List of countries where metal detecting is allowed/banned

In South Iceland advertising of metal detectors is equated with striptease ad. Is it normal? Here’s the list of countries where metal detecting is permitted or prohibited.

Australia. Any metal detecting is allowed. Prospecting for gold nuggets, as well as beach search, are favourites among locals. There are not so many archaeological finds in Australia – much less that in Europe and the U.S.

Austria. The use of metal detectors in archaeological contexts requires a permission issued by the Austrian Federal Monument Authority.

Belarus. Until 2013, metal detecting was prohibited only at archeological sites under state protection, WWII battlefield sites and on private land (without the owner’s permission). Since 2013, some laws and provisions restricting searching for historic artifacts have come into force. In actual fact, the use of metal detectors in Belarus can be considered forbidden.

Belgium. Private individuals aren’t allowed to look for archaeological artifacts. Beach search is permitted.

Bulgaria. The owner of a metal detector must register his device with the Ministry of Culture (otherwise he shall be punishable by a fine, or even jail time). Searching for archaeological objects requires permission. There are still illegal treasure hunters in Bulgaria, however – e.g., our commenter Кустарников ))

Note: Here’s a comment from Bulgarian treasure hunter Кустарников. “Actually, we have another situation – metal detectors are sold legally, and registration is required only if the buyer is an archeological museum and the device will be used during legal archeological excavations. Searching for archaeological finds in our country is permitted only for local historical and archaeological museums. It’s strictly forbidden for usual people to detect archaeological sites – not only already known places, but also still unknown ones. The problem is that there are lots of unknown sites in Belarus but the law doesn’t specify where in particular it is allowed to search – in other words, there isn’t such a list of places where it’s permitted to hunt freely. Thus, if you buy a metal detector, you can only perform air tests with it at home, and that’s all”.

Cambodia. Metal detecting is allowed only on beaches.

Francois. Regarding to hunting in Cambodia ; Last December a Frenchmen with a Deus has been arrested after 3 times ignoring a warning from police officers NOT to look with a metaldetector on the beach.

Canada. On the one side, it’s a country with a very poor history – it’s unreal to find a 200- or 300-year- old item. On the other hand, searching for historic artifacts is officially forbidden. It is the landowner who gives you permission to hunt with a metal detector. Or, you may metal detect in parks (there is also gold there) as well as on beaches.

Canary islands (Tenerife). Metal detecting is allowed without any restrictions.

Caribbean islands. Metal detecting is allowed without any restrictions.

China. Any metal detecting is forbidden.

Comoros islands. Any metal detecting is forbidden.

Croatia. Metal detecting is forbidden. Detection is not forbidden in Croatia.

Cuba. Any metal detecting is forbidden. The very possession of metal detectors is equated with the possession of weapons.

Cyprus. Any metal detecting is forbidden, including beach search. If someone tries to take a metal detector through customs, it will be confiscated.

Czech Republic. To search for archaeological artifacts you will need permission. Metal detecting on beaches is allowed.

Denmark. Metal detecting is allowed. Very large and valuable items found must be given to the state.

Note: Here’s a comment from Italian detectorist Arne Hertz. In Denmark you can detect with landowners permission and must keep a 2 meter distance from protected sites. Most archeological finds, pre 1537 coins, any gold and larger silvercoins are gowerment property. And that is the short version. Also you cant treat Germany as one country. The different länder or states have different rules.

Dominican Republic. Metal detecting is allowed and encouraged without any sort of restrictions.

Egypt. Beach metal detecting is allowed, although permission will be required in some hotels with private beaches. According to commenter maxipim, there can be problems with getting the detector through customs. He shared his experience: while preparing for the trip to Egypt he packed the machine and coil separately – when dealing with the customs he said it was a crutch.

Ethiopia. Metal detectors are totally banned.

France. Searching for archaeological finds requires permission. Beach metal detecting is allowed.

Germany. Metal detecting is allowed but requires a license.

Ghana. Locals are permitted to metal detect without any restrictions. Tourists need to acquire a permit (license?).

Greece. The owner of a metal detector must obtain a license which is issued by the Ministry of Culture. Metal detecting on beaches requires the mayor’s permission. It’s prohibited to search for archeological objects – jail term of 10 to 20 years.

Hungary. The use of metal detectors requires special permission.

Iceland (southern part). It is totally forbidden to use metal detectors. By way of example, advertising of devices is equated with striptease ad. Looks a lot alike… Given that the country has a population of nearly 320,000, it’s even normal ))

India. Metal detecting is allowed. But any foreign treasure hunter evokes great interest from locals. Under favorable circumstances, they may even grab the machine from a foreigner or call the police.

Indonesia. Metal detecting is allowed.

Ireland. Historic artifacts can be looked for only after getting permission and approval from landowners. Beach metal detecting is allowed (so what are the beaches in Ireland?).

Israel. It’s forbidden to search for historic artifacts. Illegal treasure hunters are punished by jail time. But anyway, enthusiasts are still hunting there – the land of Israel is stuffed full of finds. Any construction, downpour, or great storm yields discoveries (without participation of detectorists). Metal detecting on beaches is allowed. Agent Mulder regularly recovers gold off beach.

Italy. All things of archeological interest, in and out of the ground, are the property of the state. Metal detecting by private individuals is allowed in some regions. A finder of valuable objects receives a reward. There are regions where the use of metal detectors is prohibited – e.g., Valle d’Aosta, Calabria, Lazio, Tuscany, Sicily.

And one more thing… According to local detectorists, beach search in Italy is controlled by mafia and the police. There is division into areas which are under control of different clans. Mafia treasure hunters ))

Note: Here’s a comment from Italian detectorist sergio. “Metal detecting is allowed on public beaches. But there is nothing to dig there. Private beaches are watched over by guards – it’s possible to make a deal with some of them, but some will be against, and it’s better not to argue with them. The police, carabinieri and mafia – this is a mere fable. The competition among detectorists is rather high… You can also hunt in the regions where it’s prohibited to, but not in the areas of archaeological importance – on private land and in the mountains. But there is nothing to search for in the mountains, too, as everywhere there are shot and shells the hunters left behind”.

Jordan. Metal detecting by private individuals is forbidden. Note that detectors are not allowed through Jordan customs as well.

Kenya. Metal detecting is allowed without any restrictions.

