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FOREIGNER
In Cambodia, foreigner have right to own flat and apartment from first floor and right up.

For owning land submit following:

All investments in Cambodia involve the ownership, lease or concession of immovable property. According
to the investment Law on the Use of Land, the foreign investors can't own the land in Cambodia. Cambodia
Government restricts the land ownership only to Cambodian citizens. A legal entity is considered to be a
Cambodian Legal entity when 51% of the shares are owned by Cambodian citizens. The foreigners, however,
currently may lease the land for up to 35 years and renewable upon request. Cambodian's system for land
registration, land title and the rules concerning the ownership and the transfer of land are the state of
transition. Although the certificates of land ownership are available now, few landlords have obtained the
land certificate. They mostly use the receipts for ownership issued by the land department in Cambodia.
Another form is called the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP), which is applicable to undeveloped land.
The land has three categories, which are defined as below:

1 - Land for domicile shall be provided for ownership by the provincial committee or municipality.

2 - Cultivation Land I Agricultural Land is for production and exploitation. It is state land allocated for
the farmer to manage and use for production and exploitation.

3 - Concession Land is greater than 5 ha. Concessions provide the rights to occupy land for large-scale crop
production which will contribute to the national economy.
Of these three land categories, private ownership rights could be obtained only on land for domicile; whereas
on cultivation land and concession land respectively, only possession and use rights and the right to
exclusively occupy could be obtained.

TAX ON UNUSED LAND

In accordance with the announcement on Measures of Management and collection of Tax on Unused Land on
June 16, 2000, the Government has requested the citizens who have owned unused land have to declare and pay
tax debts to the state at the Tax Department no later than August 30th, 2000. Failures to do so the government
will consider such lands have no owner and take measures to use them for public benefits. A 2% tax is levied
on the assessed value of unused land and its payment is the responsible of registered owner by the size
(square meters) and value, which are determined by the committee for evaluation of undeveloped land. A 4%
registration tax is levied on the registration of ownership of real property.

CONSTRUCTION PERMIT

Before building any structure on the land or remodeling a building, the owner of the land or building must obtain
a Construction Permit signed by the Government. For the commercial building (more than 3,000 square meters) including
the hotel, the permit must be approved by the newly created Ministry of Urbanization and Construction after
submitting the documents to the construction office, the construction office will make the decision within 45 days.
The construction must be started within one year subsequent to issuance the permit. If necessary, the extension
is allowed. Upon completion, the construction must be approved by issuance of a certificate of attest the
completion of the construction.

SEVEVEN WAYS FOR FOREIGNERS TO PURCHAGE AND OWN LAND LEGALLY IN CAMBODIA

1. Through the Company
You can purchase land legally in the Kingdom of Cambodia through your Company registered in the
Ministry of Commerce with 51 local shares and 49 foreign shares based on the
Investment Law of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

2. Through a 70-year Lease Agreement
You can purchase land legally in the Kingdom of Cambodia through a 70-year Lease Agreement.
In this way, you shall need the following 3 documents:
a) Authentic Act issued by the Civil-law Notary
b) Waiver Right of the land signed by the landowner and notarized/legalized by the Civil-law Notary
c) Unlimited and Permanent Power of Attorney signed by the landowner
and notarized/legalized by the Civil-law Notary.
You have to pay off the land at one time, at the expiration of 70-year lease. The land shall be your property automatically

3. Through the Notary Service
You can purchase land legally in the Kingdom of Cambodia through the Notary Service by consignment,
while you shall make the following 3 documents:
a) Authentic Act made and issued by the Civil-law Notary;
b) Waiver Right of the Land made and issued by the Civil-law Notary;
c) Unlimited and Permanent Power of Attorney made and issued by the Civil-law Notary
to the Real Owner who purchased the Land. In this way, you shall pay monthly consignment fee in the amount of $16 to the Civil-law
Notary Counsel in order to keep, secure, protect and consign the land for you legally
in accordance with the Constitution and Laws of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

4. Through Khmer Citizenship
You can purchase land legally in the Kingdom of Cambodia if you have obtained Khmer Citizenship.

5. Through a Cambodian Citizen
You can purchase land legally in the Kingdom of Cambodia through a Cambodian Citizen who shall provide
you the following 3 documents:
a) Authentic Act issued by the Civil-law Notary
b) Waiver Right of the land signed by the landowner and notarized/legalized by the Civil-law Notary
c) Unlimited and Permanent Power of Attorney signed by the landowner and notarized/legalized by the Civil-law Notary

6. Through a Donation
You can purchase land legally in the Kingdom of Cambodia through a donation.
In this way, you shall need the following four documents:
a) A Donation signed by the landowner and notarized/legalized by the Civil-law Notary
b) Authentic Act issued by the Civil-law Notary
c) Waiver Right of the land signed by the landowner and notarized/legalized by the Civil-law Notary
d) Unlimited and Permanent Power of Attorney signed by the landowner
and notarized/legalized by the Civil-law Notary

7. Through a Mortgage Agreement
You can purchase land legally in the Kingdom of Cambodia
through a Mortgage Agreement that shall be hypothecated in the land Department of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
In this way, you shall need the following 3 documents:
a) Loan Agreement signed by the landowner and Tenant, notarized/legalized by the Civil-law Notary;
b) Waiver Right of the land signed by the landowner and notarized/legalized by the Civil-law Notary;
c) Unlimited and Permanent Power of Attorney signed by the landowner and notarized/legalized by the Civil-law Notary.

