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Bills of Exchange

Bills of Exchange
Product Code: 15/1001
Availability: In Stock
Price: £10.65

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

Simply put, it is not an IOU but a "you owe me" and is a negotiable and unconditional document of title where the contract allows. It is only raised, of course, with the agreement of the importer. It can be passed on to another party by being endorsed upon the back but only for the full amount stated upon the front. Payment can be demanded immediately upon presentation (sight) or can be after a period of time. This period is known as "usance" or "tenor" and such a bill of exchange is sometimes known as a term bill.

Bills of exchange can be "clean" bills whereby there are either no other documents involved or where the documents are passed directly to the importer along with a bill of exchange for the importer to sign and accept - therefore enabling payment to be collected. They can also be "documentary" bills of exchange which are more secure given the fact that the documents are only passed to the importer after the Bill of Exchange has been paid or accepted. Naturally the types of document required are agreed in advance.

If the Bill of Exchange is worded "at sight" or "on demand" then the importer would pay in order to get the documents. This is known as "documents against payment"; if the Bill of Exchange allows a payment term then it is known as "documents against acceptance."

If you require a bespoke Bill of Exchange, with your company's logo and contact details, please contact our documentation team on 01908 221 162 or email


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