Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

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Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by RRPG » Sun May 27, 2012 7:52 pm

Hi all

Following a couple of recent queries, I thought I'd just clarify the current French laws regarding WW1 and WW2 relics. These have been translated by a Frenchman.......

Translated into English. The new French regulations conceirning digging/searching and picking up relics from French battlefields;

.....On our first search day (we had the intention to dig very carefully), we are deep in the forest when we got caught by a Forestier. A Forestier, is a French forester. Some Forestier has something more judicial powers then the foresters we are used to. Adorned with gun and handcuffs he told us the following:

1. The battlefields of France have been declared to historical sites of the French state;
2. All items in or on the battle fields is owned by the state;
3. Taking something / or picking up is the theft of the French state;

How futile, rusty or trivial picked up the article may be the law condemns it as theft of the French state for which the fines are strict.

However, if they have the impression it has to do with tourists with a purpose other than a 'souvenir' pick is also another law (eg in the Somme, Champagne, Verdun, Meuse and Argonne)

Have in possession:
1. a detector, or
2. spades, digging tools (a garden spade is too much), or
3. parts or components of ammunition;

Then immediate confiscation of their vehicle until the fine (FF 20,000 / € 3100, -) is payed. The French government is willing to containment of the offender (s) until this decision is respected.


The law also states that landowners permission to dig is NOT SUFFICIENT and that you also need written authority from the local government prefecture. Mind you, even if you have both these, you still can't remove the item from the ground !



Hope that helps

RRPG


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Lots of videos of WW2 relics being recovered on my channel! Go view it!

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by Danzigman » Sun May 27, 2012 9:00 pm

Hi RRPG and Others.. - Dave, Liam..
Thanks for your informative post.
I have lately tried to help a guy as a service on some photos, and this have involved others to, by me posting several illegal objects.
I was at that time only troubled by a landmine, and inquired only about this at Modderators. Unfortunately, remaining item was also illegal.
I apologize a lot to me in ignorance/not knowing and have contributed to this.
The only good thing about this episode is that now the matter is resolved and actions around that have been taken.
Please accept my apology.
John
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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by etruscan » Sun May 27, 2012 10:08 pm

If you're really wanting some WW2 relics from France. then visit the Braderie at Lille (like an enormous car boot sale) first weekend in September every year, Sat and Sunday. There are always some stalls run by French detectorists quite openly selling all manner of WW1 and WW2 stuff, fantastic variety of artefacts. Including stuff of British regiments. Obviously they've got around or ignored the law somehow. I guess you'd be breaking French law bringing any of the items back home.

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by alloverover » Sun May 27, 2012 10:22 pm

When i was in France must be 4 years ago, the service stations in Normandy sort of area had sections selling artifacts of all descriptions, obviously dug up, from personal effects to rifles with the furniture rotted away(25 euros if i remember correctly), how are they allowed to do this or has the law changed since then, anybody :-/ :-/ :-/ :-/

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by RRPG » Sun May 27, 2012 10:54 pm

It used to be the case that 'registered' dealers could sell relics from the conflicts to tourists, but this looks like it may well have changed. However, it would seem as though there are many oddities within French law and between the French themselves. I would suggest keeping the receipt and original packaging if you buy anything. Be warned though, last time I was over there in France, 90% of the German stuff was fake and there is no guarantee that a cartridge case marked as 'found on Omaha beach' was !!! You find a cartridge case in your back garden it is worth £2......say it is from Omaha beach and it suddenly becomes £20.

Also, please note that transportation of a relic weapon over the UK border without the necessary import licence, (i.e. you have to be a registered gun dealer), is unlawful and will land you in gaol if caught. A weapon that has rusted to hell and back does NOT mean it has been de-activated. You would need to get it certificated by one of the proofing houses. This being the case, transporting it across the border prior to having the certificate is gun running/smuggling and you'll get banged up for a LONG time.

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Lots of videos of WW2 relics being recovered on my channel! Go view it!