These following questions were often requested by our customers.

QUESTION:
1. You can own up to 49% of the shares?
2. How many Cambodian shareholders are needed?
3. Are the company legally able to buy and sell land and hold mortgage?
4. Are there annual taxes? 5. If you own a majority of the voting rights can you do anything the laws
allow e.g. selling assets and transferring money to another bank account?
6. If you build a house on the land purchased by the company, does the house
has to officially be an office?
7. Can an inactive company be considered as illegal by the government?

ANSWER:
1. Foreigner can own up to 49%
2. If you want to own up to 100% you can. We will do an arrangement with you where you can own 100%,
we have 14 agreements that the lawyer prepare. This you will need a Cambodian to stand in, Our company will do this
for international investor.
3.After this you can do whatever you want, buy, sell or develop.
4 and 5. Yes you have to paid taxes, our company will assist with this too. (charges involve) The profit you
make you can send back to your home country 100%, not like other country which require you to keep the gain
in the country you do business. (This is why many investor like Cambodia)
6. No,
7. Yes, But if you paid taxes every year, it ok.

LAND LAW 2002

Article 1:
This law has the objective to determine the regime of ownership for immovable properties in the Kingdom of Cambodia
for the purpose of guaranteeing the rights of ownership and other rights related to immovable property, according to
the provisions of the 1993 Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Article 2:
Immovable property within the meaning of this law includes immovable property by nature, immovable property by purpose
and immovable property by law:
-Immovable property by nature means all natural grounds such as forest land, cleared land, land that is cultivated, fallow
or uncultivated, land submerged by stagnant or running waters and constructions or improvements firmly affixed to a specific
place created by man and not likely to be moved;
-Immovable property by purpose means things fixed to the ground or incorporated into the constructions and which cannot
be separated there from without damaging them or altering them, such as trees, decorative attachments, as well. .
-Immovable property by law means all rights in rem over immovable and movable properties that are defined by law as
immovable property.
Translation notes:
Point 1.
This translation uses the word “construction” for the Khmer term [ ], meaning something that has been
built, or structures. The Khmer term [ ] literally translates “something made and firmly affixed to a specific place
created by man and not likely to be moved.” This translation uses the term “improvement,” which means “a permanent
addition to or betterment of real property that enhances its capital value and is designed to make the property more useful
or valuable as distinguished from ordinary repairs.”
Point 2.
The common English term for “immovable property by purpose” is “fixtures.”
Article 3
All persons shall respect the property of the State and legally acquired private property. The management of the
cadastral administration of immovable property belonging to the State and the competence to issue titles related to
immovable property throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia are under the authority of the Ministry of Land Management,
Urban Planning and Construction. The regulations and procedures for the administration of State immovable properties
will be determined by sub-decree.
Translation note: The word “persons” used in the first sentence is based on the Khmer word [ ], which includes natural
and legal persons. Compare with the terms used in article 9.
Explanatory note: This article is based on article 50, paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
TITLE I
– PRIVATE AND PUBLIC OWNERSHIP
Explanatory note: The words “ownership” and “property” can mean the same thing in English – the exclusive right to own,
possess and dispose of something. The word “property” also means the thing or object that a person owns. In
this translation, the word “ownership” is used for the Khmer word [ ] to mean the right to own, possess or dispose,
and the word “property” is used for the Khmer term [ ] to mean the object (land, structures, etc.)
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Chapter 1
– Principles of Ownership
Article 4
The right of ownership, recognized by Article 44 of the 1993 Constitution, applies to all immovable properties within
the Kingdom of Cambodia in accordance with the conditions set forth by this law.
Article 5
No person may be deprived of his ownership, unless it is in the public interest. An ownership deprivation shall be
carried out in accordance with the forms and procedures provided by law and regulations and after the payment of fair
and just compensation in advance.
Translation note: The word “persons” used in the first sentence is based on the Khmer word [ ], which includes natural
and legal persons. Compare with the terms used in article 9.
Article 6
Only legal possession can lead to ownership. The State may also provide to natural persons or legal entities of Khmer
nationality ownership over immovable property belonging to the State within the strict limits set forth in this law. All
transfers or changes of the rights of ownership shall be carried out in accordance with the required general rules for sales,
succession, exchange, gift or by court decision.
Article 7
Any regime of ownership of immovable property prior to 1979 shall not be recognized.
Article 8
Only natural persons or legal entities of Khmer nationality have the right to ownership of land in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Thus, the following persons or entities may be owners of land in Cambodia: Cambodian citizens, public territorial collectives, public institutions, Cambodian communities or associations, public enterprises, Cambodian civil or commercial enterprises and any Cambodian organization which is recognized by law as a legal entity. A foreigner who falsifies national identity to become an owner of land in Cambodia shall be punished as determined under article 251 of this law. Any property bought under these circumstances will be seized as State property without compensation from the State. Explanatory notes: This article refers to the ownership of “land” as distinguished from other types of “immovable property.”
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Article 9
An enterprise registered in Cambodia, in respect of which 51 % or more of the shares are held by natural persons of Cambodian nationality or by Cambodian legal entities recognized pursuant to the laws of Cambodia, may be the owner of land. Only percentages stipulated in the articles of incorporation are taken into account. Any private agreement signed by a shareholder that is contrary to this article is null and void. If percentages stipulated in the articles of incorporation are changed in a way that it [the enterprise] ceases to be Cambodian, the enterprise has the obligation to amend the articles of incorporation to comply with the actual circumstances and shall inform to the competent institutions of such amendment according to the laws in force. Explanatory notes: The phrase “articles of incorporation” refers to the written agreement that sets out the purposes and other terms and conditions of a business enterprise or corporation. Some jurisdictions use the phrase “statutes.”The phrase “articles of incorporation” is always used in the plural, and it should not be confused with the word “article” used in the last sentence of paragraph 1.
