of the right of recourse of the holder.
1. The holder may
recover from the person against whom he exercises his right of recourse:
a. the amount of the unaccepted or unpaid bill of exchange with interest, if interest has been provided for;
b. interest at the legal rate from the date of maturity;
c. the expenses of protest and of the notices given as well as other expenses;
d. a commission not exceeding one third per cent.
2. Where the right of recourse is exercised before maturity, the amount of the bill shall be subject to a discount which shall he calculated according to the official rate of discount ruling on the date when recourse is exercised at the place of domicile of the holder.
Art. 792. – Extent of the right of recourse of a person who takes up and pays.
A party who takes
up and pays a hill of exchange can recover from the parties liable to him:
a. the entire sum which he has paid;
b. interest on the said sum calculated at the legal rate, starting from the day when he made payment;
c. any expenses which he has incurred;
d. a commission not exceeding two per mille.
Art. 793. – Right to surrender of the bill, to the protest and a receipted account.
1. Any party
against whom a right of recourse is or may be exercised may require against
payment that the bill be surrendered the protest and a receipted account.
2. Any endorser who has taken up and paid a bill of exchange may cancel his own endorsement and those of subsequent endorsers.
Art.794. – Right of recourse after partial acceptance.
1. Where the right
of recourse is exercised after a partial acceptance the party who pays the sum
in respect of which the bill has not been accepted may require that this
payment be specified on the bill and that he be given a receipt therefore.
2. The holder shall give him a certified copy of the bill, together with the protest, in order to permit subsequent recourse to be exercised.
Art. 795. – Redraft.
1. Any person
having the right of recourse may, in the absence of agreement to the contrary,
reimburse himself by means of a fresh bill (redraft) to the drawn at sight on
one of the parties liable to him and payable at the domicile of that party.
2. The redraft shall include, in addition to the sums mentioned in Art. 791 and 792, brokerage and stamp duty to be paid on the redraft.
3. If the redraft is drawn by the holder, the sum payable shall be fixed original bill was payable upon the party liable at the place of his domicile.
4. If the redraft is drawn by an endorser, the sum payable shall be fixed according to the rate for a sight bill drawn at the place where the drawer of the redraft is domiciled upon the place of domicile of the party liable.
Art. 796. – Loss of rights of recourse.
1. After the
expiration of the limits of time fixed for, the presentment of a bill of
exchange drawn at sight or at a fixed period after sight or for drawing up the
protest for non-acceptance or non payment or for presentment for payment in the
case of a provision “retour sans frais,” the holder loses his rights of
recourse against endorsers, against the drawer and against the other parties
liable, with the exception of the acceptor.
2. In default of presentment for acceptance within the limit of time stipulated by the drawer, the holder loses his right of recourse for non-payment, as well as for non-acceptance, unless it appears from the terms of the provision, that the drawer only meant to release himself from the guarantee of acceptance.
3. Where the provision for a limit of time for presentment is contained in an endorsement, the endorser alone can avail himself thereof.
Art. 797. – Force majeure.
1. Where the
presentment of the hill of exchange or the drawing up of the protest within the
prescribed time is absolutely prevented (legal prohibition by any State or
other cases of force majeure), these limits of time shall he extended.
2. The holder shall give notice without delay of the case of force majeure to his endorser and specify this notice, which he shall date and sign, on the bill or on an allonge; in other respects the provisions of Art. 788 shall apply.
3. Where force majeure has terminated, Thee holder shall without delay present the hill of exchange for acceptance or payment and, where necessary, draw up the protest.
4. Where force majeure continues to operate beyond thirty days after maturity, recourse may he exercised, and neicl1er presentment the drawing up of II protest shall be necessary necessary.
5. In the case of
bills of exchange drawn at sight or at a fixed period after sight, the time
limit of thirty days shall run from the date on which the holder, even before
the expiration of the time for presentment, has given notice of force majeure
to his endorser. In the case of bills of exchange drawn at a certain time after
sight, the above time-limit of thirty days shall be added to the period after
sight specified in the bill of exchange.
6. Facts which are purely personal to the holder or to the person entrusted with the presentment to the bill or drawing up of the protest shall not be deemed to constitute cases of force majeure.
Art. 798. – Sequestration of the movable property of parties bound by bill.
A part from the conditions prescribed for the bringing of proceedings for guarantee, the holder of a bill of exchange who has protested for non- payment may, with the permission of the court, attach the movable property of the drawers, acceptors and endorses.
Art. 799. – Proceedings for unlawful enrichment.
1. The drawer and
the acceptor shall he liable to the holder up amount of the sum by which they
have unlawfully enriched themselves at his expense, even where their
obligations under the hill of exchange have terminated by reason of extinctive
prescription or limitation actions.
2. Proceedings for unlawful enrichment may be brought against the drawee, the third party at whose domicile the bill is payable and the person or business organisation on whose behalf the bill was drawn.
