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Laws pertaining to Metal Detecting.

Article about: Hi all I don't know where it disappeared to but I was sure I did a thread on MDing laws and 'stickied' it !!! Anyway, here it is again. If anyone is aware of any changes to these laws please

  1. #11
    FcsaUK
    ?

    Default Re: Laws pertaining to Metal Detecting.

    Quote by Steve T View Post
    Whitehunter



    Yes........beaches. But that's about it. I have searched the Normandy beaches on 6 separate trips now and have never had any problems.

    Steve T
    If the beach was part of a battlefield then are they not now 'out of bounds' to detectorists?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. #12

    Default Re: Laws pertaining to Metal Detecting.

    Now that is a very interesting question and one I cannot answer.

    Hopefully one of our French colleagues will be able to tell us

    Certainly the laws vary from province to province and it is feasible that the removal of relics from a beach is now illegal. However, many of the laws relate to the digging of a hole, not necessarily the use of a detector. Making the digging of a hole on a beach illegal would be very difficult to enforce. For a start, buckets and spades would need banning, as would burying your dad/mum/sister/dog up to their neck in sand.

    I shall try to find out.

    Steve T

  3. #13
    FcsaUK
    ?

    Default Re: Laws pertaining to Metal Detecting.

    Many thanks for your help, dont want to risk losing my detector (would put a damper on the family holiday!)

  4. #14

    Default Re: Laws pertaining to Metal Detecting.

    FcsaUK - Here's the latest I can find.....

    FRANCE

    The use of metal detectors was controlled by the use of the war time Patrimony Act 1941 but, on the 18 December 1989 Law Number 89-900 (NOR: MCCX8900 163L) was adopted. However see appendix (L542) adopted in 2004.

    Article 1: No one may use metal detecting equipment for the purpose of searching for monuments and objects which could interest (concern?) prehistory, history, art or archaeology without first having obtained administrative authorisation issued according to the qualification of the applicant and also the nature and method of searching.

    Article 2: All publicity and instructions on the use of metal detectors must carry the warning of the prohibition stated in Article 1, the penalties involved and also the reason for this legislation.

    Article 3: Every infringement of the present law will be noted by officers, police agents and other law enforcement officers, as well as by officials, agents and guardians of Article 3 of the law number 80-532 of 15 July 1980 relative to the protection of public collections against acts of vandalism.

    Article 4: The reports drawn up by the various persons designated by Article 3 above will, until proved to the contrary, be given or sent, without delay, to the public prosecutor of the Republic in the jurisdiction where the offence was committed. Under French law the enactment of legislation is followed by the Decree which determines how the law will be applied. In this case the Decree states:

    Article 1 The authorisation to use metal detectors, provided for by Article1 of the 18 December 1989 Law is granted, on the demand of the interested party, by the license of the Prefect of the region in which the land to be searched is situated. The request for authorisation must establish the identity, competence and experience of the applicant as well as the location, scientific objective and the duration of the searches to be undertaken.
    When the searches are to be carried out on land which does not belong to the applicant, the written application must be accompanied by a document of consent written by the
    owner of the land and, if appropriate, anyone else who has the right.

    Article 2 Anyone who uses a metal detector to carry out searches of the sort described in Article 1 of the Law without having first obtained the authorisation required or who does not observe the requirements described in Article 1 of this Decree will be punished by the fine applicable for contraventions of the fifth class. The equipment used in the infringement will be confiscated.

    Article 3 Whoever publicises or draws up publicity for, or draw up information about the use of metal detectors and fails to draw attention to the requirements of Article 2 of the Law will be punished according to the penalties applicable for offences of the fifth class.

    Beaches are believed to be outside this Law.

    Appendix (L542)

    Art L542: No one can use equipment allowing metal target detection, to search monuments for objects of interest to pre-history, history, art or archaeology, without having first obtained an administrative authorisation, which may be given depending on the qualification of the applicant, as well as the nature of and reason for the research. Those who contravine are liable ti fines within the band class 5. The purpose of this regulation is the protection of archaeological sites. The authorisation of archaeological research using metal detectors requires the permission of the prefect of the area concerned.



