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China Revises Regulations on Protection of Underwater Cultural Relics

Wed, 30 Mar 2022
Categories: China Legal Trends

On 23 Jan. 2022, China’s State Council promulgated the revised “Administrative Regulations on Protection of Underwater Cultural Relics of People’s Republic of China” (hereinafter “the Regulations”, 中华人民共和国水下文物保护管理条例), with effect from 1 April 2022.

The Regulations amends the previous version issued in 2010.

According to the Regulations, any foreign organization or international organization conducting underwater archaeological investigation, exploration, or excavation activities in waters under Chinese jurisdiction must be carried out in cooperation with Chinese units and obtain a permit.

The Chinese unit shall have the qualification for archaeological excavation; the foreign unit shall be a professional archaeological research institution, with experts engaged in research or similar research of the same subject as well as equipped with certain practical archaeological working experience.

The underwater cultural relics, natural specimens, and original materials of archaeological records obtained by the cooperative investigation, exploration, and excavation activities between China and foreign countries shall be owned by China.

Unauthorized underwater cultural relics investigation, exploration, excavation, and other activities are strictly prohibited. Any individual is strictly prohibited to conduct underwater cultural relics investigation, exploration, excavation, and other activities in any form.



Cover Photo by Cheung Yin on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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