It gives us a great pleasure to welcome Romania as a new member of European Council for Metal Detecting. Romania will be represented within ECMD by ”Pro Detectie”, an NGO association formed in 2014 with the intention to unite metal detectorists in the country who are practicing the hobby with the full respect for all legal requirements. The main goal of “Pro Detectie” is simply to highlight that in Romania there are responsible metal detectorists who abide by clear, ethical values and who wish to work together with archaeologists, historians and all institutions dedicated to the study of History. “Pro Detectie” is very active and is proud of some of their members discoveries, which considerably expanded the knowledge about Romania’s past. The organisation stresses the importance of handing over and informing relevant authorities about historical finds and it built the first and so far the only online index of discoveries made with the use of metal detectors within Romanian territory. Through its activities, “Pro Detectie” is committed to the idea of responsible detectorism and finding the right balance between the metal detecting hobby and the heritage protection. Every year the association organizes a national MD meeting, with the intention of showing the benefits of the hobby and popularising the idea of ethical and responsible metal detecting.
Law in Romania, related to metal detecting, can be presented in few points:
- In order to posses a metal detector in Romania, one has to obtain a non-expensive authorization from the Police (one specific authorization document for each metal detector owned). After the application is filed, the document is issued within usually 10-20 days.
- One is not allowed to metal detect in archaeological sites or close to those and the private property has to be respected. Metal detecting in an archaeological site, without the prior written permission of the Ministry of Culture, is a crime and it is punished by prison time.
- All finds older than 100 years are to be surrendered to the relevant authorities within 72 hours. Failing to do so is a contravention and is punished by fine. On the other hand, behaving like an owner (offering, selling, modifying etc.) of the finds is a crime (severe theft) and it is punished by prison time.
- When a find is legally surrendered to the authorities, the finder is entitled to a reward of 30% of the value of the find. When the find is considered to be an extraordinary one (aategory “Treasure”), the reward is increased to45%.
- The authorities have 18 months for releasing the reward.
As is clear from the above, there is a big room for improvement in terms laws and regulations and that is why “Pro Detectie” decided to join the European Council for Metal Detecting. It’s members believe that together with metal detectorists from other countries it will be possible to work on the set of universal standards, which could then be implemented throughout Europe. We fully agree with our Romanian colleagues and we welcome them in our ranks, loking forward to a close cooperation in the future. Romania is a 12th member of ECMD.