Acquisition of Stolen or Lost Movable Property in Good Faith in Korea

Pursuant to Article 249 of the Civil Act in Korea, if a person, who peaceably and openly was assigned a movable property, had possession of it in good faith and without negligence, the person is deemed to have acquired its ownership immediately, even if the assigner is not a legal owner.

In other words, as long as it was ‘peaceably’ and ‘openly’ and the person was ‘in good faith’ ‘without any negligence’, unless there is any particular circumstance otherwise, bona fide acquisition is deemed to establish. Since a possessor is presumed to be in possession ‘openly’, ‘peaceably’ and ‘in good faith’ (Article 197(1) of the Civil Act), generally speaking once a buyer who has purchased and is in possession of a movable property, bona fide acquisition of the movable property is deemed established.

Nevertheless, in case of any stolen or lost movable property, a person who has been robbed of it or lost it may demand its return within 2 years from the time when it was stolen or lost, and the bona fide acquisition as above does not apply (Article 250 of the Civil Act).