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Laws on fossil collecting

Hi there,

I have been interested in paleontology for some time, and one problem that keeps cropping up from time to time (especially in continental Europe) is the vast difference in legislature regarding the collection and ownership of fossils. In some countries (e.g., Italy), all vertebrate fossil remains are treated like antropological remains (and subsequently disappear into dark museum drawers), in others there is no legislature at all. Especially in Europe the problem can be acute: there seems to be no general juristic principle and a lot of workers are working in a lot of different countries, all with different rules and jurisprudence. But I can also imagine that, to name a totally fictitious example, a US expedition may benefit from being aware of Egyptian law on the subject.

Now, I thought it might be a good idea to collect all local laws regarding fossil collection on one central place, so that either professional or amateur collectors might get some insight in what they can and cannot do when visiting a site abroad. Since I (nor anyone else that I know) don't have the time and expertise to look into every single country's laws, I thought this might be a worthwile collective effort and the result might be put on the web somewhere for everyone to study.

Contributions are welcomed.