    Hope that helps

    Steve T

  5. #15

    Default Re: Laws pertaining to Metal Detecting.

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for your work on this.
    I don't know if you've ever looked, but whenever I go to France (last time 18 months ago) I always check out the magazine racks, because as well as the many fine Militaria and Military History magazines there were also several French Metal Detecting magazines regularly published? (Admittedly they were usually stored on the top shelf near other taboo subjects). But from memory they showed historical articles, lots on finds and identification but also French Nationals searching in France, some on beach work but others showing farmland, etc.
    It seems strange with the law as it stands, that the hobby can continue or even that the magazines can survive. Perhaps they have now ceased publication so it would be interesting to see if anyone can confirm if there are MD magazines still being published in France today?
    LUCKYSTRIKE

  6. #16
    FcsaUK
    ?

    Default Re: Laws pertaining to Metal Detecting.

    Quote by Steve T View Post
    FcsaUK - Here's the latest I can find.....

    FRANCE


    Beaches are believed to be outside this Law.


    Hope that helps

    Steve T
    Hi Steve, Thanks, however thats the bit that worries me, the word 'believed' in the above sentence.
    Will try and contact any French detectorists on this forum and see if they have anything concrete,

    Cheers,

    Chris

  7. #17

    Default Re: Laws pertaining to Metal Detecting.

    The links appear broken so here are the laws as they stand today.


    AUSTRIA
    The use of metal detectors in archaeological contexts on land or underwater requires an excavation permission issued by the Austrian Federal Monument Authority (Bundesdenkmalamt) because such use is considered to constitute an `excavation for the purpose of discovery and exploration of movable and immovable monuments' in the sense of Section II of the Austrian law for the protection of monuments. Such permissions are in general not issued to private individuals.

    BELGIUM
    Information still awaited.

    CYPRUS
    Under Section 2(1) (a) of the antiquities law of 1935 (amended 1973) any object
    whether movable or part of immovable property is protected by law.
    Section 14 (1) states that ` no person shall excavate or cause excavations to be made whether on his own land or elsewhere for the purpose of discovering antiquities without a license'.
    Although not specifically mentioning metal detectors, section 14(1) implicitly rules
    them out, nor can a landowner legally give permission for a search to be carried
    out if it results in excavation.

    DENMARK

    Restrictions
    There are a number of historical and archaeological sites where it is totally
    forbidden to use a metal detector.
    On public land it is the local community that decides whether metal detectors may be used. It is estimated that approximately 50% of the public land is closed to metal detecting.
    On public woodland the forest superv isor decides whether or not a metal detector may be used. In most cases permission is not granted.
    There is hardly any problem on public beaches as to forbid metal detecting would discriminate against a class of people and, therefore, a child would not be able to use a bucket and spade etc.
    Apart from seeking permission of the landowner, no restrictions on private land.
    FINDS AND REWARDS - THE RIGHTS OF THE FINDER
    Any coins minted after the coin reform in the 19th Century can be retained by the finder otherwise all coins and artefacts must be delivered to the National Museum .
    The finder is awarded a cash sum for the find although, as this is determined by the National Museum , it is always below the market value. It is very rare that the finder is allowed to keep his find.
    FUTURE TRENDS
    Archaeologists recognise the benefits to be derived from seeking cooperation not confrontation and this is improving the relationship.
    The method of calculating rewards is being challenged by the media and will probably result in change in the future.

    FINLAND
    All moveable objects, such as coins, weapons etc over one hundred years old should be reported with an indication of context (Antiquities Act 1963, Section 16).
    This legislation does not rule out the use of metal detectors.