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by alloverover » Sun May 27, 2012 11:25 pm

Well, the cartridge case find location i think is a world wide thing, you must of seen the guy on the auction site that has no name with a never ending supply of musket balls from every english civil war battle site, again that normaly gets a bit more interest from our colonial cousins if that ball was from say, the seige of colchester, he must go round digging them out of the timber frames, or the battle og edgehill or one of the battles of newbury, i im sure they are all from the stated place and not from the same carrier bag.
As for the weopons, or lumps of rust as a lot are, i am sure you are right rrpg, you would be arrested by the french if found in possesion, that is unless you were an albanian trying to get on the back of a lorry at calais with a steyr up your jumper and a couple of tokarevs tucked in your trousers, then you would just get a leg up i am sure :D :D :D ::g ::g ::g

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by Peasgood » Sun May 27, 2012 11:50 pm

I was going to try and answer your previous question a couple of posts up but in that last paragraph you answered it yourself.

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by Wansdyke44 » Mon May 28, 2012 3:00 pm

The was a thread by Chopper about something similar. He'd bought a relic pistol from France and when I queried it's legality he said it was rusted and so legal.

Strangely the original thread, like Chopper has disappeared. '; Guess this is the reason why!
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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by RRPG » Mon May 28, 2012 3:24 pm

He was wrong. See my post above :)
www.stephentaylorhistorian.com

Lots of videos of WW2 relics being recovered on my channel! Go view it!

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by Dave8472 » Mon May 28, 2012 3:40 pm

Wansdyke44 wrote:The was a thread by Chopper about something similar. He'd bought a relic pistol from France and when I queried it's legality he said it was rusted and so legal.

Strangely the original thread, like Chopper has disappeared. '; Guess this is the reason why!
Don't know about Choppers Thread, but he is still with us as a member, we don't know why he stopped posting and was converted back to a normal member from forum staff after a long while despite our attempts to contact him and see if he was OK, but he is more than welcome to re post to the forum at any time if he wishes ::g

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by Wansdyke44 » Mon May 28, 2012 4:09 pm

Cheers Dave! O:8
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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by Dean (Ajax) » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:26 pm

Interesting...I wonder why shops in France are still selling WW1 and WW2 items found in the fields...just a couple of months ago, a friend was at Vimy Ridge..he went into the town and there was a "Museum" and shop that was selling relics found in the area..he bought a few items..as well I stayed in La Sars Last Year..the place I stayed at had a "Museum"..but you could buy anything in it....I bought SRD Jugs..12 Fuses, 4 18 Pounder Brass cases and many more things

When did these laws come into effect?

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by dannieboyuk » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:36 am

When the rules apply
The rules on banned and restricted goods apply whether:
• you are bringing goods into the UK yourself
• a friend or a relative is bringing them as a gift
• they are sent in the post

Banned goods
The following goods are banned completely regardless of which country you're travelling from or having goods sent from.
• illicit drugs
• flick and gravity knives
• self defence sprays such as pepper and CS gas sprays
• stun guns
• indecent and obscene material
• counterfeit, pirated and patent-infringing goods

Stopping imports of illegal weapons
The following are also banned but in certain cases may be brought into the UK if you have the relevant licence, permit or defence:
• firearms, explosives and ammunition
• realistic imitation firearms
• offensive weapons including swords with a curved blade exceeding 50cms in length
• live animals
• endangered animals or plants - see section below 'souvenirs made from endangered species'
• certain fur skins and articles made from fur skin
• certain radio transmitters
• rough diamonds
Note that this is not a full list, but it includes the most important examples. If you are unsure about what you can bring in, you should check!!!

Customs checks on goods sent or brought to the UK

Goods sent to the UK by post go through the same customs checks as goods carried through customs in person. If you're sending goods from a non EU country, you must declare them on a Customs Declaration that is fixed to the package.
If you declare banned or restricted goods
If you declare banned or restricted goods on the postal declaration or at the red channel or red-point phone the goods may be seized and destroyed.
If you don't declare banned or restricted goods
If you don't declare banned or restricted goods either on the postal declaration or by going through the green channel and customs officers find undeclared items:
• you could face long delays
• the goods will also be seized and destroyed
• you may be prosecuted


Legal penalties
UKBA prosecutes two main types of firearms offences:

•importation
•importation and possession
Some importation cases are tried at magistrate’s courts, which can lead to a fine, up to six months in prison, or both. More serious cases are taken to the crown courts where the maximum six month prison term is raised to seven years.

Dual importation and possession offences can carry a sentence if tried at crown court - judges have the option of imposing a fine, sending someone to jail for up to ten years, or combining the two.