Article 10
Ownership by a person, whether natural or legal, is individual ownership.
Ownership by a group of persons exercising their prerogatives through a legal way regulated for such ownership is collective ownership.
Ownership by several identifiable individuals collectively exercising their rights over the entire property is undivided ownership.
Ownership by several persons exercising exclusive rights over certain parts of the property, and [where] the other parts, named common parts, are subject to legal rules or contractual agreement, is co-ownership.
The types of each ownership shall be determined by specific provisions concerning such ownership.
Article 11
The legal regime for ownership of immovable property varies in accordance with the requirements of the Cambodian society, such as agricultural land, forests, waterways, lakes, reservoirs or expanses of water, seashores, riverbanks, urban immovable property, and land for construction of industrial development zones. Specific laws shall supplement the provisions of this law or shall derogate this law in order to meet socio-economic, land management and urban planning exigencies. Regulations may, in compliance with legislative provisions, stipulate the details of these various property regimes.
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Chapter 2
– Public Ownership
Article 12
The State is the owner of the properties in the territory of the Kingdom of Cambodia enumerated in Article 58 of the 1993 Constitution and of all properties that are escheat, or that are voluntarily given to the State by their owners, or that have not been the subject of due and proper private appropriation or that are not presently being privately occupied in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 4 of this law.
Article 13
Besides the State, public territorial collectives, public institutions and any legal persons or entities recognized as such by public law may be owners of immovable property, within the conditions determined by this chapter.
Article 14
Some of this property belonging to the State or to public territorial collectives, subjected to a special legal regime, is public property of public legal entities. Other property, which is managed as private property and may be the object of transactions, is private property of public legal entities.
Article 15
The following property falls within the public property of the State and public legal entities:
-Any property that has a natural origin, such as forests, courses of navigable or floatable water, natural lakes, banks of navigable and floatable rivers and seashores:
-Any property that is specially developed for general use, such as quays of harbors, railways, railway stations and airports;
-Any property that is made available, either in its natural state or after development, for public use, such as roads, tracks, oxcart ways, pathways, gardens and public parks, and reserved land;
-Any property that is allocated to render a public service, such as public schools or educational institutions, administrative buildings and all public hospitals;
-Any property that constitutes a natural reserve protected by the law;
-Archeological, cultural and historical patrimonies; -Immovable properties being royal properties that are not the private properties of the royal family. The reigning King manages royal immovable properties.
Translation note: The phrase [ ] has been translated as “floatable.” The literal translation of the Khmer term is “accessible by ship or raft.” The common meaning of the English term “floatable” is “a waterway suitable for the transport of floating objects.”
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Article 16
State public property is inalienable and ownership of those properties is not subject to prescription.
State public properties cannot be acquired by the special acquisition provisions of Chapter 4 of this law.
State public property may, however, be the subject of authorizations to occupy or use that are temporary, precarious and revocable in the case the various fee/tax obligations are not complied with except as permitted in Chapter 3 of this law. Such authorizations cannot be transformed into ownership or rights in rem for the benefit of the holder.
When State public properties lose their public interest use, they can be listed as private properties of the State by law on transferring of state public property to state private property. Translation note: The word “precarious” in paragraph 3 is based on the French, and is used in the same sense as article 43, to mean the right to use or occupy the land can be revoked.
Article 17
The property belonging to the private property of the State and of public legal entities may be the subject of sale, exchange, distribution or transfer of rights as it is determined by law. Such property may be leased out and it may be the subject of any contract made properly according to the law. The conditions and procedures related to the sale and the management of the private property of the State and public legal entities shall be determined by a sub-decree. No sale shall be made in the absence of the said sub-decree. Lands within the State private property may be the subject of a concession pursuant to the conditions set forth in Chapter 5 of this law. From the date this law becomes effective, no more encroachment of land can take place within the private property of the State and public legal entities, even if it complies with Chapter 4 of this law. However, vacant lands of the State private domain may be distributed to persons demonstrating need for land for social purposes in accordance with conditions set forth by sub-decree.
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Article 18
The following are null and void and cannot be made legal in any form whatsoever: -any entering into possession of public properties of the State and public legal entities and any transformation of possession of private properties of the State into ownership rights that was not made pursuant to the legal formalities and procedures that had been stipulated prior to that time, irrespective of the date of the creation of possession or transformation;
-any transformation of a land concession, into a right of ownership, regardless of whether the transformation existed before this law came into effect, except concessions that are in response to social purposes;
-any land concession which fails to comply with the provisions of Chapter 5;
-any entering into possession of properties in the private property of the State, through any means, that occurs after this law comes into effect.
Translation note:
The term “formalities” in point one is based on the Khmer term [lixitbTdæan] [likhet botthan], which means literally, document, standard. One accepted meaning for this term is “document containing standards.”
Article 19
Persons whose title or factual circumstances fall within the scope of article 18 of this law shall not have the right to claim compensation or reimbursement for expenses paid for the maintenance or management of immovable property that was illegally acquired.