3. Endorsers whose obligations have terminated cannot he made the subject of these proceedings.
4. These proceedings may not be brought unless the holder cannot bring causal proceedings.
Art. 800. – Reservation of causal proceedings.
1. The proceedings
arising out of the legal relations on which the issue or transfer of the bill
of exchange is based shall subsist, unless it is proved that there has been
2. These proceedings can only be brought if non-acceptance or nonpayment has been evidenced by a protest.
3. The holder may not bring causal proceedings unless he offers to retore to the debtor the bill of exchange, at the same 1Iime depositing in with the court registrar, after satisfying the necessll1’y formalities for preserving to the debtor shall proceedings by way of recourse which the latter may be entitled to bring.
Art. 801. – Cover for a bill and its transfer to succeeding holders.
1. A bill of
exchange is covered when at maturity the drawee is in possession of securities
or guarantees sufficient to fully cover the hill and which arc intended by the
drawer or the principal to secure the payment of the bill.
2. Where the drawer is bankrupt, the civil proceedings which he could have brought against the drawee for restitution of the cover or repayment of the amounts by which the latter was credited devolve upon the holder of the bill of exchange. The right to bring these proceedings is transmitted to succeeding holders by way of endorsement.
3. Where a drawer declared bankrupt has endorsed the bill of exchange and has set up the cover during the suspected period, the provisions of sub-art. (2) shall not apply.
4. The debt arising out of the cover ill the hands of the drawee at the time that a claim can be made on the bill of exchange is preferred as regards the creditors of the drawer.
5. The drawee may not release himself from the cover where the holder prohibits him from doing so. This prohibition may be made by registered letter followed by the bringing of proceeding within fifteen days from the date of maturity. A protest for non-payment is equivalent to a prohibition under this Article.
Section 8. Intervention for honour
Art. 802. – General provisions.
1. The drawer, an
endorser or an acceptor for honour may specify a person who is to accept or pay
in case of need.
2. A bill of exchange may, subject as hereinafter mentioned, he accepted or paid by a person who intervenes for the honour of any debtor against whom a right of recourse exists.
3. The person intervening may be a third party, even the drawee, or save the acceptor, a party already liable on the bill of exchange.
4. The person intervening is bound to give, within two working days, notice of his intervention to the party for whose honour he has intervened. In default, he shall be liable for the damage, if any, due to his negligence, but the damages shall not exceed the amount of the bill of exchange.
Art. 803. – Acceptance by intervention. Conditions. Position of the holder.
1. Acceptance by
intervention may be given in all cases where the holder has a right of recourse
before maturity on a bill which is capable of acceptance.
2. Where the hill of exchange specifies a person who is designated to accept or pay it in case of need at the place of payment, the holder may not exercise his rights of recourse before maturity against the person naming such referee in case of need and against subsequent signatories, unless he has presented the bill of exchange to, the referee in case of need and until, if acceptance is refused by the latter, this refusal has been authenticated by a protest.
3. In other cases of intervention the holder may refuse an acceptance by intervention. Where he allows it, he loses his right of recourse before maturity against the person on whose behalf such acceptance was given and against subsequent signatories.
Art. 804. – Forms.
Acceptance by intervention shall be specified on the bill of exchange. It shall be signed by the person intervening. It shall mention the person or whose honour it has been given. In default of such mention, the acceptance shall be deemed to, have been given for the honour of the drawer.
Art. 805. – Obligations of the acceptor. Position as to right of recourse.
1. The acceptor by
intervention is liable to the holder and to the endorsers, subsequent to, the
party for whose honour he intervened, in the same manner as such party.
2. Notwithstanding an acceptance by intervention, the person for whom it has been given and the acceptors for honour may require the holder, in exchange for payment of the sum mentioned in Art. 792, to deliver the bill, the protest and a receipted account, if any.
Art. 806. – Payment by intervention. Conditions.
1. Payment by
intervention may, take place in all cases where, either at maturity or before
maturity, vile holder has a right of recourse on the bill.
2. Payment shall include the whole amount payable by the party for whose honour it is made.
3. It shall be made at the latest on the day following the last day allowed for drawing up the protest for non-payment.
Art. 807. – Obligations of the holder.
1. Where a bill of
exchange has been accepted by persons intervening who are domiciled in the
place of payment, or where persons domiciled there have been named as referees
in case of need, the holder shall present the bill to all these persons and,
where necessary, have a protest for non-payment drawn up at the latest on the
day following the last day allowed for drawing up the protest.
2. In default of protest within this limit of time, the party who has named the referee in case of need or for whose account the bill has been accepted,
3. and the subsequent endorsers shall be discharged.
Art. 808. – Consequences of refusal.
The holder who refuses payment by intervention shall lose his right of recourse against any person who would have been discharged, thereby.
Art. 809. – Right to delivery of the bill, the protest and the receipt.
1. Payment by
intervention shall be authenticated by a receipt given on the bill of exchange
mentioning the person for whose honour payment has been made. In default of
such mention, payment shall he deemed to have been made for the honour of the
2. The bill of exchange and the protest, it any, shall be surrendered to the person paying by intervention.
Art. 810. – Transfer of rights of the holder. Competition for payment by intervention.