I think i posted something about this a wile back ::g
Last edited by dannieboyuk on Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by dannieboyuk » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:38 am

These shorts of things are seized all the time at our ports. There is also information out there about artifacts of war and heratige :-/

ANTIQUE FIREARMS
8.1 Section 58(2) of the 1968 Act exempts from the provisions of the Act – including certificate controls under sections 1 and 2 and prohibition under section 5
all antique firearms which are sold, transferred, purchased, acquired or possessed as curiosities or ornaments. The word “antique” is not defined in the Act and it is for the chief officer of police and for the Courts to consider each case on its merits. However, it is suggested that the categories in this Chapter should be used as a guide in deciding whether a particular firearm might be considered an “antique” for these purposes.

8.2 In issuing guidance on this matter, the Home Office has always taken the view that this term should be taken to cover those firearms of a vintage and design such that
their free possession does not pose a realistic danger to public safety.

8.3 In making recommendations on this issue, the Firearms Consultative Committee (FCC) started from the premise that public safety considerations must be uppermost, and those arms which are commonly used in crime should remain subject to certificate control, irrespective of age.

8.4 It remains the case that where an antique firearm is possessed for any other purpose than as a “curiosity or ornament”, all the provisions of the Firearms Acts from 1968 to 1997 will continue to apply, including those relating to certificate requirements. The intent to fire the gun concerned, even with blank charge or ammunition (for example for the purposes of historical re-enactment displays), would take it beyond the terms of “curiosity or ornament”. This does not preclude the possession of such firearms on certificate for the purposes of collection and occasional firing. Where the “good reason” for possession is collection and not target shooting, section 44 requiring membership of a club to be named on the certificate is not applicable. In the case of such firearms which might otherwise benefit from section 58(2), but where the owner wishes to fire them for test, research, re-enactment, target shooting or competition purposes, no test of frequency of use should be applied: the primary reason for possession may be collection, and the owner may properly not wish to subject such an arm to the wear and tear of regular use. An antique may therefore be brought on to certificate or removed, as the case might be, from time to time or where there is a change in ownership. A signed statement of intent should be sufficient to effect the necessary change of status when required. A variation fee would become payable where an “antique” is brought onto certificate to allow it to be fired.

Part I: Old weapons which should benefit from exemption as antiques under section 58 (2) of the Firearms Act 1968

8.5 Pre-1939 weapons to benefit from exemption as antiques are as follows:
a) All muzzle-loading firearms;
b) Breech-loading firearms capable of discharging a rimfire cartridge other than 4mm, 5mm, .22 inch or .23 inch (or their metric equivalents), 6mm or 9mm rimfire;
c) Breech-loading firearms using ignition systems other than rimfire and centrefire (These include pin-fire and needle-fire ignition systems, as well as the more obscure lip fire, cup-primed, teat fire and base fire systems);
d) Breech-loading centrefire arms originally chambered for one of the obsolete cartridges listed in Appendix 5 and which retain their original chambering;
e) Shot guns and punt guns chambered for the following cartridges (expressed in imperial measurements): 32 bore, 24 bore, 14 bore, 10 bore (2-5/8in and 2-7/8in only), 8 bore, 4 bore, 3 bore, 2 bore, 11/8 bore, 11/4 bore and 11/2 bore, and vintage punt guns and shot guns with bores greater than 10. It also includes vintage (pre-1939) rifles in these bores.

Note (i) – The exemption does not apply to ammunition, and the possession of live ammunition suitable for use with an otherwise antique firearm may indicate that the firearm is not possessed as a curio or ornament.

Note (ii) – The exemption does not apply to firearms of modern manufacture which otherwise conform to the description above. For these purposes, “modern manufacture” should be taken to mean manufacture after the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. Fully working modern firing replicas of muzzle-loading and breech-loading firearms, for example those used to fire blanks by historical re-enactment societies but capable of firing live ammunition, must be held on certificate. This includes replica pieces of ordnance that are to be fired; some replicas have been produced with a true bore size of just under 2 inches, thus enabling possession and use on a shot gun certificate, but with significant counter-boring at the muzzle to preserve the necessary appearance of external visual authenticity