    FRANCE
    The use of metal detectors was controlled by the use of the war time Patrimony Act 1941 but, on the 18 December 1989 Law Number 89-900 (NOR: MCCX8900 163L) was adopted. However see appendix (L542) adopted in 2004.
    Article 1: No one may use metal detecting equipment for the purpose of searching for monuments and objects which could interest (concern?) prehistory, history, art or archaeology without first having obtained administrative authorisation issued according to the qualification of the applicant and also the nature and method of searching.
    Article 2: All publicity and instructions on the use of metal detectors must carry the warning of the prohibition stated in Article 1, the penalties involved and also the reason for this legislation.
    Article 3: Every infringement of the present law will be noted by officers, police agents and other law enforcement officers, as well as by officials, agents and guardians of Article 3 of the law number 80-532 of 15 July 1980 relative to the protection of public collections against acts of vandalism.
    Article 4: The reports drawn up by the various persons designated by Article 3 above will, until proved to the contrary, be given or sent, without delay, to the public prosecutor of the Republic in the jurisdiction where the offence was committed.
    Under French law the enactment of legislation is followed by the Decree which determines how the law will be applied. In this case the Decree states:
    Article 1 The authorisation to use metal detectors, provided for by Article1 of the 18 December 1989 Law is granted, on the demand of the interested party, by the license of the Prefect of the region in which the land to be searched is situated.
    The request for authorisation must establish the identity, competence and experience of the applicant as well as the location, scientific objective and the duration of the searches to be undertaken.
    When the searches are to be carried out on land which does not belong to the applicant, the written application must be accompanied by a document of consent written by the owner of the land and, if appropriate, anyone else who has the right.
    Article 2 Anyone who uses a metal detector to carry out searches of the sort described in Article 1 of the Law without having first obtained the authorisation required or who does not observe the requirements described in Article 1 of this Decree will be punished by the fine applicable for contraventions of the fifth class.
    The equipment used in the infringement will be confiscated.
    Article 3 Whoever publicises or draws up publicity for, or draw up information about the use of metal detectors and fails to draw attention to the requirements of Article 2 of the Law will be punished according to the penalties applicable for offences of the fifth class.
    Beaches are believed to be outside this Law.

    Appendix (L542)
    Art L542: No one can use equipment allowing metal target detection, to search monuments for objects of interest to pre-history, history, art or archaeology, without having first obtained an administrative authorisation, which may be given depending on the qualification of the applicant, as well as the nature of and reason for the research. Those who contravine are liable ti fines within the band class 5. The purpose of this regulation is the protection of archaeological sites. The authorisation of archaeological research using metal detectors requires the permission of the prefect of the area concerned.

    GERMANY
    The 1992 law on the search for, and preservation of antiquities, covers all objects belonging to the ancient period, early Christianity and the Middle Ages.
    Excavation requires a licence and work may not be carried out, without permission, near an antiquity in such a way as to affect it directly or indirectly. All accidental discoveries must be reported. Rewards are made equal to 50% of value if found on public land and 100% if on private land.
    Although the 1932 Act does not refer to metal detectors, any items found by its use are covered by the Act.

