Rules for metal detecting in France - Detect Metal Detectors
Rules for metal detecting in France

Rules for metal detecting in France

By: Detect metaaldetectors Comments: 0

Metal detection is a popular hobby in France and around the world. It's a fun and adventurous way to discover what lies beneath the ground. However, it can be a challenge to know the rules and regulations that apply in France if you want to go metal detecting. In this article, we will discuss the key rules and regulations.

Regulations for Metal Detection in France

In France, metal detection is a regulated activity, and there are various laws and rules that must be followed. The rules vary depending on where you want to search, so it's important to be well-informed about the rules and regulations before you start.

Searching in Public Places in France

If you want to go metal detecting in public places, such as public parks and beaches, you need permission from the authorities. Therefore, it's essential to contact the local municipality before you start searching.

Searching at Archaeological Sites

Searching for archaeological sites is strictly prohibited without permission from the authorities. Archaeological sites are usually designated as historical monuments, and it's important to respect these monuments.

Archaeology Law

The French Archaeology Law of 2016 (Loi n° 2016-925) regulates the use of metal detectors in France and imposes restrictions on metal detecting.

In accordance with this law, it is prohibited to search for archaeological objects using a metal detector in areas designated as archaeological zones without permission from the competent authorities. These zones include areas known to have archaeological sites, as well as areas considered sensitive to archaeological findings.

If you still want to search with a metal detector, you must apply to the competent authorities, such as the municipality or the Ministry of Culture. In some cases, a permit may be granted, but only if there is no risk of disturbance or destruction of archaeological sites.

Violation of this law can lead to criminal prosecution and fines. Therefore, it's essential to understand and follow the legislation regarding metal detection in France to avoid breaking the law.

In general, searching for objects over 100 years old without permission from the authorities is prohibited. Searching without permission can result in a fine of up to €1,500, and your detector may be confiscated.

Searching on Private Property

If you want to search on private property, it's essential to ask for permission from the owner. It's also important to note that the owner of the land is the owner of all objects found there. Additionally, you should check whether the land is designated as an archaeological zone before searching.

So, make clear agreements with the property owner before you start searching. It's also advisable to create a written agreement to prevent any disputes.

Searching in Protected Areas

Some areas in France are protected due to their ecological or historical value. It is strictly forbidden to search in these areas unless you have permission from the authorities. It's important to be aware of these areas before you start searching.

Where Not to Search in France?

There are certain areas in France where you are not allowed to search with a metal detector unless you have permission from the authorities. These include:

  • Archaeological sites and monuments
  • Areas with sensitive flora and fauna
  • Military areas and areas where explosives may be found
  • Areas where protected species nest, such as beaches with seals or bird nesting sites

If you enter and search these areas without permission, you may be fined, and your equipment may be confiscated.

Reporting Finds

If you find something during your search that may have historical value, you must report it to the authorities. This applies to objects older than 100 years and with significance for the history or heritage of France.

You must notify the authorities within 48 hours of the discovery and inform them of the object's location. Failure to do so may result in a fine, and the object may be confiscated.

It's also important to remember that you are not allowed to keep or sell the object without permission from the authorities.

Come Prepared in France

So, if you want to go metal detecting in France, it's important to know the rules and regulations and be prepared. Searching for archaeological objects without permission from the authorities is prohibited, and it's important to show respect for the country's historical monuments.

If you have permission to search, make clear agreements with the authorities and the landowner where you intend to search. It's also important to report any finds to the authorities.

Buying a Metal Detector for Your Adventure in France

By following the above laws and rules, you can enjoy this fun and exciting hobby safely and responsibly. If you're looking for a suitable metal detector for your search or want to learn more about searching in France, feel free to contact us, and we'll be happy to provide you with the best customized advice!


Please note: Detect Metal Detectors is not responsible for any future changes in laws. The seeker is always responsible for researching and complying with the laws and regulations.

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