Latvia. Metal detecting is allowed on beaches and privately owned land (if you have permission of the owner). In all other cases, it’s prohibited to search with a metal detector. Special attention is paid to war relic hunters. Latvian police is said to keep an unofficial record of such hobbyists. Do you believe in it? ))

Libya. Any metal detecting is forbidden.

Lithuania. Since 2010, there have been changes in the country – some restrictions to using metal detectors have come into force. At present historic artifacts can be looked for after getting permission from the Department of Cultural Heritage. Metal detecting on beaches is allowed.

Maldives. Metal detecting is allowed without any restrictions.

Malta. Any metal detecting by individuals is forbidden. However, there are options when local authorities give permission for reasonable pay-off.

Mexico. Metal detecting is permitted. BUT (and it’s extremely important) detecting in Mexico is the prerogative of mafia clans. Apart from archeological finds, mafia has put their hands on beach search.

Moldova. Since 2011, metal detecting in the country is forbidden. The possession of metal detectors is also prohibited.

Mongolia. Metal detectors are totally banned.

Morocco (Agadir). Metal detecting is officially prohibited. But there are quite many treasure hunters in the country.

Namibia. Searching for archaeological finds is forbidden. Beach metal detecting is allowed.

Northern Ireland. Metal detecting is allowed on privately owned land (after getting permission from the owner). I wonder where things stand with beach hunting in Northern Ireland ))

Norway. Metal detecting is allowed only after getting permission.

Philippines. It’s forbidden to search for archaeological objects. Beach metal detecting is allowed.

Portugal. Metal detecting is officially prohibited. But there are treasure hunting clubs in Lagoa and Portimao districts that obtain permission to use metal detectors. Plus, it’s very rare that beach search is allowed by special permission from authorities (for locals only).

Romania. Metal detecting requires permission. There is the cultural property police in Romania (Politia de Patrimoniu).

Russia. It’s almost forbidden to search for historic artifacts. Beach metal detecting is allowed.

Saudi Arabia. All things, in and out of the ground, are the property of the Emir. If someone disagrees, he will be executed. Metal detectors are totally banned.

Slovakia. The use of metal detectors requires permission.

South Africa. Metal detecting is permitted only on beaches.

Spain. The use of detection devices for the purpose of searching for archeological finds is not allowed unless you get permission. However, there is a fair amount of illegal treasure hunters in Spain. Several years ago there used to be even private treasure hunts for foreign tourists.

Robin. In Spain it depends on which region one is in. Some regions its completely forbidden
Other regions its allowed. and then there are other you MUST have permit. Generally any detection on historic sites in NOT allowed. Other areas must have landowner permission and regional office of archaeology. Beaches again depending on which region one is in.

Sri Lanka. Metal detecting is forbidden. Police react quickly to any reports on treasure hunters.

Sweden. Metal detecting is forbidden.

peter. Its not allowed in sweden you cant even metal detect on your own land.

Switzerland. Metal detecting is officially not forbidden. But each canton, or even a district, has its own rules. Thus, it may be forbidden to metal detect only on archeological sites. However, there are examples when it’s allowed to search even there. On the other hand, in some areas, collecting scrap metal does require permission from the district authorities. Moreover, you will need double permission at that: a metal detecting license plus the landowner’s permit.

Thailand. Metal detecting is allowed without any restrictions.

Tunisia. Metal detecting is forbidden. Nevertheless, there are treasure hunters on some of the beaches.

Turkey. To search with a metal detector, including beach hunting, you will need to get a permit. However, you shouldn’t rely on verbal permission from hotel administration – the police will come and will take your metal detector away (they can also put you to prison at that).

UAE. Beach search is allowed in some areas (on a very limited basis).

Uganda. Metal detecting is allowed without any restrictions. Is this the country you are dreaming of? ))

UK (England). Archaeological finds can be looked for only after getting permission (it’s not a problem to receive it). Considering that most land is privately owned, you will require additional permission from the owner. Any valuable object found shall also be shared with the landowner. The museums have a priority right to acquire finds. Concealment of a discovery is fraught with punishment. In England the value of the find is determined in a rather interesting way. For example, a Roman lead plate isn’t viewed as a valuable find, although it costs $363,625.

Also, in England beach metal detecting is allowed, although there are places where you are required to obtain a permit or to pay fees. For instance, if you wish to metal detect on a public beach, you will need to ask local authorities for permission. Detecting on the River Thames beaches, within the boundaries of London, does require payment of a few dozen pounds fee.

As a matter of fact, England takes first place in Europe, followed by Poland and France, in terms of the number of hobbyists involved in metal detecting.

Ukraine. Metal detecting on official archeological sites is forbidden. The rest of sites – you can search where and with whom you like )) But well, it’s only for the time being. There will probably be some restrictions in the future.

USA. Metal detecting is allowed without any restrictions. To search on privately owned land you will need to obtain permission from the owner.

Vietnam. Metal detecting is allowed. Tourists prefer beach hunting. Anyone with a metal detector is a great spectacle for locals – children gather together in a crowd and are tagging along behind him. Local detectorists search for war artifacts a bit.

The list of countries is being updated. Do you have anything to add? Lots of treasure hunters will be grateful to you.

180 Responses to List of countries where metal detecting is allowed/banned

  • France : archeological site is forbidden unless you got permission that almost never given. Private land is authorised with owner permission , beach tolerated and regulated by mayor bylaw. The french law state that it is forbidden to search for archeological, historical, art artefact ( what metal detector can determine 100% what you can find ?!). If you find something on the above mentioned categorie even in private ground you have to declare it and not dig it ( if you get the item out you risk persecution for destruction of archeological site almost every time).

    • Dumbfuck Frog Asswipes

      • It is 100% illegal in Syria. Canadian was recently arrested at the airport when he tried to enter Damascus with a small metal detector in his luggage. He was held for nine months. Was repatriated to Canada on August 8 2019.