Any illegal and intentional or fraudulent acquisition of public properties of the State or of public legal entities shall be penalized pursuant to article 259 of this law. The penalties shall be doubled where any acquisition of land from the public properties causes damage or delay to works undertaken in the general interest, in particular any acquisition of roadway reserves. In all cases, if an offender does not cease his illegal occupation within the time limit set by the competent authority, the authority may begin the process to evict the offender from the land. Explanatory note: The roadway reserves referred in the third paragraph are defined in Declaration of the Council of Ministers No. 6 on the eradication of anarchy related to encroachment on occupied land, dated 2 September 1999, paragraph 8.
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Chapter 3
– Collective Ownership
Part 1: Monastery Immovable Property
Article 20
Immovable properties of land and structures existing within the premises of Buddhist monasteries are a patrimony allocated in perpetuity to the Buddhist religion and are available to its followers, under the care of the Pagoda Committee. Article 21
Monastery immovable property cannot be sold, exchanged or donated and is not subject to prescription. Monastery immovable property may be rented or sharecropped on condition that the income from such rental or sharecropping shall be used only for religious affairs. The protection of this property shall be ensured by a representative of the pagoda committee. Procedures to select the pagoda committee and its representatives to protect the pagoda’s interest shall be determined by a Prakas of the Ministry of Cults and Religions.
Article 22
Religious places and properties of other religious beliefs shall not be subject to the regime provided by Article 20 and 21 of this law. Those properties shall be managed by an association of persons of these religions created under the provisions of law.
Part 2: Immovable Property of Indigenous Communities
Translation note: The literal translation of the Khmer is “original ethnic minorities.”
Article 23
An indigenous community is a group of people that resides in the territory of the Kingdom of Cambodia whose members manifest ethnic, social, cultural and economic unity and who practice a traditional lifestyle, and who cultivate the lands in their possession according to customary rules of collective use. Prior to their legal status being determined under a law on communities, the groups actually existing at present shall continue to manage their community and immovable property according to their traditional customs and shall be subject to the provisions of this law.
Article 24
An individual who meets the ethnic, cultural and social criteria of an indigenous community, is recognized as a group member by the majority of such group, and who accepts the unity and subordination leading to acceptance into the community shall be considered to be a member of the indigenous community and is eligible to have the benefit of the rights, guarantees and protections provided by this law.
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Article 25
The lands of indigenous communities are those lands where the said communities have established their residences and where they carry out traditional agriculture. The lands of indigenous communities include not only lands actually cultivated but also includes reserved necessary for the shifting of cultivation which is required by the agricultural methods they currently practice and which are recognized by the administrative authorities. The measurement and demarcation of boundaries of immovable properties of indigenous communities shall be determined according to the factual situation as asserted by the communities, in agreement with their neighbors, and as prescribed by procedures in Title VI of this law and relevant sub-decrees.
Article 26
Ownership of the immovable properties described in Article 25 is granted by the State to the indigenous communities as collective ownership. This collective ownership includes all of the rights and protections of ownership as are enjoyed by private owners. But the community does not have the right to dispose of any collective ownership that is State public property to any person or group. The exercise of all ownership rights related to immovable properties of a community and the specific conditions of the land use shall be subject to the responsibility of the traditional authorities and mechanisms for decision-making of the community, according to their customs, and shall be subject to the laws of general enforcement related to immovable properties, such as the law on environmental protection. The provisions of this article are not an obstacle to the undertaking of works done by the State that are required by the national interests or a national emergency need.
Article 27
For the purposes of facilitating the cultural, economic and social evolution of members of indigenous communities and in order to allow such members to freely leave the group or to be relieved from its constraints, the right of individual ownership of an adequate share of land used by the community may be transferred to them. Immovable property that is subject to such private individual ownership cannot fall under the general definition of public properties of the State.
Article 28
No authority outside the community may acquire any rights to immovable properties belonging to an indigenous community.
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
TITLE II – ACQUISITION OF OWNERSHIP
Chapter 4
– Reconstitution of ownership over immovable property ownership by extraordinary acquisitive possession
Article 29
In the scope of reconstituting ownership over immovable property in Cambodia after the period of crisis from 1975 to 1979, and with no subordination to the general rules of prescription related to ownership of immovable property, on an exceptional basis, possession of immovable property which was recognized since 1989 may constitute a right in rem over immovable property and may lead to the acquisition of ownership by the holder of the property, in accordance with the conditions set by this law. Any beginning of occupation for possession shall cease when this law comes into effect.
Article 30
Any person who, for no less than five years prior to the promulgation of this law, enjoyed peaceful, uncontested possession of immovable property that can lawfully be privately possessed, has the right to request a definitive title of ownership. In case the granting of a definitive title to ownership is subject to an opposition, the claimant has to prove that he himself fulfills the conditions of peaceful, uncontested possession for no less than five years over the contested immovable property or to prove that he purchased the immovable property from the original possessor or his legal beneficiary or from the person to whom the ownership was transferred, or from their successors.
Article 31
Any person who had been enjoying possession before this law came into force may be authorized by the competent authority, if such person fulfils all requirements to become an owner of the property, to extend his possession until he attains the legally prescribed period of five years, after which he will obtain a definitive title of ownership. The authorization to extend for the sufficient period of time cannot be denied by the competent authority if the possession is peaceful and uncontested. A competent authority that improperly refuses an authorization to extend the time is personally liable. The improper recognition by competent authority of a possession that is not in accordance with the legal requirements is considered null and void. The authority that has given the abusive recognition shall be personally liable before the law. Translation note: The terms “improperly” and “improper” in this article are based on the French equivalents of “abusively” and “abusive.” The terms are used to convey the meaning of actions that constitute an abuse of authority.
