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The Administrative Regulations on Protection of Underwater Cultural Relics of China

Mon, 06 Jun 2022

The Administrative Regulations on Protection of Underwater Cultural Relics of China were promulgated in 1989, and amended in 2011 and 2022 respectively. The latest revision entered into force on 1 Apr. 2022.

The Regulations consists of 23 articles, aiming to strengthen the protection and administration of underwater cultural relics.

The key points are as follows:

1. Can foreign parties excavate underwater cultural relics in China?


However, they must cooperate with qualified Chinese entities, and all cultural relics, specimens, and materials obtained from the excavation activities shall belong to China. (Art. 12)

2. Can I keep the underwater cultural relics I found for myself?


Any individual finding underwater cultural relics in China’s internal waters, territorial waters, or other waters under China’s jurisdiction shall promptly report to the local competent cultural relics authority and hand them in. (Art. 9)



Cover Photo by Rikke Filbært on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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