    NORTHERN IRELAND
    Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 No. 1625 (N.I. 9)
    The Treasure Act 1996 Applies in Northern Ireland, However the law relating to searching for archaeological object differs from England and Wales.
    ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECTS
    Restriction on searching for archaeological objects, etc.
    41. — (1) Any person who, except under and in accordance with any conditions attached to a licence issued by the Department under this Article, excavates in or under any land (whether or not such excavation involves the removal of the surface of the land) for the purpose of searching generally for archaeological objects or of searching for, exposing or examining any particular structure or thing of archaeological interest shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
    Restrictions on use of metal detectors
    (1)If a person uses a metal detector in a protected place without the written consent of the [F1Commission (in a case of a place situated in England) or of the Secretary of State (in any other case)] he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction or, in Scotland, on conviction before a court of summary jurisdiction, to a fine not exceeding [F2level 3 on the standard scale].
    (2)In this section—
    • “metal detector” means any device designed or adapted for detecting or locating any metal or mineral in the ground; and
    • “protected place” means any place which is either—
    (a)the site of a scheduled monument or of any monument under the ownership or guardianship of the Secretary of State [F3or the Commission] or a local authority by virtue of this Act; or
    (b)situated in an area of archaeological importance.
    (3)If a person without [F4written consent] removes any object of archaeological or historical interest which he has discovered by the use of a metal detector in a protected place he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or on conviction on indictment to a fine.
    [F5The reference in this subsection to written consent is to that of the Commission (where the place in question is situated in England) or of the Secretary of State (in any other case)]
    (4)A consent granted by the Secretary of State [F6or the Commission] for the purposes of this section may be granted either unconditionally or subject to conditions.
    (5)If any person—
    (a)in using a metal detector in a protected place in accordance with any consent granted by the Secretary of State [F6or the Commission] for the purposes of this section; or
    (b)in removing or otherwise dealing with any object which he has discovered by the use of a metal detector in a protected place in accordance with any such consent;
    fails to comply with any condition attached to the consent, he shall be guilty of an offence and liable, in a case falling within paragraph (a) above, to the penalty provided by subsection (1) above, and in a case falling within paragraph (b) above, to the penalty provided by subsection (3) above.
    (6)In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (1) above, it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he used the metal detector for a purpose other than detecting or locating objects of archaeological or historical interest.
    (7)In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (1) or (3) above, it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he had taken all reasonable precautions to find out whether the place where he used the metal detector was a protected place and did not believe that it was.
    Annotations:
    Amendments (Textual)
    F1Words substituted by National Heritage Act 1983 (c. 47, SIF 78), s. 41, Sch. 4 para. 60(2)(6)
    F2Words substituted by virtue of Criminal Justice Act 1982 (c. 48), s. 46 and Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 (c. 21), s. 289G (as inserted by Criminal Justice Act 1982 (c. 48), s. 54)
    F3Words inserted by National Heritage Act 1983 (c. 47, SIF 78), s. 41, Sch. 4 para. 60(3)(6)
    F4Words substituted by National Heritage Act 1983 (c. 47, SIF 78), s. 41, Sch. 4 para. 60(4)(6)
    F5Words inserted by National Heritage Act 1983 (c. 47, SIF 78), s. 41, Sch. 4 para. 60(4)(6)
    F6Words inserted by National Heritage Act 1983 (c. 47, SIF 78), s. 41, Sch. 4 para. 60(5)(6)
    Modifications etc. (not altering text)
    C1S. 42(1) excluded (18.12.1996) by 1996 c. 61, s. 12, Sch. 7 para. 4(12)
    C2S. 42(3) excluded (18.12.1996) by 1996 c. 61, s. 12, Sch. 7 para. 4(13

    SOUTHERN IRELAND The National Monuments (Amendment) Act
    1987
    (Section 2) states:
    Subject to the provisions of this section a person shall not:
    1a: Use or be in possession of a detection device in, or at the site of, a monument
    of which the Commissioners or a local authority are the owners or guardians or in
    respect of which a preservation order is in force or which stands registered in the
    Register or
    2a. in an archaeological area that stands registered in the Register or
    3a. in a Registered area
    OR
    b: Use, at a place other than a place specified in paragraph a of this subsection, a detection device for the purpose of searching for archaeological objects or
    c: Promote, whether by advertising or otherwise, the sale or use of detection
    devices for the purpose of searching for archaeological objects.
    Note: `Archaeological area' is defined as ` an area which the Commissioners
    consider to be of archaeological importance but does not include the area of a
    historical monument standing entered in the Register'.
    Section 40 states that `Where in a prosecution for an offence under this section it
    is proved that a detection device was used, it shall be presumed until the contrary
    is proved that the device was being used for the purpose of searching for
    archaeological objects'.

    ISRAEL
    The Antiquities Act 1978, Section 9a states that `no person shall excavate in a private property for the purpose of discovering antiquities, nor search for antiquities in any other manner, including the use of metal detectors, nor gather antiquities unless he has received a licence for such from the Director. Breach of this section carries a liability to imprisonment for a term of 3 years or a fine of =A3150,000'.
    Section 38 of the same Act states that `any person found on an antiquity site, in whose possession or in whose immediate vicinity are found excavation tools and it can be assumed that they were recently used in excavation work at the site, or in whose possession or in whose immediate vicinity is found a metal detector, is presumed to have intended to discover antiquities unless he proves that he has no such intention.