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Article 32
Immovable property cannot become the ownership of the occupant under this law in a case where the possessor does not fulfill the conditions of the law because of his status of speculative possessor or because of his behavior as a possessor who hides himself or possessor by force. Such immovable property will revert to the State and no person may any longer enter in its possession for acquisition of ownership under this chapter.
Article 33
If the immovable property is taken violently or by abuse of power of the authorities, the property shall revert to the State and it cannot be the subject of any new possession if there is no claim from the lawful possessor of the immovable property of which he was dispossessed. The claim is barred at the end of 3 years from the date of proclamation of dispossession by the State.
Explanatory note:
When property is taken by violence or by an abuse of power by authorities, the property reverts to the State. This article assumes that this reversion takes place after the State issues a proclamation that takes away the possession of the wrongful takers -- that is, a proclamation of dispossession.
The property becomes the property of the State unless the lawful possessor files a claim asserting that he was violently or improperly dispossessed of the property. This claim must be filed within 3 years after the State issues the proclamation to dispossess the wrongful takers.
Article 34
After this law comes into force, any new occupant without title to an immovable property belonging to public bodies or private persons shall be considered as an illegal occupant and shall be subject to the penalties provided in Article 259 of this law. Article 35
Only the competent authorities may, on behalf of the State and public legal entities, force occupants without title or insufficient titles to vacate the immovable property. Individuals or authorities not acting on behalf of the State or public legal entities are not competent to remove forcibly a peaceful occupant holding valid title. Removal can only be made by court’s order upon the claim of the person who claims the property. Courts must verify the form, origin, date and conditions of the title presented. They may not, however, refuse to order the removal of an occupant in favor of a person who presents a valid and complete cadastral title.
Article 36
If the eviction ordered by a court is likely to give rise to instability or to have serious social repercussions, the competent authorities may request a temporary suspension of the execution of the order.
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Article 37
The acquisition of ownership of immovable property through possession may only be obtained for the benefit of persons who have occupied the immovable property in compliance with the conditions of this law. The acquisition cannot be made for the benefit of a fraudulent possessor.
Article 38
In order to transform into ownership of immovable property, the possession shall be unambiguous, non-violent, notorious to the public, continuous and in good faith. The possessor shall occupy the land unambiguously means that, whether it is exercised by himself or by somebody else on his behalf, the possessor has to possess in his capacity as exclusive possessor acting on purpose for himself but not on the basis of some other rights. If the real possessor remains hidden behind an ostensible possessor, he cannot claim a title of possession allowing acquisition of ownership. His possession is null and void. The possessor shall occupy the land non-violently means that any possession originated through violence is not considered conform to the law. However, if violence is used against third parties that try to get the immovable property without right to do it, such violence does not interfere on the possession initially peacefully acquired. The possessor shall occupy the land notoriously to the public means that the possessor has to possess without hiding himself to those who could want to contest his rights on the immovable property and are not able to see him or to determinate who he was. The possessor shall occupy the land continuously means that the possessor has to act in a normal expected regular way during the required time to claim acquisition of ownership. The fact that occupation is interrupted for short periods of time or that the land is left uncultivated to recover fertility does not constitute an obstacle to acquisition of ownership. The possessor shall occupy the land in good faith means that the possessor is not aware of any possible rights of third parties over the property that the possessor has been possessing.
Article 39
While waiting for the possession to be transformed into full ownership, possession in compliance with this law constitutes a right in rem over the immovable property. Such property may be the subject of ex-change, transfers of rights and transactions. Article 40
While waiting for the reconstitution of the cadastral plan and land register, the competent authorities shall continue to issue titles of possession to the immovable property. The title is evidence of possession but is not in itself a title of ownership and is not indisputable. [lixit] The titles of possession shall only constitute definitive and indisputable title of ownership of the property in the absence of any dispute as to the ownership of the property at the time the land register is created. In case of a disputed claim, the determination of the lawful possessor of the immovable property shall be based on the additional investigation of all relevant evidence. A title of possession to an immovable property is one kind of evidence but is not in itself determinative. Translation notes: In paragraph 2, the term “indisputable” is used for the Khmer term [lixit]. This term can refer to a document or act that is official, the validity of which cannot be challenged.
Explanatory notes: The “land register” referred to in this article is created at the time of systematic registration under article 229. In paragraph 3, definitive and indisputable title can be obtained only at the time the land register is created (and then, only in the absence of a dispute).
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Article 41
The issuance of a title of possession to immovable property, which cannot be privately appropriated or which is not possessed in accordance with the law, is prohibited.
Article 42
Notwithstanding the foregoing, any person who, due to ignorance or negligence, failed to register his possession has the right to the protections of Article 29, Article 30, and Article 31 of this law.
Article 43
In no case can the public property of the State be the subject of acquisition of ownership. The situation of an occupant of State public property remains precarious and illegal if such occupation was not authorized in the manner determined by this law. An illegal occupant shall be forced to vacate the premises immediately and shall be punished in accordance with Article 259 of this law. An illegal occupant is not entitled to any indemnity for any works and improvements carried out on the immovable property. Translation note: The word “precarious” in paragraph 2 is based on the French, and is used in the same sense as article 16, to mean the right to use or occupy the land can be revoked.