    • Archeology and the body cant dig everywhere and hope to discover history. Its seems a pathetic naivety to hate detectorists. The greatest finds are made by non archeoligists. Are they so childish and infantile that they cant have a good relationship with detectorists and history can be discovered and shared by all. They need to grow up

      • Si Martin hai ragione, parlano di patrimonio di proprietà dello Stato, ma non si conosce il patrimonio perché nessuno sa cosa c’è sotto il terreno magari non c’è niente! Pertanto solo quando il ricercatore lo trova diventerà patrimonio… dovrebbe lo Stato e l’autorità archeologica, collaborare con i ricercatori (lavorano gratis) affinché questo patrimonio venga tirato fuori… i ricercatori lo fanno per passione ed impiegano il loro tempo e il loro denaro. E’ solo questione di ignoranza intellettuale la loro purtroppo, non capiscono che quello che loro definiscono “patrimonio” più rimane nel terreno e più si rovina diventando alla fine solo un cattivo ricordo di quello che era, e il paese ha perso così un pezzettino della sua storia e del “patrimonio”. Un paese intelligente farebbe di tutto per tirar fuori la sua storia dal sottosuolo collaborando ed usando i ricercatori che impiegano il loro tempo e attrezzatura gratuitamente perché è pura passione… In Italia per fortuna si può cercare con il metal basta avere il permesso del proprietario del terreno, se si trovano particolari oltre i 50 anni vanno consegnati, e se di valore viene riconosciuto un indennizzo se il reperto è di valore storico, altrimenti viene lasciato al ricercatore. E’ proibito cercare in aree archeologiche e di interesse archeologico, per essere sicuri bisogna informarsi nel Comune dove si vuole fare la ricerca e stare molto distanti da queste aree se non si vogliono problemi. In qualche regione è proibito, e in qualche altra viene rilasciato un patentino dopo aver frequentato un corso presso una Associazione di Ricerca Storica, questo per la ricerca di materiale della WWI, mentre per la WWII è libera. Quello che qualcuno è ora che capisca è che non tutti i ricercatori sono “TOMBAROLI”, e qualcosa lasciato sotto il terreno è già persa se non la si recupera… non ci vuole tanta intelligenza per capirlo!

      • You’re right, as long as you preserve the context and details of your find. If not, all you have is a pretty thing that came out of the ground. I would suggest keeping a log of your finds (gps points) and notes on things like depth and other associated artifacts. Keep this going and soon you’ll have a neat map with a little more situational info or, provenience as we say in the business. I agree that metal detectors have a lot to add to the archaeological record, but it’s all about that context – without it, a lot of valuable knowledge can be permenantly lost. I fully understand the complications from both sides, archaeologists and metal detector enthusiasts because I am both. Cheers

    • Hi could you tell if it is legal in Iraq

  • Actually In france the situation is quite tense, most state archaologist are at war against detectorist and persecution is an habit.

  • Metaldetecting in Sweden: You must have a permission the authority and landowner, and even whit premission you still can`t look for Archaeological finds.

    • In Sweden your need a permit and map of your permitted area on you when detecting. I know, i have a permit and 3 diffrent areas. One of the areas on the permit is my own property.

  • Metal detecting in Portugal: The afirmation It´s wrong… It´s not officially prohibited. The law is similar than Spain, that is, the use of detection devices for the purpose of searching for archeological finds is not allowed unless you get permission (that you can´t get unless you are working as an archeologist or work in this area). But if you detect far away from classified sites and you are not looking for archeologic finds the law dont forbid the use. In the Beach it is forbidden by law but you cna get a permission.

  • Ma andate affanculo! Ma quale mafia e inciuci con la polizia in Italia? Questo articolo è vergognoso!

    • hai completamente ragione. Sono Ungherese ma ho cercato con MD in Eraclea Mare e no era problema con nessuno. Mafia? Questi Americani sono divertenti :)

      • I agree these comments are added stupor as the people that make them. Ciao

      • abbiamo visto che hai cercato qui ad Araclea , adesso ti stiamo cercando …vogliamo i nostri 50 euro ….!

      • hello.
        Can tell somebody what is porhibited area in italy for md? actualy im interested in beach..
        thanks

    • Invece da scrive la tuo versione per chiarire le cose te preferisce insultare ,,, povera Italia

      • Rober… l’Italia non è povera… perché siamo il paese al mondo più ricco di storia, più di tutta l’Europa messa insieme, e con l’MD è questo che voi cercate ogni volta che uscite, la vostra storia. Solo che certi luoghi comuni fanno incazzare, perché non c’è paese al mondo che non ha la mafia… o è tutta italiana?
        Chiarisco io la situazione italiana:
        In alcune regioni due o tre, ci sono molte restrizioni, nelle altre la ricerca con MD è libera a patto che si resti lontano dalle aree archeologiche e di interesse archeologico, compreso le aree di rispetto ambientale, in queste ultime non si può portare un attrezzo da scavo, solo il coltello.
        Per conoscere con sicurezza le aree proibite è opportuno recarsi nel Comune dove si ha intenzione di usare l’MD e chiedere una mappa delle aree proibite.
        In alcune regione attualmente si può ottenere un patentino di ricercatore di reperti storici della WWI, mentre della WWII la ricerca è libera, sul resto del territorio basta avere il consenso del proprietario del terreno, compreso boschi e le spiagge, dove ci sono gli ombrelloni anche li ci vuole il permesso di chi ha in concessione il tratto di mare dallo Stato. Lungo la battigia per a circa 6 m. la ricerca e libera non bisogna chiedere a nessuno salvo come su detto non ci siano zone proibite perché archeologiche… vecchi porti romani o altro!
        Spero di aver chiarito il fattaccio…

    • chiao! can you tell in italy adria beach is allow (the hotel owner)detecting on the hotel and other paybeach?
      thanks

  • Germany: metal detecting requires permision by the archeologists and is strictly forbidden on or nearby archeologic sites and in forests. It is allowed (with permisssion only) on plugged fields etc.
    As in France, the archeologists seem to be at war with metal detectorists. When I started metal detecting 20 years ago it was much easier than today.

  • Malaysia= metal detecting is allow

  • In algeria métal detector= 2 years prison

    • Lol they arrested me for 4 hours then they released me, but they kept my patriot metal detector saying it was illegal.

  • Wat about Japan ?

    • Japan is allowed. One time I was detecting a beach and was asked by a local Japanese what I was doing? I explained I was looking for gold/silver and coins. The lady then asked me if I was poor. haha….

    • All the metel in Japan melted in 1945.

  • the belgian post is NOT up to date.
    if you really want to know , ask me.