A deactivated firearm is a firearm that has been rendered inoperable in such a way that it cannot e readily converted into a working firearm. To be considered deactivated, a firearm must meet wo important tests:
1) It must not be capable of discharging a bullet, shot, missile or other projectile, so that it herefore does not fall within the definition of a “firearm” in the Firearms Act 1968.
2) It must not be capable of being readily restored to working order, so that it does not fall ithin the definition of a “firearm” in the Firearms Act 1982. The Act specifies that readily restorable” means with the use of ordinary household tools. in addition, Section 8 of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 provides for the making of regulations by the Secretary of State that define the specifications for deactivating firearms. A
firearm deactivated in such a way can be submitted to a Proof House, who will inspect it for compliance, and mark the firearm with a deactivation proof mark and issue a deactivation certificate stating that the work has been done according to the specification.
Typically it is always preferable to have all the necessary paperwork, but if the deactivation certificale isnt available, there are always the proof marks which are put on by the proof house when the firearm was submitted for certification.
If the firearm has no certificate, and no visible deactivation proof marks, it may not have been deactivated in accordence with the firearms act. Our recommendation (if you already own the firearm) would be to send the it to the proof house to be certified, or if buying, request that the vendor sends the firearm for certification and proof marking before you buy.

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by sid the frog » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:57 am

The French are excellent at making laws and rules and then giving them a stiff ignoring :))

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by Dave8472 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:13 pm

sid the frog wrote:The French are excellent at making laws and rules and then giving them a stiff ignoring :))
Dare I say it but that is one thing I admire about the French, all these crazy EU and Government Rules come about and the UK always has to go along with them and does what it is told the French just say get stuffed ::g

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by jamie18thmo » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:01 am

Hi All,
I've been messaging a couple of guys in France lately, about how I might go about doing some detecting there. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I posted their info here, for the benefit of everyone else:

"To search in France you must have an authorization (oral or written) of the owner of the field. It is not hard to have, I do not know if you speak just a little French but when you see a farmer in field, you can ask him. Forests can be state-owned (it's not really this word, I don't know how say that) or public (in the second case it is possible to search inside (let us say that it is tolerated). At our home it is rather delicate, but if you aren't in a referenced archaeological site, there is no problem. You can search on the beaches without authorization (expect few beaches (wars etc))."

"Detecting in France is probably better in France than the UK in relation to getting permission on land.
Most farmers and land owners are usually fine in granting permission.
I do not know if you speak French but if you don't, try to learn a few phrases in relation to asking permission. This helps and the French like it when you try and speak their language.
I have been here for about 10 yrs now and never had any problems in relating to detecting. The law is rather ambiguous in relation to detecting.
I was always under the impression it was technically illegal to detect for old objects in France but this is not the case. It is only illegal if you are on a "listed" site or in the immediate area of a listed site. This is almost the same as the U.K. Some people may disagree but a recent article in a French detecting magazine stated what the French law was in relation to detecting. I pointed this out to a French friend of mine ( he is not a detectorist and a retired submarine officer), and he said that according to what was printed you can detect for old artefacts (away from listed sites), but if anything significant is found, it should be reported. That is the law as I understand it.
Anyway, If ever I was confronted, I would say I was looking for militaria. E.G. bullet cases, buttons, badges etc."

My sister owns a bit of land there, so I'm hoping that her permission will be all I'll need and hopefully some of her friends/neighbours will be let me search their land too. Fingers crossed!

Cheers, Jamie ::g
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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by romgoss » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:19 pm

jamie18thmo wrote:Hi All,
I've been messaging a couple of guys in France lately, about how I might go about doing some detecting there. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I posted their info here, for the benefit of everyone else:

"To search in France you must have an authorization (oral or written) of the owner of the field. It is not hard to have, I do not know if you speak just a little French but when you see a farmer in field, you can ask him. Forests can be state-owned (it's not really this word, I don't know how say that) or public (in the second case it is possible to search inside (let us say that it is tolerated). At our home it is rather delicate, but if you aren't in a referenced archaeological site, there is no problem. You can search on the beaches without authorization (expect few beaches (wars etc))."