Article 44
A title of possession to immovable property, which is the public property of the state or public legal entities, issued by the competent authorities to a private person is null and void. Any official who issues such title shall be liable under civil and criminal codes. Any authority that is aware of such illegality and fails to take an action shall be considered an accomplice and is liable to the same penalties as the person who commits the offence.
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Article 45
If the competent authorities refuse to issue a title of possession to immovable property, the holder of the immovable property may file a complaint with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.
Article 46
The issuance of a title of possession to immovable property by the competent authorities to any person other than the real possessor occupying the land, constitutes an offense and shall be subject to the penalties specified in Article 261 of this law.
Article 47
Disputes over an immovable property between possessors shall be [neung trov] submitted for investigation and resolution under determined procedures. The results of the investigation shall be submitted to the Cadastral Commission created at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. This Commission shall make decisions [s’kedai samrach] on these disputes. In case of dissatisfaction with the result, the disputants may [ach] complain to the court. The organization and functioning of this Commission shall be determined by sub-decree.
Translation note: The phrase “shall be” in the first officer and the Administrative Commission to sentence is based on the Khmer term “neung trov.” conciliate [samroh samroul] disputes. see Article 237 regarding the role of the cadastral.
Chapter 5
– Land Concessions
Article 48
A land concession is a legal right established by a legal document issued under the discretion of the competent authority, given to any natural person or legal entity or group of persons to occupy a land and to exercise thereon the rights set forth by this law.
Article 49
Land concessions shall respond to a social or economic purpose. Land concessions responding to a social purpose allow beneficiaries to build residential constructions and/or to cultivate lands belonging to the State for their subsistence. Land concessions responding to an economic purpose allow the beneficiaries to clear the land for industrial agricultural exploitation of land in the territory of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
February 6, 2002
The Khmer version is the official version of this document.
Article 50
There may be several other kinds of concessions such as authorizations for the use, development or exploitation of State land, whether or not related to rendering a public service, such as mining concessions, port concessions, airport concessions, industrial development concessions, fishing concessions. These concessions do not fall within the scope of the provisions of this law.
Translation note: The term “mining concession” is based on the Khmer words that mean “pit and quarry.” The Khmer term fishing “licenses” has been translated to fishing “concessions.”
Article 51
A land concession may not be gratuitously granted except for the concession responding to a social purpose given to poor families to establish a residence for themselves or to develop subsistence cultivation.
Article 52
A land concession may only create rights for the term fixed by the concession contract in accordance with the provisions of this law.
A land concession cannot establish ownership rights on the land provided for concession except for concessions responding to social purposes.
Article 53 A land concession can never result from a de factor occupation of the land. The land concession must be based on a specific legal document, issued prior to the occupation of the land by the competent authority, such as the State or a public territorial collectives or a public institution that is the owner of the land on which the concession is being granted. The concession must be registered with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.
Article 54
A land concession is conditional. It must comply with the provisions of this law that are provisions of public order. The concession document may further contain other specific clauses that have contractual force. Translation note: The phrase “provisions of public order” is based on the French, and refers to provisions that are mandatory and may not be derogated in any way. Government officials and courts may not disregard public order provisions.
Article 55
A land concession is revocable through governmental decision when its legal requirements are not complied with. The concessionaire is entitled to appeal these decisions in compliance with the procedures provided by law. A court may cancel the concession if the concessionaire does not comply with specific clauses specified in the contract.
Article 56
The rights of a concessionaire on conceded land during the period of the concession are the rights attributed to an owner, save for the right to alienate. The concessionaire is entitled, in particular, to the protection of his rights by the competent authorities. A concessionaire may defend the land which he has been given in concession, against encroachment or infringement, irrespective of its forms. A concessionaire may take the fruits of the land [and] carry out any agricultural developments in accordance with the intended purpose of the concession. The concessionaires may not make any alteration to the intended purpose of the land that causes damage affecting its natural structure or exploit it in such a way that it is destroyed at the end of the concession.
Article 57
Conceded land cannot be transferred through alienation. A transfer of conceded land can only result from the creation by the competent authorities of a new concession contract for the benefit of the new concession titleholder. In the case of the death of a concessionaire, his successors may continue, if they so wish, to exercise his rights during the remaining period of the concession.
Article 58
A land concession can only be granted on lands that are part of the private property of the State. The land concession may not violate roadways or transportation ways or sidewalks or their borders and the ground necessary for their maintenance, nor to waterways, pools, ponds and water reserves to be used by the people in their daily lives.
Article 59
Land concessions areas shall not be more than 10,000 hectares.
Existing concessions which exceed such limit shall be reduced. However, if such reduction would result in compromising the exploitation in progress, a concessionaire may obtain a specific exemption. The procedures for reductions and specific exemptions shall be determined by sub-decree. The issuance of land concession titles on several places relating to surface areas that are greater than those authorized by the first paragraph in favor of one specific person or several legal entities controlled by the same natural persons is prohibited.
Article 60
The procedure for granting land concessions for residences as well as land concessions for agricultural subsistence or for industrial agricultural exploitation shall be determined by sub-decree.
Article 61 The maximum duration of a land concession is limited to ninety-nine years.
