Swiss Civil Code

Swiss Civil Code


ZGB Art. 720 Fund

  1. Anyone who finds a lost item must notify the owner and, if he/she does not know the owner, either report the find to the police or ensure that he/she makes an appropriate announcement and inquiry.
  2. He is obliged to notify the police if the value of the item obviously exceeds 10 francs.
  3. Anyone who finds an object in an inhabited house or in an establishment serving public use or traffic must hand it over to the landlord, tenant or the persons entrusted with its supervision.


ZGB Art. 722 Acquisition of ownership, surrender

  1. Anyone who fulfills their obligations as a finder acquires ownership of the property for five years from the date of publication or notification.
  2. If the item is returned, the finder is entitled to reimbursement of all expenses and an appropriate finder's fee.
  3. If the item is found in an inhabited house or in an establishment serving public use or traffic, the owner of the house, the tenant or the establishment is considered the finder, but is not entitled to a finder's fee.


Ordinance on the Carriage of Passengers Art. 77

Section 3: Lost property

  1. Anyone who finds a lost item on the premises of a company or in a vehicle must hand it over to the staff immediately.
  2. The company is considered to be the finder, but cannot claim a finder's fee.
  3. The company must notify the person who lost the item if it knows them and store the lost property appropriately.
  4. After the company has kept the lost property for three months, it can auction it off. The auction must be publicized. Lost property with a current value of no more than CHF 50 may be auctioned or sold by private treaty after one month. The proceeds take the place of the item.
  5. Lost property that requires costly maintenance or is subject to rapid deterioration may be sold immediately. The proceeds take the place of the item.


Ordinance on identity documents for Swiss nationals

Art. 24 Lost and recovered identity cards

  1. The loss of an ID card within the meaning of Article 22 shall render it invalid. The ID card may no longer be used.
  2. A found ID card may not be returned; it must be handed over to the issuing authority. This will render it unusable.


Note: The holder of an ID card must report the loss of the card to the local police as soon as it is discovered. The loss of an ID card (theft, loss or complete destruction) renders it invalid.

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