1.   Short title.

   2.   Interpretation.


Form and Interpretation

   3.   Definition.

   4.   Inland and foreign bills.

   5.   Effect where different parties to bill are the same person.

   6.   Address to 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 bill.

   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 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.   Bill not assignment of 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.   Presentment 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.


   73.   Definition.

   74.   Presentment of cheque for payment.

   75.   Revocation of banker's authority.

Crossed Cheques

   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 of bankers paying unindorsed cheques, etc.

   83.   Rights of bankers collecting unindorsed cheques.

   84.   An unindorsed cheque evidence of payment.

   85.   Protection of bankers collecting payment of cheques, etc.

   86.   Application of certain provisions of this Act to certain instruments.

   87.   Application.

   88.   Application of sections 76 to 87 to bankers' drafts.


   89.   Definition.

   90.   Delivery necessary.

   91.   Joint and several notes.

   92.   Note payable on demand.

   93.   Presentment of note for payment.

   94.   Liability of maker.

   95.   Application of Part II to notes.


   96.   Good faith.

   97.   Signature.

   98.   Computation of time.

   99.   When noting equivalent to protest.

   100.   Protest when notary not accessible.

   101.   Dividend warrants may be crossed.

   102.   Savings.



An Act relating to bills of exchange, cheques and promissory notes.

[15th May, 1931]

Ords. Nos.
19 of 1931
2 of 1934
24 of 1938
13 of 1945
Act No.
3 of 1969
4 of 2015


1.   Short title

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

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires–

   "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;

   "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;

   "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;

   "note" means promissory note;

   "value" means valuable consideration.


Form and Interpretation (ss 3-21)

3.   Definition

   (1) 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 to bearer.

   (2) 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.

   (3) 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,

   (4) A bill is not invalid by reason–

   (a)   that it is not dated;

   (b)   that is does not specify the value given, or that any value has been given therefor; and

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

4.   Inland and foreign bills

   (1) An inland bill is a bill which is or on the face of it purports to be–

   (a)   both drawn and payable within East Africa; or

   (b)   drawn within East Africa upon some person resident therein and any other bill is a foreign bill.

   (2) Unless the contrary appears on the face of the bill the holder may treat it as an inland bill.

   (3) For the purposes of this section the expression "East Africa" means the Republic of Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda.

5.   Effect where different parties to bill are the same person

   (1) 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.

   (2) 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 to drawee

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

   (2) 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

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

   (2) 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 and a bill may also be made payable to the holder of an office for the time being.

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

8.   What bills are negotiable

   (1) 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.

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

   (3) 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.

   (4) 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.

   (5) 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

   (1) 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.

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

   (3) 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

   (1) 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.

   (2) 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.

   An instrument expressed to be payable on a contingency is not a bill, and the happening of the event does not cure the defect.

12.   Omission of date in bill payable after date

   Where a bill expressed to be payable at a fixed period after the date is issued undated, or where the acceptance of a bill payable at a fixed period after sight is undated, any holder may insert therein the true date of issue or acceptance, and the bill shall be payable accordingly:

   Provided that–

   (a)   where the holder in good faith and by mistake inserts a wrong date; and

   (b)   in every case where a wrong date is inserted,

if the bill subsequently comes into the hands of holder in due course the bill shall not be avoided but shall operate and be payable as if the date so inserted had been the true date.

13.   Ante-dating and post-dating

   (1) Where a bill or an acceptance or any indorsement is dated, the date shall, unless the contrary be proved, be deemed to be the true date of the drawing, acceptance, or indorsement, as the case may be.

   (2) A bill is not invalid by reason only that it is ante-dated or post-dated or that it bears date on a Sunday.

14.   Computation of time of payment

   Where a bill is not payable on demand the day on which it falls due is determined as follows:

   (a)   Three days, called "days of grace", are, in every case where the bill itself does not otherwise provide, added to the time of payment as fixed by the bill, and the bill is due and payable on the last day of grace:

      Provided that–

      (i)   when the last day of grace falls on Sunday, Christmas Day, or Good Friday, the bill is, except in the case hereinafter provided for, due and payable on the preceding business day;

      (ii)   when the last day of grace is a public holiday, other than Christmas Day or Good Friday under the Public Holidays Act *, or when the last day of grace is a Sunday and the second day of grace is a public holiday, the bill is due and payable on the succeeding business day.

   (b)   Where a bill is payable at a fixed period after date, after sight, or after the happening of a specified event, the time of payment is determined by excluding the day from which the time is to begin to run and by including the day of payment.

   (c)   Where a bill is payable at a fixed period after sight, the time begins to run from the date of the acceptance if the bill be accepted, and from the date of noting or protest if the bill be noted or protested for non-acceptance, or for non-delivery.

   (d)   The term "month" in a bill means calendar month.

15.   Case of need

   (1) The drawer of a bill and any indorser may insert therein the name of a person to whom the holder may resort in case of need, that is to say, in case the bill is dishonoured by non-acceptance or non-payment and such person is called the "referee in case of need".

   (2) It is in the option of the holder to resort to the referee in case of need or not as he may think fit.

16.   Optional stipulations by drawer or indorser

   The drawer of a bill, and any indorser, may insert therein an express stipulation–

   (a)   negativing or limiting his own liability to the holder;

   (b)   waiving as regards himself some or all of the holder's duties.

17.   Definition and requisites of acceptance

   (1) The acceptance of a bill is the signification by the drawee of his assent to the order of the drawer.

   (2) An acceptance is invalid unless it complies with the following conditions, namely–

   (a)   it must be written on the bill and be signed by the drawee and the mere signature of the drawee without additional words is sufficient;

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