  • Laws governing metal detecting in England are covered. But, do the same laws also apply in Scotland? Didn’t know if by “England” the writer meant all of Great Britain or just England itself?

  • There are a significant number of regulations regarding the prohibition of metal detecting on public lands, both Federal and state lands, in the United States. A good summary of those laws can be found at: http://www.mdhtalk.org/articles/legal-to-detect/legal-to-detect.htm

  • Regarding metal detecting in the Republic of Ireland, the following is an extract from guidelines from the National Museum of Ireland:

    “The unauthorised use of metal detectors to look for archaeological objects is against the law. Such usage is subject to severe penalties, including imprisonment and/or fines. The categories of objects that are most commonly located by metal detectorists in Ireland, such as coins, tokens, buttons, clothes fasteners, thimbles, keys, seals, weights, strap ends and belt mounts, all fulfil the definition of ‘archaeological objects’ which may only be searched for under license.

    It is advised therefore that persons do not engage in general searches for lost or buried objects as to do so may place them at risk of prosecution and endanger the archaeological heritage.”

    For more information see: http://www.museum.ie/The-Collections/Metal-Detecting-in-Ireland-The-Law

  • “In spain The use of detection devices for the purpose of searching for archeological finds is not allowed unless you get permission.”

    Well in Spain you can’t metal detect in archeological or mineral sites, however you can get a permission from the authorities to do so. In southern Spain, In the Sevilla province, you can only detect with a permission, an to get that permission you may have to wait years. I know people that have been waiting 2 years to get the permission. And I don’t know for sure but I think the permission only allows you to metal detect in the beach. In Spain you find an object that could be more than 200 years old, you have to inform the authorities. And If you find things like rings or phones or pretty much any object that is not money you have to give it to the police and after 2 years if the owner doesn’t appear, you can get the object you found and sell it or keep it or whatever you want to.

  • Poland: Search with metal detector requires a permit from WKZ, on beaches are allowed

    • What about private properties in Poland – do you still need the permit? I guess you definitely need it for state owned leases. And how are private landowners’ attitudes to descendants of former landowners who approach them asking for permission?

    • The rules has changed. Since the beginning of this year, if you’re searching without a permit, you can go to jail for 2 years + they can find you with something valuable and historical, but damaged, they can say you were the person who did this and you can go to jail even for 8 years.

      Jewish Poland <3

    • As far as I know, it is still legal to use metal detector to search for meteorites in Poland.

  • How about in the philippines?

    • I have secretly detected in the Philippines and had no problems with customs taking in my 2 box Discovery detector..
      Again you will need written permission from the landowner and have permission from the DNER for a treasure permit.
      I have a written book about treasure hunting in the Philippines that explain everything about hunting for lost Japanese treasure. see; General Yamashita’s Dream Book: How To Successfully Treasure Hunt in The Philippines. By Aquila Chrysaetos (my pen name).

      People do find gold bars, gold coins, golden Buddhas, and Japanese bunkers full of treasure even today. You will get a lot of kids on the beach watching you metal detect! There is natural alluvial gold found in the rivers close to Cagayan De Oro in Mindanao. My third book describes how I used infrared photography to find buried gold, silver and copper coins in the Philippines. This technique can be used by any treasure hunter to find buried treasure now in ANY country before you even start to detect!

  • When I went to Jamaica, they said it was officially legal, but to watch out for the drug cartels who routinely take anything you find or just shoot you & take your machine. In other words, stay on the resort.

  • Marauding groups of uncontrolled metal detectetorists are rampaging through the the English countryside, ,farmers are engouraged by get rich quick individuals to hire there fields out on a daily basis for fees in excess off a thousand pounds per day, entrance fees are then charged to visiting metal detecting enthusiasts,who will walk off the field with there finds in there pockets ,some of these groups are sponsored by Metal detector shops and outlets .
    Some of the land is being used by Individuls small groups and clubs in a responsible way with finds being recorded ,the hobby in the UK is being scrutinised with the view of applying restrictions ,because of the iresponsible actions of others .

    • I gather you havent been on a rally or club dig,we record with PAS and have finds liason officers on site to record all finds.the artifacts are better dug than lost forever or destroyed by plough and soil conditions. just my opinion. atb hh gl

    • Paul is talking his usual propagandist, anti-detectorist nonsense.

      There are a few undistinguished, archaeologists across Europe, who because of their own failures to establish themselves among their heritage peers, dedicate their miserable lives by spreading lies and on behalf of others, more talented but equally nasty. The Portable Antiquities Scheme is the envy of the world with over one million artefacts recorded by Britain’s hobbyists.

      The elephant in the room and that which Paul fails to mention ( well, he would wouldn’t he?) is that the number of artefacts documented on the PAS database found by archaeologists can be counted on the palm of one hand.

      • You talk Bollocks. 99% of major historical finds are by hobby detectors vagy large % IS documented by the pas. Muslims. Reason is that Uk authorities pay Finder full correct value if the item found.

    • That is just nonsense clubs charge on average £10 per day, in England , and they encourage finds to be reported to the PAS or you can train to record your own finds,to take the pressure off the FLO’S. The FLO,s are overworked because of the amount of finds being regilarly recorded.

  • What about metal detecting in canada?

    • You need visa to get there . . . :)

    • Legal anywhere. Permission must be obtained from landowners. Provincial parks and national parks seem to be off limits except for beaches. Some city or town park personnel might frown on it. Overall it’s canada and nobody seems to give you a second look.

      • In National and Provincial Parks, there are no prohibitions for using metal detectors except in registered archaeological sites. The wording of the regulations for the parks generally pertain to “digging” or damaging the area. The same is often for cities and towns with bylaws pertaining to the “digging” but no specificity to metal detecting. So you can metal detect but you need to carefully consider your method of recovery. I just dealt with this at a provincial park. Once I walked the staff through how I use a screw driver to recover coins in the grass, they had no issue.

    • Each province in Canada has it’s own laws, for instance metal detecting in Nova Scotia is illegal. But in the province of New Brunswick right next door it is legal. What was written here about Canada is wrong because in all parks pretty well across the country it is illegal!

  • What about Scotland?

    • Same rules apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is a great relationship between archaeologists and detectorists on the whole. Detecting is legal with landowners permission except on sites of historical interest or nature reserves that have been given special protection. Beach detecting is allowed (check crown estates site for details) but watch for local laws, nature reserves and sites that have been leased to organisations that prohibit it.

