Applying for excavation permits and filing discovery reports

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

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The term 'excavation' here means archaeological investigations, exploratory boreholes and the removal or relocation of objects that belong to Dutch cultural heritage.

Excavation permit

In the Netherlands, it is prohibited to perform an archaeological excavation without a certificate. If your company has a certificate (in Dutch), it means you work according to the standards and guidelines of the Dutch Archaeology Quality Standard (KNA).

You can apply for a certificate at a certifying body (CI’s, in Dutch). Costs involved depend on the protocols you must comply with. Costs and application periods may differ between CI’s.

A certificate is valid for 4 years, as long as you pass the yearly audit.

Excavation by a foreign company

Do you own a foreign company? You do not need a Dutch certificate for excavations in the Netherlands if:

  • you only excavate in the Netherlands occasionally;
  • you have a valid permit or similar document from another EU country. You must comply with the same rules as companies with a Dutch certificate;
  • you submit your report about your research to Archis (in Dutch) within 2 years after the excavation has taken place. Archis is the Dutch national system in which monuments, reports of archaeological discoveries, and excavation reports can be found, together with their geographical location. You can write your report in Dutch, English or German.

Reporting a discovery

Have you made an archaeological discovery? You must report this to the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency (in Dutch). The discovery will be reported in Archis, a national system that contains Dutch archaeological data, such as information on archaeological discoveries.

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO