Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

Bill of Exchange

A bill of exchange, a short-term negotiable instrument, is a signed, unconditional, written order binding one party to pay a fixed sum of money to another party on demand or at a predetermined date. A bill of exchange is sometimes called draft or draught, but draft usually applies to domestic transactions only.

What is Bill of Exchange?

1. A signed, written order by one company that instructs another company to pay a third party a specific amount.

2. An unconditional written order addressed by one person to another and signed by the person placing it. It requires the person, to whom it is addressed, to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time, a certain sum of money to the order of a specified person or to bearer. The drawee is not liable on it until he has accepted it.

3. Usually used in foreign transactions.