    ITALY
    The 1939 Act of the custody of artistic and historic objects affords protection to all objects and coins of historical or archaeological value including coins. All objects are State property and must be reported to the Superintendency of Arts. Rewards may be offered up to 1/4 of the value.
    Metal detecting is forbidden in the following areas:
    Val D'AOSTA
    TOSCANA
    LAZIO
    CALABRIA
    SICILIA
    Coins found minted after 1500 can be kept by the finder and 10% of their value has to be paid to the landowner.

    JERSEY
    ( STATEMENT OF DETECTING REGULATIONS IN JERSEY )

    Metal detecting in Jersey is primary a beach/foreshore activity around the island.
    Unless, you have permission by a land owner to search there fields, so long as there is
    no archaeological monument within the land, or other sites as stated below having an
    SSI status... the area’s to avoid are: St. Ouen inland dunes at the 5 mile road, also
    Jersey/National Trust land, and historic sites/buildings as expected.

    We have no treasure trove law in Jersey, however there are four things to consider that are in law, operating as statute for control within, our hobby on the Island ...

    (1). Parks and Common Land areas are subject to policing, these are no-go-areas.
    (2). SSI - Sights of Special Interest, cover all historic sites and buildings in jersey, these are no-go-areas, “with one exception as below” (a).
    (a). However, one Extended Beach Area, starting from La Collette in St. Helier, East Coast going around Northward through to Greve D’Azette, Green Island, Le Hocq, La Rocque, and into the bay of Grouville upto Gorey Harbour, allows you to beach detect and recover finds in these areas, but keep in mind the sites marine environment, this is why it has an SSI placed on it.
    (3). Metals of Gold/Silver, rings or the like with person/persons loss incurred, requires the finder to take the item into our police station, at Rouge Bouillon in St Helier ; where details would be taken and if the item is not claimed, it becomes either crown property, or returned to the finder in time.
    (4). Lastly, Jersey has a Custom & Excise Law, policing objects of historic interest, and are restricted from going out of the island,without a license...
    So if you recover a find or finds that have a date of 50 years or more, you need a Custom Licence No. 108, to be granted export for the find after the find/object has been assessed by our Jersey Heritage Trust, at La Houge Bie Museum to determine its context for recording, and for the islands history the museum might, buy the find.
    Its likely, you will recover mainly recent and Victorian, plus badly worn 1600 French coinage, also the usual dross left behind towards the top of the beach, however rings can be a good source particularly very thin ones, if you have a detector good at recovering thin gold and silver, you could do well; so good luck, and if your a visitor to the island, enjoy your stay.
    Jersey Metal Detecting Society: 2004/5.


    LIECHTENSTEIN
    The 1977 Monument Protection Act requires the declaration of any antiquities
    found in the soil. A government permit is necessary for archaeological excavations.

    LUXEMBOURG
    The 1966 Act on excavations and movable cultural objects states that `all search and excavations with the aim of discovery or bringing to light objects or sites of historical interest can only be made with the authorisation of the Minister for Arts and Sciences'.
    The use of metal detecting for unauthorised searching is widespread and, in the view of the Ministry of Justice, is in contravention of the law.

    MALTA
    The 1925 - 1974 Antiquities Protection Act affords protection to all objects, both movable and immovable, which are more than 50 years old. Excavation can only be carried out with government authorisation (Article 1). The reporting of accidental finds is compulsory (Article 10).
    Since 1979 there has been a ban on the import of any metal detectors of sufficient sensitivity to be of any danger to archaeological sites.

    NETHERLANDS
    Information to follow.

    NORWAY
    Section 4 of the Cultural Heritage Act 1978 lists a wide range of specified objects, both fixed and movable, dating from before 1937 which are protected.
    Section 3 also provides protection from unauthorised excavation. The ownership of all objects older than 1537 and of coins older that 1650 is vested in the State (Section 12, a and b). Section 13 requires that all finds should be reported to the authorities who will fix a suitable reward. There is no specific reference to metal detectors.

