Applying for a permit to disturb an ancient relic

According to subsection 2 of section 1 of the Antiquities Act, it is forbidden to excavate, cover, alter, damage or remove ancient relics or disturb them in any other way without permission granted on the basis of the Antiquities Act. This restriction applies to both individuals and authorities.

A permission to implement a project based on any other legislation, e.g. building permit or permit to extract land resources, does not remove the obligation to apply for a permit to disturb an ancient relic, if an ancient relic is located in the project area.

According to section 11 of the Antiquities Act, a permit to disturb an ancient relic (kajoamislupa) may be issued if the ancient relic creates significant difficulties in proportion to its value. The permit to disturb an ancient relic may be granted to a landowner or other operator who wants to perform an operation that may affect the ancient relic.

The matter concerning the permit to disturb an ancient relic can be initiated by submitting a written application to the Finnish Heritage Agency record office

Information given on the application

The applicant must give a sufficient and necessary account of the following in their application:

  1. Applicant information
  2. Which ancient relic the application concerns and where it is located
  3. Land ownership
  4. Plan to disturb the relic
  5. The inconvenience to the applicant posed by the ancient relic, along with grounds for why the project cannot be executed without disturbing the relic
  6. The effect of the disturbance on the physical preservation of the relic
  7. Project plan
  8. Assessment of the effects of the project

1. Applicant information

Whether the applicant is a landowner or a limited company, for example.

Name, address and telephone number for providing notifications concerning the matter.

2. Which ancient relic the application concerns and where it is located

The applicant may make use of the Finnish Heritage Agency Ancient Relics Register or

any research reports on the ancient relic as well as the Ancient Relics Register map service, for example.

If no other information is available, the ancient relic must be itemised with the help of other available material and information, e.g. by photographing the relic.

In order to verify the location of the relic, the applicant must report the location of the relic in the form of a marking on a map and, if possible, the coordinates of the location of the relic.

3. Land ownership

The applicant must determine which property the area that the relic is located in belongs to, along with the owners of the property in question.

Property identification (kiinteistötunnus) is available in the Ancient Relics Register, for example. Both the identification and ownership data are also available in the National Land Survey of Finland e-services concerning real property.

4. Plan to disturb the relic

The application must specify which project requires the disturbance of an ancient relic.

The project plan for the entire project must be attached to the application with preliminary schedules, not just the section concerning the ancient relic.

5. The inconvenience to the applicant posed by the ancient relic, along with grounds for why the project cannot be executed without disturbing the relic.

6. The effect of the disturbance on the physical preservation of the relic

The applicant must specify whether they think the relic must be disturbed in its entirety or partly, or whether the project requires that the relic be supported against a collapse or similar.

7. Project plan

The master plan included in the building plan, for example.

An up-to-date, sufficiently detailed map in terms of scale, with the location of the planned operations and the significant sites.

A site layout with planned structures and their location.

8. Assessment of the effects of the project

An assessment report on the environmental impact specified in the act on assessment of environmental impact (Ympäristövaikutusten arviointimenettelystä annettu laki (252/2017)).

An estimate of the impact of the planned operations on the ancient relic drafted by a consultant conducting archaeological field work, if available.

If not, the assessment may be drafted in free form.

Processing time and cost

Applications for permits to disturb ancient relics are typically processed within 60 days. You should be prepared for a longer processing time for permits to disturb ancient relics concerning extensive relics, in particular, and if the permit requires an on-site inspection.

Processing time is the period starting from the time of initiation of the matter and ending in the decision. The application process is initiated when the application arrives in the Finnish Heritage Agency’s registry office. If the application is incomplete, the Finnish Heritage Agency will ask the applicant to provide the missing information within a certain time period. Any missing information will extend the permit application processing time.

The processing fee for the permit to disturb an ancient relic is 450 euros. Any rejections are also subject to the fee.

More information

The Antiquities Act 295/1963, Finlex