      You can get a license to detect in London on the Thames. There are lots of organised digs for those without permissions. They require insurance (£15 approx a year) and cost about £20-25 per day. ‘Treasure’ must be declared (see NCMD link below) and export license for finds is required.

      Useful links on laws, getting insured etc… https://www.ncmd.co.uk. Friendly forum to ask questions… https://www.metaldetectingforum.co.uk

      • Hi how I can get the license for metal detectors in UK.? Can you send me more details please

  • The comment on the Bulgarian site is wrong. He is talking about Belarus??

    • and what is it in bulgaria? is it illegal? and what is it in beach? ther is lot of hunters? and is it something dangerous in hunting in beach?

  • Netherlands: allowed on a private grounds with a permission from a land owner. Not so hard to get as this is very popular hobby here. Allowed on the beaches without any additional permissions, there only may be some local restrictions regarding time of a day you can search.
    Strictly forbidden in some areas especially the areas of WW2 battles and operations. List of forbidden areas is easy to find in the internet. Forbidden in forests away from the footpaths. Forests are patroled by boswachters on a motorbikes, so you hear them from a distance.
    Despite all of above, every neighbourhood has its own rules called ADV, which regulate all aspects of a given area (geemente), including metal detecting.

  • And Scotland is free ?

  • In Denmark you can detect with landowners permission and must keep a 2 meter distance from protected sites. Most archeological finds, pre 1537 coins, any gold and larger silvercoins are gowerment property. And that is the short version

    Also you cant treat Germany as one country. The different länder or states have different rules.

  • In Estonia you can search beaches and there are law if you search items older than 1300AD you need license. Its funny law because overall its allowed to search everywhere if you have landowner permission. Government wanted to make all metaldetecting under licence only but they failed to make law. So there are peoples who have license and there are more people who dont have it. It costs like 500 euros to make that licence and dectorists asks really? Noone cares. Its government effort to monitoring all dectorists and etc. Spying after dectorists, thatswhy almost noone makes that license.

    • Are there any accessible areas aside from beaches where detecting is allowed on public land, where you don’t have to seek owner permission? What about in a forest that is not owned by a private owner (and where might I find a parcel map, so I know who owns what?) I don’t know if it makes any difference but I am a dual U.S. and Estonian citizen, but I live in the U.S. so I don’t know if I’d get in trouble for bringing a metal detector into the country via the airport. Specifically, I’d want to search for WWII era items, so I don’t think I’d be in much danger of finding pre-1300 artifacts.

  • in algeria Any metal detecting is forbidden. The possession of metal detectors is equated with the possession of weapons. If someone tries to take a metal detector through customs, it will be confiscated. jail term of 10 to 20 years.

  • and Serbia ?

  • Netherlands is over all allowed. However there are some rules:

    Allowed list:
    – You are allowed to search on private property with permission of the owner. Be aware that more and more farmers no longer allow people to search on their land due to people that do not close their holes, make a mess of things or simply search without permission.
    – You are allowed on most of the government owned land, however in some area’s it is forbidden (ask local government to make sure before you start searching!)
    – Beaches are open for searching, just as long as you leave the dunes and the other sea barriers alone. Those are strictly off limits for searching.
    – Metal detectors and magnet fishing are 100% legal, no one will really bug you about it. Although you may get locals asking you what you found so far etc.

    Forbidden list:
    – Local parks
    – Forests and nature reserves
    – Any sea/water protection site such as dunes and dikes
    – Any known World War II site that could give potential danger
    – Any known and marked archaeological site (Roman locations are very much protected, do yourself a favor and do NOT look there)

    There are people looking for World War II relics, but mostly illegal since police love writing you up for it and there have been cases of imprisonment and confiscation of EVERYTHING you found related to the topic.

    There are more and more politicians that keep trying to limit or even ban searching with a metal detector. This because of fools who take live ammunition home, to even playing dumb to say they do not know what something is (even if it’s clear it is a grenade, some type of shell or bomb). So be aware the laws may change with time for the worse

  • I want to know whether metal detecting for Indian nationals is allowed in India without any restrictions or is allowed with permission(or special permission or license). If so, then from which authority, it is to be obtained? Kindly enlighten me as I want to take up this wonderful hobby in a serious way.

  • Hi Mr Jayaswal, I am a just like minded Indian. In India there is no restriction in law for metal detecting but the historical places & monuments protected by ASI are strictly prohibited. In any other places we can do metal detecting but if anything valuable find if that relic has any historical value or more than 100 years old we have to inform the local authorities or ASI as per Indian Treasurer trove act. You can mail (apjjcool@gmail.com) me if you’re interested to have share your thoughts

  • I m from India ..Can I find gold at India beaches

  • Metal detecting on Croatian’s beaches is also forbidden ?

  • Here in Brazil doesnt exist a specific law abou metal detecting and its normal see people doing beach prospecting.
    Its prohibited by law:
    – Look for gold (or any valuable metal) nuggets only with a permission for the government (miner register). Only for brazilian citizens.
    – Protected areas (“locais tombados”). Prohibited in these areas. Normally old places with arqueological objects.
    – Prohibited to store or comercialize objects from Colony or Empire era (since 1500 to 1886) by law. Normally this law dificults trades but dont stops at all. People who found for example gold coins must to sell in black market.

  • metal ditectar allowed in nepal?

  • Norway has almost the same rules as Denmark, You will have to get landowner permission, parks and beaches are ok, old finds go automatic to the local museum ( you can get a finders reward sometimes). And 5 meters min distance on any registered or protected area (they are all over Norway).

  • Indonesia Bali metal detection lawful?

  • Indonesia can use metal detectors in Bali

  • What about my country Lebanon in midle east ?

  • What about Poland guys ? Oficially you can have a metal detector but it’ s forbridden by law to make any searches of any item (except meteorites:) ) Theoretically you can have a serious problems even for 60 years old worthless coin :).

    • I agree, but I saw an official letter from one of the authorities of Poland that a meteorite is also a movable historical treasure! Isn’t it stupid?