Article 62 Any land concession created for the purpose of industrial cultivation must be exploited within twelve months after issuance of the concession. If this is not complied with, it [the concession] will be considered as cancelled. Any failure to exploit [lasting] longer than 12 months, without proper justification, shall be grounds for cancellation of the concession. All land concessions granted before this law has come into force that are not exploited within 12 months after this law comes into force shall be cancelled. Any failure by a concessionaire to fulfill the conditions attached to the concession charges book shall be grounds to withdraw the concession. In the case of withdrawal of a concession, for whatever reason, the concessionaire is not entitled to claim any compensation for any damage.
Chapter 6
– Means of Acquisition of Ownership
Article 63
The transfer of ownership of immovable properties between private persons by purchase, exchange, gift or succession shall be implemented in accordance with the provisions of the law.
Part 1
– Acquisition through Sale of Immovable Property
Article 64
The contract of sale of immovable property is a contract that allows the transfer the right of ownership of an immovable property from the seller to the purchaser in consideration of payment of a purchase price of the immovable property by the purchaser to the seller.
Article 65
The transfer of ownership can be enforceable as against third parties only if the contract of sale of immovable property is made in writing in the authentic form drawn up by the competent authority and registered with the Cadastral Registry Unit. The contract of sale itself is not a sufficient legal requirement for the transfer of the ownership of the subject matter.
Article 66
A person with Khmer nationality and with capacity to enter into a contract may sell or purchase immovable property. However, the following persons may not sell:
a person who is not owner of the property offered for sale;
a joint-owner of an undivided property without the consent of the other joint owners;
a person whose immovable property is the subject of seizure.
The following persons may not purchase:
a guardian cannot purchase the property of his ward;
a curator cannot purchase the property he administers;
judges or government officers cannot purchase the property over which they have jurisdiction or that they were charged to sell;
A person whose property is under foreclosure cannot purchase this property.
Article 67
Any sale between spouses is null and void.
Article 68
The seller shall guarantee to the purchaser, by contract, that the immovable property sold is free of any significant latent defects [and] if not, such sale shall be subject to rescission.
Article 69
The transfer of ownership shall be considered valid upon the registration of the contract of sale with the Cadastral Registry Unit. The selling price shall be stated in the contract [and] if not the contract shall be considered null and void. A contract of sale of immovable property shall be registered only when all parties have proven by evidence that all taxes on the subject property have been paid.
Part 2
– Acquisition by Exchange of Immovable Properties
Article 70
An exchange of immovable properties is a contract in which the parties agree to exchange immovable properties with each other.
An exchange of immovable properties leads to transfer of immovable property ownership. An exchange shall be conducted with the same conditions as a sale.
Part 3
– Acquisition by Succession
Article 71
A transfer may be made by way of intestate succession or by inheritance by will or by bequest, for the following immovable properties: immovable property the ownership title of which has been definitely established in accordance with the provisions of this law, any possession in compliance with the law, evidenced by a title, by a legal document or other kinds of evidence, any limited proprietary right and any right in rem over immovable property
Article 72
In the case of succession, the necessary duration of possession of an immovable property for the acquisition of full ownership, as provided by Article 30 and Article 31 of the present law, shall be calculated from the time of entry into possession by the deceased.
Article 73
Immovable property that has actually been possessed only and has not been registered or recorded by a governmental certificate, but was legally occupied in accordance with the legal requirements, may transferred by succession.
Article 74
When a property was possessed without any title and is transferred by way of succession, the successor who is the new possessor of the property may continue to manage it and benefit from protection as long as he meets all other requirements of the law. In such case, the competent authorities or any other persons may not use the deceased's possession as a de facto possessor or use the absence of a formal distribution of the estate as a pretext to infringe upon the rights of successors and, in particular, to refuse to acknowledge and certify their possession.
Article 75
When an inherited immovable property is used as a dwelling for the deceased's family or where the land is used to support the family's life, the successors may not demand a partition or a sale without the unanimous express consent of all co-successors. In case the partition of the succession is contested, the co-successors are entitled to file a complaint to the court to decide the case. A partial transfer by any co-successor of his rights shall be considered null and void if there is no express consent of all co-successors. Further, any co-successor who sold part of his rights of succession shall lose his succession right in respect of the property sold. Any co-successor who violates the prohibitions of inherited immovable property sale shall be solely responsible for his action with the purchaser.
Article 76
A successor who cannot continue possessing inherited property, due to any legal or factual impediment, or who does not wish to be personally responsible for that part, may transfer such property to a third party.
Article 77
If the person who receives a land concession responding to an economic purpose is not an enterprise, but a natural person possessing an immovable property title, upon his death, such concession shall not be subject to division without the approval of the administrative authority that granted the concession.
Article 78
The property of a person who dies without any successors or legatees shall revert to the State and shall be incorporated in its private property.
Article 79
Devolution of property by succession shall be governed by traditional rules on that subject matter pending the promulgation of a new civil code.
Part 4 – Acquisition by Gift
Article 80
A gift is a contract by which a person called a giver or donor, transfers his property ownership to another person called a receiver or donee, who accepts it.
Article 81
A gift of immovable property is only effective against third parties if it is made in writing in the form of an authentic deed and registered with the Cadastral Registry Unit.
Article 82
Immovable property may be the subject of a gift between living persons or gift by death or by legacy. If such a gift is a mutual gift, the operation constitutes an exchange.
Article 83
The State may only donate immovable property to natural persons and for social reasons in order to allow them to reside or carry out subsistence farming. The value of the immovable property donated must be limited in relation with the purpose sought and not allow scope for speculation, or disproportionate enrichment taking into account the social level of the beneficiary. Gifts granted by the state prior to this law shall not be reviewed.
