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Thread: Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

  1. #1

    Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

    I have the opportunity to spend a couple of days in France detecting but when I try to check the law I find infomation ranging from totally banned with threats of conviscation, to okay to detect as long as you don't find anything.

    I have the land owners permission.

    Any info would be greatfully received. Thank you



  2. #2
    Senior Member Karl Jackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Country: England

    Re: Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

    Basically your not looking for anything ancient - you are only looking for new things & messing about having fun - Dress like a plonker to highlight the fact.
    Last edited by Karl Jackson; 07-03-2012 at 09:19 PM.

  3. #3
    Executive Moderator Tony Hunt's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Detectorbits, 232, Wimborne road west, Stapehill, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 2DY
    Country: UK

    Re: Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

    Look and behave like a typical englishman Like karl says your not looking for anything ancient only tractor parts & Buttons.

 Sellers in Europe of all RNB Lithium Batteries. Sole Distributors around the world of The Easy Swing Harness. We now have supplies of the new PI Xpointer probe which will be sold at a terrific price, We are sole distributors of the new probe in the UK & ROI, choice of six colours available. We are also Agents for Evolution Stainless steel Products amongst other products..

  4. #4
    MLO Supporter seanmagee1's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    In the water
    Country: Ireland

    Re: Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

    hi gary, i detect in france and have never had any problems. make sure you have permission and as said if challenged by anyone official you are looking for modern stuff. you can detect here with permission but your not allowed to find anything old thats how it is. what part of the country are you heading for? sean

  5. #5
    MLO Supporter
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    Sep 2010
    Country: Zambia

    Re: Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

    I am not sure if this is true but the last time I was fishing in France I asked the lake/farm owner if I could detect the few fields that surrounded the lake. I was told not a problem BUT if questioned I had to say I was looking for item,(s) that either I had lost, my father or grandfather had lost!!
    Did'nt have my machine with me but if I do go back to that lake I will take it.

  6. #6

    Re: Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

    In reality is that when I pop over into France I have the permission from the landowner and detect and have never been bothered by anyone. In typical French fashion when I have talked about the law the usual response is the shrug of the shoulders insomuch as why am I asking such stupid questions. Also I have found that most of the farms I have been on the farmer is not really bothered what you find because they think there is nothing thre in the first place.

    SWITZERLAND (Sooooo easy)

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

    FRANCE (Unsuprisingly it is complicated)

    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.

    In French

    La législation française

    A l’inverse de la plupart des législations européennes (se renseigner au cas par cas), elle protège le patrimoine archéologique en France. Protégeons ensemble le patrimoine archéologique.
    Défendons le loisir de la détection des métaux en respectant la loi n° 89-900 du 18.12.1989
    “ Nul ne peut utiliser du matériel permettant la détection d'objets métalliques à l'effet de recherches de monuments et d'objets pouvant intéresser la préhistoire, l'histoire, l'art ou l'archéologie sans avoir au préalable obtenu une autorisation administrative délivrée en fonction de la qualification du demandeur ainsi que de la nature et des modalités de la recherche. Sanctions applicables aux contraventions de la 5e classe. Le matériel pourra être confisqué.”
    Les utilisateurs de détecteurs de métaux doivent ensemble protéger le patrimoine archéologique en respectant cette loi : l’avenir de leur loisir en dépend. La détection n’est pas systématiquement interdite et la recherche d’objets récents ou de monnaies modernes reste donc, en principe, en dehors du cadre de cette loi.

    D’autre part, certains départements comme l’Oise et la Somme ont réglementé l’utilisation des détecteurs de métaux pour éviter que des prospecteurs non avertis risquent de mettre au jour des engins militaires dangereux, vestiges des deux dernières guerres mondiales.
    Vous avez trouvé un trésor ?

    Bravo !! A savoir cependant... Article 716 : "La propriété d'un trésor appartient à celui qui le trouve dans son propre fonds; si le trésor est trouvé dans le fonds d'autrui, il appartient pour moitié à celui qui l'a découvert, et pour l'autre moitié au propriétaire du fonds". " Inventeur " d'un trésor, il vous est impératif de déclarer votre découverte au propriétaire des lieux. En effet, vous êtes tous les deux copropriétaires "indivis" du trésor.

    A bad translation using Babblefish
    French legislation The French legislation With L ’ opposite of the majority of the EU law (to get information on a case-by-case basis), it protects the archaeological inheritance in France. Let us protect the archaeological inheritance together. Let us defend the leisure of the detection of metals by respecting the law n° 89-900 of the 18.12.1989 “ No one cannot use material allowing detection d' metal objects with l' effect of searchs for monuments and d' objects being able to interest prehistory, l' history, l' art or l' archaeology without to have as a preliminary obtained an administrative authorisation delivered according to the qualification of the applicant as well as nature and methods of research. Sanctions applicable to the infringments of the 5th class. The material could be confiscated. ” The users of metal detectors must protect the archaeological inheritance together by respecting this law: L ’ future of their leisure depends on it. Detection N ’ is not systematically prohibited and research D ’ recent objects or of modern currencies thus remains, in theory, apart from the framework of this law. D ’ another share, certain departments like L ’ Oise and the Sum regulated L ’ use of the metal detectors to prevent that not informed prospectors are likely to put at the day of the dangerous military machines, vestiges of the two last world wars. You found a treasure? Cheer!! To know however Article 716: " The property d' a treasure belongs to that which finds it in its clean funds; if the treasure is found in the funds d' others, it belong for half to that which l' discovered, and for l' another half with the owner of the fonds". " Inventor " d' a treasure, it is imperative for you to declare your discovery with the owner of the places. Indeed, you are all the two joint owners " indivis" treasure.

    Hope that helps

  7. #7

    Re: Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

    We found the French Laws on detecting thus.
    The Government and laws say it is banned. But like most French Laws they seem to be overridden by local byelaws.
    If you can get permission (written) by the Marie and permission(written) by the landowner then its OK, but not for anything ancient !!

  8. #8

    Re: Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

    And just another point, if stopped by plod or anyone, you are searching for meteorites !!

  9. #9

    Re: Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

    Meteorite at the pub after detecting !

  10. #10
    MLO Supporter mal's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Country: Scotland

    Re: Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

    Quote Originally Posted by swissrolly View Post
    Meteorite at the pub after detecting !

    Say your selling onions and wear striped jumper


    Slàinte mhor a h-uile là a chi 's nach fhaic

    Chan eil aon chànan gu leòr

  11. #11
    MLO Supporter willy-muffit's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Country: Great Britain

    Re: Can anyone clarify the Metal Detecting laws in France for me

    Please consider Platinum Membership & PLATINUM PLUS! and help us to keep this forum active along with the other services we offer such as and If you find our services helpful please try and support us.
    you cant generalise about detecting in France

    TRUST ME it can change drastically with the region !!!

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