Metal detecting is illegal in Portugal. However, you can use a metal detector by obtaining permission from the authorities. Otherwise, only the concerned authority is allowed to use a metal detector in Portugal.
What is illegal metal detecting called?
Illegal metal detecting is called Nighthawking. It is the illegal search for and removal of antiquities from the ground using metal detectors, without the permission of the landowners, or on prohibited land such as scheduled monuments, private property, government property, and beaches in the case of Portugal.
Fine for metal detecting in Portugal
The use of metal detectors in the search for objects and artefacts relevant to history, art, numismatics or archaeology is prohibited in Portugal.
If you do not have the required permission and you get caught by the authorities, then you would have to pay a fine between 500 Euro to 5000 Euro, and your detector would also be seized.
How to get a permit to use a metal detector in Portugal?
You can get a permit to use a metal detector in Portugal by visiting the Direção-Geral do Património Cultural (DGPC), the entity in charge of cultural heritage. The metal detector permit has a validity of 6 months to 1 year.
It will take somewhere between 1 to 4 weeks for you to get a permit for metal detecting in Portugal.
You will need the following documents to apply for a metal detecting permit in Portugal.
- Your identification documents (Passport and Residence Permit)
- NIF number
- Purpose of metal detecting
- Places you are planning to use metal detector
- Characteristics of your metal detector
How popular is metal detecting in Portugal?
Metal detecting in quite popular in Portugal and the popularity is growing year by year. There are some treasure hunting clubs in Lagoa and Portimao districts, which are licensed to use metal detector in Portugal.
If you don’t want to get permit by yourself, you can join the clubs and have fun at treasure hunting games.
Can I use metal detector in the beaches in Portugal?
Yes, you can use metal detector in the beaches in Portugal, however you will need to get a permit from the concerned authority to do so.
Where can I buy a metal detector in Portugal?
There are very less shops in Portugal that sell metal detectors. However, you can buy a good metal detector from online sites like Amazon and eBay. You can also check Facebook marketplace if someone is selling a metal detector in Portugal.
What could you find in Portugal using a metal detector?
You can find a lot of items in Portugal using a metal detector. The two most common items found with a metal detector are coins and jewelry.
Metal detectors can detect both ferrous and non-ferrous metal types, although they detect ferrous metals more easily due to their magnetic properties.
Ferrous metal contains iron and is often magnetic, while non-ferrous metal consists of other elements like nickel, aluminum, and zinc.
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