Translation note:
The word “speculation” in paragraph 1 is translated from the Khmer word [ekgykkMér]. Compare this with article 32.
Article 84
Gifts of immovable property are irrevocable once they are accepted. The ownership right of such gifts can be transferred rapidly. However, the donor may retain the right of usufruct in the property, and the right of use and habitation of an immovable property. This has to be stated in the contract and registered in the Cadastral Registry Unit. TITLE III
– THE REGIME OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP
Chapter 7
– Rights and Obligations of Owners
Part 1
– Enjoyment of the Benefits of Ownership
Article 85
The owner of immovable property has the exclusive and extensive right to use, enjoy and dispose of his property, except in a manner that is prohibited by the law.
Article 86
The owner of property may not use it for the purpose of harming or causing a nuisance or disturbance to third parties and particularly to his neighbors. The normal and legitimate use of property is not considered as a nuisance obstructing the use of this property.
Article 87
The owner of land may plant, develop and construct anything he wishes, unless it is prohibited by law. Such development or constructions are his ownership, in accordance with the provisions of Part 3 of this Chapter. Article 88
The owner of immovable property may freely carry out any development or alteration of the original type or structure of his property in accordance with his use purposes and in accordance with the provisions of the law.
Article 89
Modification of the original nature or structure of immovable property, in the terms of this law, include the clearing of lands and forests (logging) and their cultivation, the filling up of land, the leveling of hills or talus, the digging and hollowing out of land to extract earth, the exploitation of mines or quarries, the establishment or drainage of water reserves, the urbanization of agricultural land, and the development of industrial zones and factories.
Article 90
The owner of the land’s surface shall be the owner of the under ground and of anything that may be extracted there from, provided it is not in contrary to the provisions of Article 88 and Article 89 of this law. The limit of the under ground shall be determined in a vertical line from the surface of the property. However, the owner may not claim the ownership of statues, bas-reliefs and antiquities of any type that he found thereon. Such works form part of the national heritage and must be returned to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.
Article 91
The owner of the land’s surface is also the owner of the space situated directly above his property and of the things that are permanently fixed on his property, except electrical and telecommunication wires that shall be governed by separate law. He may, in particular, cut the branches of neighbor’s trees extending to his property or collect the fruit thereof. He may not, however, prohibit any aircraft from flying over his property.
Article 92
The owner of immovable property may put up such property as surety for contracts in accordance with the provisions defined in Title 5 of this law.
Article 93
The owner of property may manage the production generated from such property and natural or artificial accretion that is combined or incorporated into his property according to the rules stipulated in Parts 2 and 3 of this Chapter.
Part 2
– Accession to Fruits and Products of Ownership
Article 94
The owner of immovable property is entitled to receive all types of fruits from such property, including natural fruits and civil fruits by way of accession. The natural fruits are those fruits that are naturally generated from the land or that are created by human act. The civil fruits are capital fruits [plTun], profit [CnlaP] and interests.
Article 95
The fruits resulting from cultivation of land belong to the owner of such land, provided he pays third parties for the cost of plowing and harrowing works, labor done by them and seeds.
Part 3
– Accretion of Ownership
Sub-part 1
– Accretion by Human Acts
Article 96
Any construction, plantation and works carried out on the land or the under ground shall be considered to be done by the owner at his expense and the fruits thereof belong to him, save for any evidence to the contrary.
Article 97
The owner of land on which construction, plants or developments are made with materials that do not belong to the owner, shall pay the cost of the materials to the owner of the materials. The land owner may be punished for the payment of damages, but the owner of the materials has no right to remove the works done.
Article 98
If the plantations, constructions and developments have been made in bad faith by a third party with his materials, the owner of the land is entitled either to retain such materials or to force the third party to remove them. If the land owner requests the removal of plantations and constructions made in bad faith, such removal shall be made at the cost of the third party, with no compensation; the latter may receive the penalty by paying the indemnity to the land owner if the removal caused any damage to the land owner. If the owner prefers to retain such plantations and works already done, he must reimburse the cost of the materials and labor costs, without considering whether the land will have more or less value. Nevertheless, if the plantations, constructions and works were made by a third party in good faith as provided for in Article 38 of this Law, the owner may not demand the removal of the said works, plantations or developments. He will have two choices, either to pay the cost of materials and the labor costs, or to pay an amount of money equivalent to the increased value of the land.
Sub-part 2
– Accretion by Nature
Article 99
The silt that grows successively and imperceptibly out of the river, tributaries or channel beds can be recognized as alluvial soil. Alluvial soil shall benefit to the owner of the land abutting the bank of the river, whether it is accessible or floatable or not. If it is navigable or floatable, the owner shall keep a towpath in accordance with regulations.
Translation note:
See translation note at article 15 for definition of “floatable.”
Article 100
With respect to land increases formed by water currents that successively and imperceptibly bring alluvial deposits from one shore to another one belonging to another person; the owner of the land abutting the discovered bank takes benefit from the alluvial deposits, without the riverside owner on the opposite side, who lost land, being able to claim back the land lost.
Article 101
If a river, tributary or channel, whether navigable or floatable or not, causes the removal, by sudden water force, of a big and recognizable piece of land from one side of the riverbank and joins it to land downstream or on the opposite side, the owner who lost the land can claim it back within the year following the event; beyond such time limit, the claim shall not be received unless the owner of the land to which the lost land was joined has not yet possessed the land.
Explanatory note:
The legal term for this phenomenon is “avulsion,” which is “a sudden cutting off of land by flood, currents, or change in course of a body of water [especially] one that separates a portion from one person’s property and joins it to that of another.” This article is based on article 559 of the French Civil Code.