"Detecting in France is probably better in France than the UK in relation to getting permission on land.
Most farmers and land owners are usually fine in granting permission.
I do not know if you speak French but if you don't, try to learn a few phrases in relation to asking permission. This helps and the French like it when you try and speak their language.
I have been here for about 10 yrs now and never had any problems in relating to detecting. The law is rather ambiguous in relation to detecting.
I was always under the impression it was technically illegal to detect for old objects in France but this is not the case. It is only illegal if you are on a "listed" site or in the immediate area of a listed site. This is almost the same as the U.K. Some people may disagree but a recent article in a French detecting magazine stated what the French law was in relation to detecting. I pointed this out to a French friend of mine ( he is not a detectorist and a retired submarine officer), and he said that according to what was printed you can detect for old artefacts (away from listed sites), but if anything significant is found, it should be reported. That is the law as I understand it.
Anyway, If ever I was confronted, I would say I was looking for militaria. E.G. bullet cases, buttons, badges etc."

My sister owns a bit of land there, so I'm hoping that her permission will be all I'll need and hopefully some of her friends/neighbours will be let me search their land too. Fingers crossed!

Cheers, Jamie ::g
I confirm that !
Anyway, If ever I was confronted, I would say I was looking for militaria. E.G. bullet cases, buttons, badges etc."
Should rather say that we search lost alliance.
Detection on military site is prohibited (the great battle well known), you should know that in France there are militaria relics from everywhere and holding cartridges, shells, grenades is obviously prohibited. ::g
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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by RRPG » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:14 pm

In light of the two replies above, (whilst they may indeed be accurate), I will repeat the thrust of my original post. ALL relics from WW1 and WW2 have been declared property of the French state. If you remove or attempt to remove them you will be liable to prosecution, regardless as to whether you were intentionally looking for them or not, or whether or not you had permission to search the site. Only the local 'governor' can give you permission to remove such articles, and even then, only if you're part of a recognised archaeological dig.
www.stephentaylorhistorian.com

Lots of videos of WW2 relics being recovered on my channel! Go view it!

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by targets » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:33 pm

combat dealers TV prog shows they have no trouble buying artifacts at auctions there and from artifact hunters who have shedloads of stuff to sell , it all appears to have been dug up
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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by romgoss » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:40 pm

Again between laws and their application, in France there is a huge difference! Gendarmes and police themselves have militaria collection. When I call the deminers in Normandy (3/4 times per year) was never forbidden me to pick up a sleeve, a badge or a helmet! And sometimes even colaboration leads us to discover German or American graves.

If this law was actually applied, it would be the entire population of Normandy, Meurthe et Moselle, French Ardennes that would illegally example. We all have a shell casing or us cal50 placed on the fireplace !

This is the holding of full ammunition which is obviously forbidden, and yet they will not tell you much for three quarters full balls M1 garand for example.

There are certain department totally prohibits or certain parts of detection by security (http://www.detection-loisir.com/doc/Zon ... rdites.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

Non-exhaustive list

::g
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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by RRPG » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:44 pm

In that case it must be legal as no-one ever sells stuff they're not supposed to.

x; x;

All I am doing here is pointing out the law as it stands for the benefit of the members. I know two people who have fallen foul of this law, both had all their gear confiscated and had to pay a 3,000 euro fine.

Another example are relic weapons that are bought on the continent and brought back home to the UK. The UK firearms act makes no distinction between relic and functional weapons. Bringing a relic weapon into the country is illegal as it does not have a proofing house certificate stating that it is 'deactivated by other means'. This being the case, those who bring ground dug weapons into the country from Europe, unless an authorised arms dealer, are committing numerous offences, not least of which is arms trafficking.

Again, this is the law as it stands and I am merely pointing it out. Just because people do it, doesn't make it legal.
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Lots of videos of WW2 relics being recovered on my channel! Go view it!

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by targets » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:51 pm

did you see the combat dealers episode where 2 dutch guys brought over on the ferry in the back of a car some huge shells with the projectile still in place plus loads of other battlefield finds .
they waited at the docks in Dover to do some deals
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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by romgoss » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:58 pm

Another example are relic weapons that are bought on the continent and brought back home to the UK. The UK firearms act makes no distinction between relic and functional weapons. Bringing a relic weapon into the country is illegal as it does not have a proofing house certificate stating that it is 'deactivated by other means'. This being the case, those who bring ground dug weapons into the country from Europe, unless an authorised arms dealer, are committing numerous offences, not least of which is arms trafficking.
It's true !

But you are mistaken when you say we do not have the right to sell the military objects. Anything that can be sold is inert.

An example if this law was really satisfied: There is a year I called deminers for what seemed like a shell, the result was a German steel tube 150mm. He simply asked me if I wanted to keep it!