  • Denmark
    I am danish, not italian as you write. A follow up on Denmark. You must have permission to take items found, predating 1660, out of the country. Even the simplest artefacts such as flint flakes. Other rules apply for coins.
    So in effect a hit and run detecting trip to Denmark can not be recomended. You must allow time to turn in relevant finds to the local museum. Item not concidered Stateproperty can also be retained by local museum if concidered of cultural value. Permission to export also takes time so those finds must stay in Denmark for some time.
    And yes permission is a must, even on public beaches. Seperate rules apply for coins, but considering the abowe I can not recommend that you detect in Denmark without a knowleble local contact.

  • Your information on Canada is inaccurate. Each of the Provinces may, or may not have it’s own legislation. For example in Nova Scotia there are two acts covering artifacts. The Oak Island Act covers only Oak Island (I worked there in 2015). The rest of the Province is covered under the Special Places Protection Act. You cannot detect in a Provincial Park, but public beaches are not monitored. In addition there are certain areas covered by Federal Legislation, like Federal Historic Sites. I am not sure about other Provinces legislation

  • ”Canary islands (Tenerife). Metal detecting is allowed without any restrictions.”

    what about other island Gran Canaria, Lanzerote?

  • Is Gran Canaria same as Tenerife as going in 6 days with my detector?

  • Just got a MD for Xmas. Living near Sarlat in Dordogne France. I know about the rules with permission from local Prefect.. but how strict is it really..?
    Br

  • What is the law in Luxembourg?

  • Whoever wrote this should definitively comme and metal detect in Canada. Not sure why it says the history is poor and it’s unreal to find 200-300 years old relics. I sure did and plenty of them. I’m glad I didn’t read this before picking up the metal detector for the first time.

  • Any restrictions in Panama for metal detection

  • Many states impose stricter regulations. Vermont limits the depth of digging in state parks, and only allows digging on sand (beaches). In Maine, some state parks are off-limits if there are areas of archaeological concerns, and even on state-controlled beaches, any finds are deemed to be the property of the state and must be turned in.

  • Detecting is also prohibited on the Cape Cod National Seashore.

  • In North Carolina, if one detects along the National Seashore State Park, I have heard that you have the metal detector confiscated, your car is towed and you may be fined and go to jail. Does anyone know if this is true ?? I (do) know that most or all state parks, nature preserves, and, of course, historic parks and sites are off limits to metal detectors.

    • If there is a park entrance ask the attendant, other than that I live in North Carolina and have never been told anything on the beach. State parks won’t allow on park property but like Myrtle Beach State Park, may allow on the beach if you ask before just walking. Other than that I have never been told anything on any beach in North Carolina.

  • do u have a gold detector in maldives
    pls reply me
    thanks

  • In the USA, there are some restrictions that need to be noted. Here are a several… Detecting in National Parks, Civil War Battle fields such as Gettysburg and many others, Historical landmarks on public land that are registered with the state, some local parks are NOT allowed. State parks are permitted in certain areas, so contacting the Dept. of Natural Resources as to where it is permitted is advisable. Detecting in those areas can lead to hefty fines and or prison. It is advisable to look into local/state laws before detecting.

  • Cambodia not allowed, but……

    Maybe 5 or 10 local Khmer have a detector, incl. permit by the police dpt.
    For foreigners you never have a permit unless you pay some bribes to local police officers…

  • Your selection of this palaces are awesome It can help the detector to where he detected. There is the information of many places are allow or not allow for detecting. For this information, the detector is known about it and they are detected to right places. Uganda, USA are permitted city for detecting without any restrictions. It is an impressive post and likes to read this.

  • hi can anyone tell me is metal detecting allowed in goa ….regards johnny d

    • Hi
      you can metal detect on the beaches with no problems but you will be pestered form the locals who look at you with amusement , if you beach detect it does pay to go early am or surf detecting as this keeps locals petering you all the time , I myself intend returning sometime next year when the season for tourism eases down late april .

  • is it allowed to detect in Brazil?? anybody knows About That?

  • How about Mexico

  • Does anyone know what the situation is like in the republic of Georgia on this matter? Thanks.

  • I travel to Colombia South America and have hunted the beach in Barranquilla and Cartagena and nobody said anything more than ask what I was doing. I also hunted local freshwater beach park, no problem.. also local park nobody seemed to care. I don’t know if there are any laws specific to metal detecting in Colombia.

  • I also travel to Costa Rica and have hunted the beach there and nobody said anything more than ask what I was doing. I don’t know if there are any laws specific to metal detecting in Costa Rica.

  • What about Albanian beaches? Im going on vacatin there and thinking of getting scuba tector with me to hunt while snorkeling. Anybody?

  • I have to say that the information about metal detecting in England it not at all right as in England you do not need a permit to use metal detectors on the beach unless it private.

  • Cant find “commenter maxipim’s” experience in Egypt. Where can I find it?

  • Co pláž u hotelu v Tunisku?

  • In Sweden you can’t use metal detector with just landowner permission. You also need a permission from Länsstyrelsen. You can apply for the permission through Internet, but it costs 700 kronor (about 76 USD) for each area you want to excavate. It’s always illegal to hunt for archaeological artefacts.

    Therefore, I can’t recommend using metal detector in Sweden. It’s easier in the neighbouring countries.

  • Ireland is wrong

    Northern Ireland is same as Wales and England. Use the Crown Property Foreshore map.

    Southern Ireland/Eire is a no no for detecting.

  • What about Senegal. ?

  • Information regarding Canada here is inaccurate and ill informed. This leads me to wonder about information on the other countries listed here.

  • What about Nassau Bahamas is it still permitted to metel detect beaches water ?