1. The person
paying by intervention shall acquire the rights arising out of the bill of exchange
against the party for whose honour he :has paid and against ‘persons who are
liable to the latter on the bill of exchange. He may not re-endorse the bill of
2. Endorsers subsequent to the party for whose honour payment has been made shall be discharged.
3. In the case of competition for payment by intervention, the payment which effects the greater number of releases has the preference. Any person who, with knowledge of the facts, intervenes in a manner contrary to this rule shall lose his right of recourse against those who would have been discharged.
Section 9. Parts of a set and copies
Art. 811. – Parts of a set. Right to
1. A bill of exchange may be drawn in several identical parts.
2. These parts shall he numbered in the body of the instrument itself or each part shall be regarded as a separate bill of exchange.
3. Every holder of a bill which does not specify that it has been drawn as a sole bill may, at his own expense, require the delivery of several parts. For this purpose, he shall apply to his immediate endorsers who shall assist him in proceeding against his own endorser, and so on in the series until the drawer is reached. The endorsers shall reproduce their endorsements on the new part of the set.
Art. 812. – Relation between parts of a set.
1. Payment made on
one part of a set operates as a discharge, even though there is no provision
that his payment annuls the effect of the other parts. The drawee shall be
liable on each accepted part which he has not recovered.
2. An endorser who has transferred parts of a set to different persons, as well as subsequent endorsers, shall be liable on all the parts bearing their signature which, have not been restored.
Art. 813. – Swiement as to acceptance.
1. A party who has
sent one part for acceptance shall specify on the other parts the name of the
person in whose hands this part is to be found. That person shall surrender it
to the lawful holder of another part.
2. Where he refuses, the holder may not exercise his right of recourse until he has had a protest drawn up specifying:
a. that the part sent for acceptance has not been surrendered to him on his demand;
b. that acceptance or payment could not be obtained of another part.
Art. 814. – Form and effects.
1. Every holder of
a bill of exchange has the right to make copies of it.
2. A copy shall reproduce the original exactly with the endorsements and all other statements therein. It shall specify where the copy ends.
3. It may be endorsed and guaranteed by acceptance for honour in the same manner and with the same effects as the original.
Art. 815. – Delivery of the original.
1. A copy shall
specify, the person in possession of the original instrument. The latter shall
hand over the said instrument to the lawful holder of the copy.
2. Where he refuses, the holder may not exercise his right of recourse against the persons who have endorsed the copy or guaranteed it by acceptance for honour until he has had a protest drawn up specifying that the original has not been surrendered to him on his demand.
3. Where 1ihe original instrument, after the last endorsement before the making of the copy, contains a provision “commencing from here an endorsement is only valid if made on the copy” or any other similar words, a subsequent endorsement on the original shall be null and void.
Section 10. Alterations
Art. 816. – Extent of the
obligations of signatories.
In case of alteration of the, text of a bill of exchange, parties who have signed subsequent to the alteration shall be bound by the terms of the altered text; parties who have signed before the alteration shall be boundby die terms of the original text.
Section 11. Limitation of actions
Art. 817. – Periods.
1. All actions arising out of a bill of exchange against the acceptor shall be barred after three years from the date of maturity.
2. Actions by the holder against the endorers and against the drawer shall be barred after one year from the date of a protest drawn up within proper time, or from the date of maturity where there is a provision “retour sans frais.”
3. Actions by endorsers against each other and against the drawer shall be barred after six months from the day when the endorser took up and paid the bill or from the day when he himself was sued.
4. Limitation shall run, in the case of legal proceedings, from the date of the conclusion of the last proceedings.
5. Limitation shall not apply where judgment has been pronounced or if the debt has been acknowledged by separate act.
Art. 818. – Interruption.
1. The period of
limitation shall be interrupted by the bringing of an action, by notice being
given of a third party action or by lodging a claim in bankruptcy.
2. Interruption of the period of limitation is only effective against the person in respect of whom the period has been interrupted.
3. Where the period of limitation is interrupted, a further period of the same duration shall begin to run.
Section 12. General provisions
Art. 819. – Time limits. Holidays.
1. Payment of a bill of exchange which falls due on a public holiday cannot be demanded until the next working day. Any other proceedings relating to bill of exchange, in particular presentment for acceptance and protest can only be taken on a working day.
2. Where any of these proceedings must be taken within a certain limit of time the last day of which is a public holiday, the limit of time is extended until the first working day which follows the expiration of that time. Holidays which occur during the period shall be included in calculating limits of time.
Art. 820. – Days regarded as official holidays.
Days on which, under the provision of the laws in force, no payment can be required nor any protest drawn up, shall be deemed to be public holidays.
Art. 821. – Calculation of time limits.
Legal or contractual limits of time shall not include the day on which the period begins to run.
Art. 822. – Prohibition of days of grace.
No day of grace
may be granted.