    PORTUGAL
    There has been some new legislation introduced recently which prohibits searching for archaeological material without a permit. To obtain a permit, please apply to the Ministry of Culture in Portugal .
    More information will be available soon.

    SPAIN
    The Spanish Tourist Office in London advises in their General Information sheet:
    Metal Detectors: The use of metal detectors is not allowed unless an import license for the detector has previously been issued. Further enquiries should be made to the Spanish Commercial Office.
    The Commercial Office at the Spanish Embassy, if asked, provide the following written information:
    1. The use of metal detectors could involve considerations of the Law and Regulations governing artistic or archaeological finds, involving national heritage and treasure trove, as provided by the very detailed Law of 25th June 1985 (Historical Heritage); and the Royal Decree of 10th January 1986 which develops it.
    2. If anything is found, therefore, it would be necessary to comply with the complex procedures outlined in these enactments; and it would certainly not be possible for any finds to be taken out of Spain until the proper Authorities had given their consent. That could take months; and if the article in question is classified as part of the national artistic heritage, and/or is over 100 years old, it is not likely to receive an export permit either at all, or for a very long time, owing to the complexity of the procedures.
    The second aspect is a technical one. The Royal Decree of 25th November 1987, which deals with nuclear energy and radio-activity, lays down rules and safeguards against radiation. The Order of 20th March 1975 sets out the homologation rules for radio-active apparatus. The metal detector in question may not comply with those rules.
    There is a third aspect. The local Naval Authorities have been known to complain because the use of metal detectors has interfered with electronic communications.
    All in all, therefore, it is preferable not to use metal detectors in Spain .
    December 1989

    SWEDEN
    Section 19 of the 1988 Act which prohibited metal detecting in the countries of Gotland and Oland has now been extended to include all of Sweden .

    SWITZERLAND
    No legislation specifically refers to metal detecting by private individuals, though legislation exists to ban unauthorised search or excavation of antiquities.

    TURKEY
    The 1973 Antiquities Act carries very extensive lists of movable and immovable objects protected including places of ancient settlement or places where there are vestiges of ancient civilisations (Article 1). All objects are the property of the State (Article 3 ) and reporting is obligatory (Article 4) but a reward system exists (Article 47).
    There is a specific provision against treasure hunting, illicit excavation and dealing in antiquities (Article 51 - 52). Unauthorised treasure hunting carries a penalty of 2 - 5 years imprisonment and fines of =A35,000 to =A310,000 (Article 47).

  8. #18

    Default Re: Laws pertaining to Metal Detecting.

    It Seems that France is one of the more restrictive countries.

  9. #19

    Default Re: Laws pertaining to Metal Detecting.

    Dear Steve,
    As requested by You,the law in belgium didn't change for MD,but several local law's have.
    For example in the Ardennes it isn't allowed to do MD on public domain(forest's included).
    They can confiscate your material and give you heavy fines by the forester,those guy's don't kid around.So if you want to do some hunting in The Ardennes,you need the following things:- A good fisical condition
    - A map scale 1/25.000 or 1/50.000 of the region where you're going to "hunt"
    - A deascent pair of combatshoe's, camouflaged vest, pants and a good backpak
    - A pre-pland and secundary escape route(better safe than sorry)
    - A good gps localiser or a compas
    - A good knowledge of the region(or someone who does)
    - Food and water for 24H
    - First aid kit and a cellphone
    - If you get interscepted by a forester in the forrest don't be affraid to run of,or you can try to reason with them,they won't shoot you.
    Several MD's have died or got lost in this region due to careless action's with handeling Explosives or no preparation.

  10. #20

    Default Re: Laws pertaining to Metal Detecting.

    WW2Hunter

    Many thanks for the update.

    Please bear in mind that we do not want to condone any illegal act on the forum. If searching in the forests is illegal under all circumstances then just don't go.

    Steve T

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