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Thread: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

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  1. #1

    Jul 2004
    35

    Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    Where do you find them? Is it safe to say that the US has the most lenient in the world? Do most foreign countries permit metal detecting?

  2. #2

    Apr 2007
    Mankato, MN
    Minelab e-Trac, White E-Series DFX
    2,911
    7 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    In Europe, most countries do not permit metal detecting the way we are used to it. Some have laws against metal detecting, some have laws that permit detecting but you must register your finds and may or may not be able to keep them. There are other variations as well. It is tough figuring it out. Rather than trying to get all the laws at once, tell us where you are thinking about going and I think you will get more and better answers.

    Daryl
    The only way to really understand something is to play with it.

  3. #3

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    6,165
    1819 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    There was a website I saw a few years ago, that detailed every European countries laws, in alphabetic order. The website is probably still out there somewhere you can find. It was pretty bleak for all but perhaps England. What's weird is, at the time I read that, I had listed a detector for sale on the net classifieds, and ended up selling it to a guy in France. That was one of the countries that, according to the laws-website, had nearly outright bans on detecting! So in the course of cementing the deal to sell to this guy, I couldn't help but ask him in an email "I thought detecting was illegal in France?". His response was that whenever you read a rules or laws site like that, it only applies to public lands, or historic monuments, etc.... He and his friends hunt farmer's fields (where old villas stood in ancient times) to their heart's content.

    So I guess it's sort of like if some foreigner were to inquire of the typical USA consulate/bureaucrat "can I metal detect in the United States?", they may get a "NO", because the bureaucrat is thinking in terms of federal land, Shiloh, shiprwreck salvors, blah blah blah.

    The best way to find out the REAL laws in a country you intend to go to, is to inquire with the hobbyists who actually hunt there. And not just the sand-box timid hunters, but the hardcore guys there who are actually finding the old stuff. They'll know the reality of the situation.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  4. #4

    Jul 2004
    35

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    In Europe, Ireland or Italy? What if someone were to own their own land in Italy? I know the land ownership laws are much different in Europe and they don't get to enjoy the freedoms of private land ownership which we enjoy here so would you be allowed to MD on private land there?

  5. #5

    Apr 2007
    Mankato, MN
    Minelab e-Trac, White E-Series DFX
    2,911
    7 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    Here's the scoop. No pun intended.

    The Law Regarding Metal Detecting Outside the United Kingdom

    Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey

    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.

    NORTHERN IRELAND

    The law in Northern Ireland is not the same as mainland England and the use of metal detectors is covered by the Historic Monuments Act (NI) 1971 which states:

    Part IV Section 11: A person shall not, save under and in accordance with a licence .....dig or excavate in or under any land ..... for the purpose of searching generally for archaeological objects ....

    Part IV Section 12: The finder of any archaeological object ..... shall, within fourteen days of such finding, report the circumstances .... to the Director of the Ulster Museum .... or to the officer in charge of a police station.

    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 archaelogical 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'.


    Sound like fun yet??

    Daryl


    The only way to really understand something is to play with it.

  6. #6

    Jul 2004
    35

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    Bioprofessor, what is your source? Where can you find more info?

    Thats pretty much what I figured; if you find something of historical importance even if it is on your own land you have to hand it over.

  7. #7

    Apr 2007
    Mankato, MN
    Minelab e-Trac, White E-Series DFX
    2,911
    7 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    The only way to really understand something is to play with it.

  8. #8

    Apr 2007
    Mankato, MN
    Minelab e-Trac, White E-Series DFX
    2,911
    7 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    This will keep you busy. It is the actual convention law of the European Union. All the countries are on the side bar - I think.

    http://heritagelaw.org/

    Daryl
    The only way to really understand something is to play with it.

  9. #9

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    6,165
    1819 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    Well I would think that all that stuff applies to public land. Seems that if you owned your own land, or, by extension, had permission from the farmer, you could detect. And if perhaps the laws did say you had to give the government each coin or such & such aged stuff, or 10%, blah blah blah, me wonders if anyone really gives a hoot about that, unless you scored the next Atocha?

    I mean, if I went to city hall and alerted them that I found this barber dime in central park "do you want it back?", they might say "yes, since it was found on 'our' land". But the reality is, no one here reports their wheat pennies, silver, or even gold. There's even a CA state beach rule that says finders of jewelry are to return any jewelry item they find, on state beaches, to the lost-&-found dept. I've never done so, and I don't know of anyone who's done so. Yet if you look long and hard enough, it's there in the minutia. So in the same regards, I wonder how much those seemingly harsh md'ing rules in some European countries are the same thing? I don't doubt that they're very strict about their historic monuments, etc... but when it comes to a potato farmer's field, does anyone really care?

    A friend of mine went on a guided tour of fields in Rumania. They went to various fields during fallow times, where villas had stood in historic times, as evidenced by crockery shards, brick, etc... that could be seen during plow season.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  10. #10

    Apr 2007
    Mankato, MN
    Minelab e-Trac, White E-Series DFX
    2,911
    7 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    The Law applies to all land. But there's the Law and there's the enforcement of it. Two separate things.

    Daryl
    The only way to really understand something is to play with it.

  11. #11

    Oct 2005
    XLT, Whites D.F., Treasure Baron, Deepstar, Goldquest, Beachscan, T.D.I., Sovereign, 2x Nautilus, various Arado's, Ixcus Diver, Altek Quadtone, T2, Beach Hunter I.D, GS 5 pulse, Searchman 2 ,V3i
    1,628
    131 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    Reality is different from what is noted as bare bones of the law.