  • I am from Romania, there are some things to be said in clarification: Metal detecting itself does not require any license but the possession of metal detectors is regulated by the law. Each detector must be declared and authorized individually. If you own 10 detectors, then you will have 10 authorizations. Failing to declare your detector to the police and owning one detector without authorization is a contravention and not a criminal act. However, if you are caught, the punishment is quite painful: the detector will be confiscated and you will get a very high fine (minimum 35.000 lei, this is about 7500 Euro). Only locals can obtain metal detectors ownership authorizations. Pinpointers are considered, by the law and police, as being metal detectors and, subsequently, they are also subject to authorization process. Detecting in archaeological sites and their vicinity is strictly forbidden (this is a crime, punishable with prison time) and, of course, private property is to be respected, just like everywhere else. All archaeological finds are to be surrendered to the state and a reward (30-45%) is stated by the law but it is not always granted in real life. Detecting is forbidden on the beaches of the Black Sea due to the high density of archaeological sites in the vicinity. Some high rank politicians have their own illegal metal detecting crews and they are involved into the international black market of archaeological artifacts and coins. Same about many archaeologists. This is why hobbyists are, in many cases, considered as being competition and, therefore, the corrupted press, many archaeologists and some politicians declare the detectorists are archaeological poachers and smugglers when, in fact, the truth is that the accusers are directly interested in black market consolidation. Due to this situations, it’s true that archaeological poaching and smuggling is quite alive in Romania. The solution to eradicate such phenomena is a similar legal climate as in the UK (Treasure Act Revised and Portable Antiquities Scheme) but the archaeologists and politicians are totally against it because such a legal climate will severely diminish their unofficial incomes. The painful truth is that those who scream the loudest against detectorists are, in fact, the real archaeological thieves, poachers and smugglers. Some politicians and archaeologists are fighting for a metal detecting prohibition to be enforced. Metal detecting NGOs are, off course, opposing this but it’s still unclear how the future will look like.

  • I am interested in European battlefield recovery. I think that countries would welcome regulated archeology in order to preserve history, recover remains and clear unexploded ordinance. I can’t believe that countries ban the devices. I’m a teacher and I bought two of them last year for my students to use at recess, so banning them to me is unthinkable!

    I’ve watched several videos on magnet fishing in the Netherlands and Russia and I find it fascinating! I would like to go to the Netherlands and participate in the activity one day.

  • I have written to you before but have had no feedback at all!
    Please inform me regarding the tightening up on legislation on metal detecting in Europe.
    I am visiting from Australia and traveling in Hungary, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia.
    I wanted to purchase an XP Deus but am thinking twice due to apparent legislation in those countries where I once searched to my hearts content with little interruption. England has good legislation, rewarding detectorists for their efforts. However, other countries just make it illegal. Just look on Youtube and you won’t find any treasures found by detectors in eastern Europe as they are forced to sell it on the black market. Pressure needs to be put on such countries to collaborate with detector users rather than simply making it illegal!!!!!
    Could you give me some feedback here as I see these countries joining up with European organisations to make legislation but not in the interest of the detector user, only to enrich themselves< (greedy bastards).
    Thank, yo and please put me straight if I think incorrectly.
    Regards Conrad

  • Sziasztok. Németországban Baden Württembergben a keresőzés engedélyezett vagy illegális?

  • “Metal detecting on privately owned land is allowed. Beach search is permitted, too.”

    This is not true at all! you MAY get to search beaches or other places if you ask the state for permission and specify EXACTLY what beach or place you will search – however the state has recently added a fee for even trying to obtain a license to search a specific beach or location and the price for that is 700 kr / place you apply for. The reason this fee has been added is to make less people apply for a license because their lack of time. What’s even more sick in Sweden is how they treat the landowners. If they find anything when plowing their field they better keep their mouth shut because in Sweden you must first contact the authorities, who will send the archeologist there AND THEY MAKE YOU PAY FOR IT!

    Also you may keep coins from later than 1850, everything after that you must give to the state.

  • What about Finland?

  • Hello.
    How is the restrictions in France? I am going to my sister in Le Cannes (Provance district) and is there any place i can check the rules? coverment? web-side? detector-club?

  • Metal detecting in Scotland is the same as in England and Wales, with getting permission from the farmer or landowner to aggree before you start detecting. Beaches are free to detect upon and i have had some good finds personally on the island beaches

  • Taras:
    In Finland, the use of a metal detector is usually allowed without a separate permit provided that the detectorist does not interfere with a scheduled (protected) archaeological site or monument. It is regulated primarily by the Antiquities Act (1963), but also the Lost Property Act (1988) and the Nature Conservation Act (1996). As
    long as the detectorists have permission from the landowner they can detect on private land such as forests and fields. With the public right of access (Ministry of Environment 2013) in Finland, one is allowed to walk on private land but in order to actually dig one needs a permit from the landowner and where applicable also the tenant farmer.

  • With landowners permission. On state land you are allowed to detect, but need a permit for digging. In general everything (worth money) you find should be given to the authorities: If over 100 years old, it’s property of the state’s museum department, which may pay for it – if under 100 yo, you should contact the police, and if possible, item will be returned to its rightfull owner.

  • Czech Republic doesn’t have any beaches ! it is landlocked

  • In USA, you can’t metal detect in state or national parks. If you do, law enforcement will stop you and confiscate your finds.

  • well i looked and looked no Philippines your alowed to on the beach up to the high tide mark im in the Philippines and if you look in land you can but finding anything you cant keep it as the Government wants it all just dont tell them my brother in laws went out yesterday they got no idea even i taught them so i take it your alwed to keep coins and if its something good you have to hand it in my Brother in laws got nothing they said just lots beeps i said you have to dig every one of them im only on holidays for a manth like last year i tried the local beach lots rubbish steel and so on i did find a metorite last year and did post it in the Australian sight im in Nailon Bogo Cebu that is northern Cebu if you looking for me !!!!

  • Regarding to hunting in Cambodia ; Last December a Frenchmen with a Deus has been arrested after 3 times ignoring a warning from police officers NOT to look with a metaldetector on the beach.

    It is a shame that MD-HUNTER.COM did not update this information after a warning one year ago !

  • Any info on Granada?

  • Hmmm…is the detectorist an enemy of archeology ? yes they can make themselves some money but weighed against the cost of equipment and time involved , not exactly a get rich quick scheme is it………….Of course we should concede that targeting of known places like graves and forgotten towns etc , should be controlled and let the professionals have their time on them , but theres land everywhere and it will never be looked at.

    I can give a perfect example…in a continental country , in a city that will not be named , a good number of Roman and Venetian coins and some artifacts have been found on a large field ,i am very sure there is more to find.
    What as now happened is that a sports venue as been built , two pitches and car parking ,no doubt the topsoil removed and dumped…total waste…..better that medium quality , medium value finds come to light …in my opinion.

  • Anyone from or MD Dominican Republic to confirm that it’s legal there to MD anywhere ?

  • Is it legal of the use of metal detector in India ?

  • Can i looking for in poracale?

