ABC of metal detecting laws in Europe – Bulgaria

Metal detecting in Bulgaria

Following frequent requests for information, we begin to publish short articles related to metal detecting laws and regulations in various European countries. Our aim is to dispel many myths and half-truths circulating on the internet on this subject. Each member (relevant federations etc.) of European Council for Metal Detecting was asked to provide the most current update on the legal situation of metal detectorists in their countries, with a special attention paid to foreign detectorists wishing to travel to a specific country.

We start with Bulgaria, beautiful and history rich country in the South-Eastern part of Europe. Homeland of fearsome Thracians, with Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and many other influences, it is a virtual treasure house of history and the place where many spectacular archaeological finds are made. No wonder therefore that the relationship between archaeologists and metal detectorists is often quite tense. Thankfully, the biggest metal detecting organisation in the country – Bulgarian National Metal Detecting Federation , with the full backing of ECMD, actively promotes the idea of responsible metal detecting and engages the Bulgarian lawmakers in lively discussion about the future of the hobby. For more detailed information we recommend that you contact our Bulgarian members directly but in a nutshell:

  • Searching with and use of metal detectors in Bulgaria is allowed (modern/lost items) with the permission of the landowner.
  • Deliberate search for archaeological and historical artefacts is not allowed.
  • Anyone who accidentally discovers an archaeological/historical artefact must inform the nearest museum within 7 days.
  • It is forbidden to search in an area and close proximity to the the archaeological monuments and sites.
  • Attention! There is no published archaeological map of protected sites in Bulgaria.

We hope that you will find the above interesting but please don’t hesitate to contact us on with comments and suggestions. More information coming soon!

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