    Most countries in Europe allow metal detecting and you are allowed to keep what you find or are awarded a sum of money related to the finds value.

    In all cases you either have to have permission of the landowner or be on a public beach (beaches do have some bylaws even if used by the public.)
    Common land/State land, 'public' footpaths legally can't be detected without special permission.
    Parks often have complete detecting bans. The trick used is to allow detecting but not digging to recover the find. In a park they could say your destroying council property by digging through the grass that belongs to the council.

    In France, that has a huge amount of detectorists, you can't detect for historical items. You can however look for modern coins, a lost ring etc and if you happen to find a buried hoard well lucky you.
    Spain like Turkey is very strict. You really can't detect inland even if you were the owner of the land. People beach detect at their own risk. Many on holiday in Spain end up with their equipment confiscated, a fine and a few nights in a cell. Others go back ever year with no trouble as they only detect early in the morning when there's no one about and avoid beaches with beach cleaners who regard lost coins and rings as a perk of the job and will report you to the Police in the blink of an eye.

    All of Britain is, in theory, open for detecting as long as permission has been granted by the landowner. In fact many areas are listed as of scientific or historical interest and a large percentage is owned the National Trust (on behalf of the people). All these areas are out of bounds. Don't worry if you fancy a detecting holiday. Knock on a farmers door and if there's any area you can't detect on on his farm he will know.
    Southern Ireland is a different country. Basically you can't detect on land and there's even a few beaches where you can be prosecuted. They have the same attitude as the Greek authorities towards detecting so I would not even bother to try and take a detector in.

    The plus side of European detecting is that to encourage finds to be reported you will be rewarded. So they don't get buried in paperwork you don't have to report modern finds (could be 50,100 or 300 years old depending where you are) and even older items which could be of gold or silver don't have to be reported if not in quantity.
    In the case of Britain to be declared at least two coins have to be over 300 years old and contain at least 10% gold or silver. If they are debased coinage and have less than 10% of silver or gold and there are more than ten coins they still have to be reported.
    Things then get a little complicated if you find an ancient object near or with coins that would not have to reported. This can change the status of not having to be reported to 'must be reported'. There are also finer divisions of law for if an items is considered to have been buried for later recovery or is just a casual loss.

    So you have to know what your doing and keep up to date. Laws can be changed at a moments notice.The internet tends not to be up to date or forgets that countries that allow detecting have States that will not allow it in any respect.

    Nice thing in Britain is when you find your million dollar hoard eventually you will get it, or its value back and there's no tax.

    Brian

  12. #12

    Jul 2004
    35

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    What about non European countries like Australia and South Pacific countries? I am sure there are some coins and stuff worth finding that washes up on the beaches down under.

  13. #13

    May 2005
    7,209
    19 times

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    I have a booklet that I am selling for $49.95, postage
    will be paid

    It is an alphabetical list of countries of the world,
    including independent states (both those that are
    internationally recognised and generally unrecognised),
    inhabited dependent territories and areas of special
    sovereignty, giving the procedure for using a metal
    detector in their area.

    This is a must for any person interested in using a
    metal detector in other countries.

    A few examples of the entries:

    Republic of Abkhazia Check with local authorities.
    Commonwealth of The Bahamas Check with local authorities.
    Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Check with local authorities.
    Turkmenistan Check with local authorities.

    If your interested just pm me.
    If your interested in more than one copy, I am sure
    we can work out a deal.

    all have a good un...............
    SHERMANVILLE
    In the academies many books, at the circus many sacks of peanuts, at the club rooms many cigar butts.

  14. #14

    Oct 2005
    XLT, Whites D.F., Treasure Baron, Deepstar, Goldquest, Beachscan, T.D.I., Sovereign, 2x Nautilus, various Arado's, Ixcus Diver, Altek Quadtone, T2, Beach Hunter I.D, GS 5 pulse, Searchman 2 ,V3i
    1,628
    131 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    Most South Sea Islands are like the Caribbean and allow hobby detecting. What they do watch out for is recovery from wrecks which is strictly controlled.
    Australia like New Zealand allows detecting subject to landowners permission but they are very protective of their old colonial sites which are strict no goes.

    A site thats not to out of date and worth a look is at
    http://www.ncmd.co.uk/law.htm#ITALY

    Its normally best to contact the Embassy of the country your interested in and just ask the current rules. Stress its hobby detecting.

    Dick Stout likes this.

  15. #15

    Oct 2005
    XLT, Whites D.F., Treasure Baron, Deepstar, Goldquest, Beachscan, T.D.I., Sovereign, 2x Nautilus, various Arado's, Ixcus Diver, Altek Quadtone, T2, Beach Hunter I.D, GS 5 pulse, Searchman 2 ,V3i
    1,628
    131 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Metal Detecting laws for different countries?

    One last thought. Its great if you can link up with a local who will know the rules and deal with the language barrier but this can also get you into trouble.
    If gold hunting in South America you are allowed to wander say from Brazil 50 miles into the neighbouring country (guess it springs from pre electronic aids when you might not know exactly where you are). They can do the same in the reverse direction. By 'you' I mean citizens of these countries. If a non citizen your in trouble. Locals don't seem to think about it and will happily take you where they can go but your not allowed.

 

 
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