  • Is metal detecting allowed on St. Bart’s, French West Indies? Thanks for any information.

  • Hello, im going to Senegal, does anyone have some information about that country? Is it allowed to search? Thx robby

  • El uso de detectores está totalmente prohibido en toda Andalucía. En las playas sólo se puede detectar en zonas determinadas y siempre con autorización expedida por la consejería de cultura.

  • hello,if there is metaldetectorist from Norway?actually from Vestby,Dramen,Moss or near area?Looking for the buddies😄🙋‍♂️

    • Hi,
      I’m working on this summer in Hølen (Hølen viadukt rehabilitering). Sundays are free 🤔

  • Hello, i’m going to Albania. Is it allowed to search here?

  • in algeria you can’t use this :(

  • can somebody tell about croatia beach? is it illegal? thanks

  • Hello.
    Detectoring in hungary is forbidden for any area, from few years ago.(before it was forbidden older then 300 year), and its punish with money penalty,on hevy ocassion with jail .its possible serching with authority permission, but this is very slowly and difficult project and its not practical.Beacuse lot of hunters searching for to selling it in black market,( roman empire)and most finding its going to outland, thats why the government is not allow, and the museums havent money for discover.

    • Which authority do you need permission from?Local or Gyula Forster National Centre for Cultural Heritage Management??
      Do you know how much it will cost?

      • In hungary must ask permission with a contract from the local musem, every regions have different headquarter…there is some museum organised program, where together can detecting cooperating with the museum work, specialy what territory they ask from you…Not easy evict this permission and contract for the hungaryans ,i think more heavy for outlanders.I think the cost is the smallest problem. Be careful because major fields,major fischs,foresters,hunters work together with museum and government..

  • It is not allowed to search for artefacts with or without land owner’s permission in Ireland and with or without a metal detector.

  • what about Columbia can you detect

  • Robin. In Spain it depends on which region one is in. Some regions its completely forbidden
    Other regions its allowed. and then there are other you MUST have permit. Generally any detection on historic sites in NOT allowed. Other areas must have landowner permission and regional office of archaeology. Beaches again depending on which region one is in.

  • It is not forbidden in Sweden

  • To metal detect in Sweden you need the land owners written approval for digging, then you can apply at “Lansstyrelsen” to get a permit for detecting. The permit costs 70 EURO (2018) and the area for the permit should be easy to define when you are at it (i.e. bordered by roads, ditches, creeks or similar).

    If there is an archaeological site in the area, you will not get the permit.

  • Totally illegal to search for artefacts with or without a metal detector in Ireland

  • Hi
    Can I metal detect on the beach in lido Di jesolo Italy, thanks

  • Ireland…since April 2019, it is ok to detect farmland (with permission from landowner) and beaches but anywhere on or near known archaeological sites is totally no-no. Detectorists are encouraged to report finds of archaeological interest within 96 hours/4 days, failure can lead to court appearance and confiscation of detectors. Trading in archaeological artifacts is illegal.

  • Detecting is permitted in Sweden, after obtaining a permit from the county, which costs a bit of money.
    You have to specify where you are going to search though and you cannot get one for archaeological sites.

  • Mexico and the Mafia comment isn’t true. I live in Yucatan so detect in Cancun/Playa/Tulum etc and have seen numerous regulars and tourists detecting with no issue from cartels or any other criminal element. Police patrols are constant on the beaches so it’s safer than the other places I’ve been. I know detectorists who operate all along the coastline and the gulf of Mexico without issue. Why would the cartels care about a couple of pesos in gold rings when they make billions in drugs?

  • Helló. Van valakinek friss információja a Thaiföldi strandokon történő fém detektálásról.
    Előre is köszönöm.

  • Can I export or import Metal detector at any Country?

  • posso usare il metal detector in tunisia

  • What is the law in new Zealand with metal detecting

  • Does somebody knows about the law detecting in Seychelles???

    • I would like to know the answer to this question too, please.

      • Hello Marc, l’m just back from Mahé Seychelles. I had wonderful 10 days in Beau Vallon Beach, l was going on with my AT Pro,l met with a policeman twice,he was smiling and saying hello and let me detecting on the beach.. So, l am sure is allowed! 😊😎

  • Hey

    Do you have any new information about the metal detector brought to Egypt. I mean a small pulsedive type. For use on the beach and in the sea. Can this type of device be packed into the main luggage? Any suggestions or hints?

  • So contact several metal detecting clubs and ask what is allowed and where it’s permissible to hunt in the city you’re visiting. If you correspond enough and are polite, the club member may invite you to one of their meetings, or they may even offer to take you out on a hunt.

  • Cyprus. It says here that detecting there is forbidden. Is this new? I lived in Cyprus, the so-called Greek part for 7 years amd regularly beach detected with a permit from the police. In the Larnaca area there was an active club made up mainly of local Cypriots. To detect in the British Sovereign Base area permission from the British authourities had to be obtained.
    The only objections I encountered were from the guys who cleaned the beach early morning as they thought the beach was there exclusive territory and anything found there belonged to them. Also any restaurant with a beach frontage would object, again for the same reason but with a permit there was nothing they could do.
    Maybe the ban refers to the northern (Turkish) part where there are many sites of historical interest.

  • DrTones24k: Metal Detecting Hawaii. A Travel Treasure Adventure Vlog.

  • Madagascar or Zanzibar, MD is allowed?

  • is metal detecting allowed for archaeology in Zimbabwe

  • I repeat the question. Can I use a metal detector in Madagascar?

    help!! I’m leaving and I don’t know whether to take it

  • Hi,is it allowed to metal detect in lanzarote and fuerteventura? thanks

  • Hi, I want to take a new metal detector(on the box) from England to Greece travelling by car, I will start the trip from England going to France, after Belgium after Luxeburge after France after Switcherland after Italy and last Greece. I am not going to use it to any of these countries but I will have it in my car so if the police are stopped me and they found it what will happen? Are they going to take it away? I will be in trouble?
    Thanks in advance
    Chris

  • Sorry but I live in Mexico and nothing is true about your statement, I actually never saw or been approach by a cartel in Mexico(mafia doesn’t exist here). Here in Mexico law doesn’t talk about metal detecting, the law restricted excavating on federal or archeological sites and it s prohibited to keep any pre Hispanic artefacts, but ok for Spanish era stuff.

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