If your friends have been fined with military equipment is simply that there must still full ammunition strictly prohibited detention (do not laugh with shells and weapons in France!).
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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by Wansdyke44 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:14 pm

targets wrote:combat dealers TV prog shows they have no trouble buying artifacts at auctions there and from artifact hunters who have shedloads of stuff to sell , it all appears to have been dug up
That's the myth of TV, it's not real =))

The wholes series was like watching Ric Savage again. The Schwimmwagen he buys (was already his). The kettenkrad. found in a barn, was his too. It's entertainment, not real life.

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by geoffb » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:39 pm

The whole of Normandy is littered with spent shell cases, ordnance and bullet heads.
As long as the cases are inert, there is no problem if you find them. You can do with them what you like. (Providing you haven't been on a listed battlefield site).
There is a lot of ambiguous discussions about detecting laws in France.
Recently, I went on a field just outside a village in Normandy, (in search of possible Roman or Medieval and I am not exaggerating if I say that every 2 metres I was picking up complete .50 cal shells, shell cases, nose fuses, shrapnel and/or bullet heads from WW2. The field was about 50 acres and after 1 hour I just had to give up because of the vast amount of militaria that was on the field. It was not a listed battlefield site and was actually owned by the local mayor who had given my friend and I permission to detect on it.
I went to see the mayor afterwards and informed him as to the amount of "spent" munitions that we had found and he said that was typical for that area of Normandy. I asked him if he wanted any shell cases for the local museum and he declined stating that the museum had more than enough already. Luckily, common sense prevails in France regarding detecting.
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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by Wansdyke44 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:48 am

geoffb wrote:The whole of Normandy is littered with spent shell cases, ordnance and bullet heads.
As long as the cases are inert, there is no problem if you find them. You can do with them what you like. (Providing you haven't been on a listed battlefield site).
There is a lot of ambiguous discussions about detecting laws in France.
Recently, I went on a field just outside a village in Normandy, (in search of possible Roman or Medieval and I am not exaggerating if I say that every 2 metres I was picking up complete .50 cal shells, shell cases, nose fuses, shrapnel and/or bullet heads from WW2. The field was about 50 acres and after 1 hour I just had to give up because of the vast amount of militaria that was on the field. It was not a listed battlefield site and was actually owned by the local mayor who had given my friend and I permission to detect on it.
I went to see the mayor afterwards and informed him as to the amount of "spent" munitions that we had found and he said that was typical for that area of Normandy. I asked him if he wanted any shell cases for the local museum and he declined stating that the museum had more than enough already. Luckily, common sense prevails in France regarding detecting.
You've hit the nail on the head. Listed battlefield sites, such as Verdun, Waterloo - i.e. sites that in the minds of French people in general are places of both great losses in life and are part of the French identity. Run of the mill fields in Normandy etc, which were fought over or had huge dumps on them are not so. Common sense is the key. Get permissions first and don't just expect ot get out of your car and walk into the first field you come to, dig it up and not get your collar felt by the Gendarmes or an angry farmer...

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by littleboot » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:09 pm

A bit late to this....maps of the progress of the allies after DDay give a good broad idea of which parts of Normandy saw heavy day-to-day action. Its a vast area and heavily farmed. This part of France couldn't function if you had to keep off places fighting took place.
You can be a couple of miles away from these corridors and find virtually no militaria. The clue is If the local town was flattened and rebuilt. If it survives in tact then the area was probably liberated without too much action.
There is a lot of hunting in France....for deer and boar etc. So I get a lot of rifle bullets...not just shotties....as a result. Its really inadvisable to wear camouflage gear etc when detecting in France especially during the winter months. You could get shot. Wear something eye-catching. Every year ramblers and fungi-gatherers are killed or injured by gun-happy hunters mistaking them for lunch.
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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by RRPG » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:13 pm

I am sorry but you are all missing the point here so let me re-iterate.

All relics recovered in France from WW1 and WW2, regardless of where they are found or how, are property of the French state. This was enacted some 5 years ago. If you are caught at the border with such relics, even if you bought them from a carboot or trader, you will be liable to prosecution.

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Re: Clarity on WW2/WW1 relics in France

Post by littleboot » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:41 pm

Well I don't know what prompted that response....I was merely stating that lots of Normandy didn't see any action at all and the bullets you find are liable to be modern. And to be careful not to get shot yourself. Chill. 8-|
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