United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Practice Relating to Rule 51. Public and Private Property in Occupied Territory
Section A. Movable public property in occupied territory
The UK Military Manual (1958) states, regarding public property:
The occupation army is only allowed to seize cash funds and negotiable securities which are strictly State property, stores of arms, means of transport, stores of supplies, and generally, all movable property of the State which can be used for military operations.
Other movable public property, not susceptible of use for military operations, as well as that belonging to the institutions mentioned above, which is to be treated as private property must be respected and cannot be appropriated, for instance, crown jewels, pictures, collections of works of art, and archives. However, papers connected with the war may be seized, even when forming part of archives.
Where there is any doubt whether the property found in the possession of the enemy is public or private, as may frequently occur in the case of bank deposits, stores and supplies obtained from contractors, it should be considered to be public property unless and until its private character is clearly shown.
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
11.88 Occupying forces may only seize three types of movable property belonging to the occupied state:
a. cash, funds and negotiable securities which are strictly the property of that state;
b. stores of arms and supplies, means of transport and other movable property which can be used for military operations, together with appliances for the transmission of news, wherever situated;
c. public revenue and taxation raised in occupied territory, although the consequence is that the occupying power becomes liable for the costs of administering the occupied territory.
11.89 Other public movable property, not of use for military purposes, must be respected and not appropriated.