Bringing stones and sand: always forbidden or still possible?

If it is forbidden to carry stones and sand, in some countries this will result in sanctions. The table below provides an excerpt for various vacation countries:

CountryIs it allowed to take sand and stones with you??Sanctions
. Germany yes
. France yes
. Greece-country restricted yes,
Prohibition for antique and archaeo-logically significant stones
Imprisonment for several years
. Italy
no zw. 500 and 3.000 EUR
. Croatia yes
. Portugal yes
. Spain yes
Outside Europe
. Egypt no k. A.
. Dubai no k. A.
. Domini-kan republic no k. A.
. Mexico restricted yes,
Prohibition for archaeo-logical finds
k. A.
. New Zealand restricted yes,
Ban on Maori artifacts, pounamu/
imprisonment for several months,
fines of several thousand New Zealand dollars
. Thailand no varying fines
. Turkey no Prison sentence of up to 10 years, high bail payments of up to 9.000 EUR
. USA yes

Vacation souvenirs from the beach and what to keep in mind

Take stone and sand with you: Vacationers should always clarify if this is prohibited

Take stone and sand with you: Whether it is forbidden, holidaymakers should always clarify.

A souvenir from the vacation is usually on the plan with most of them. The beautiful shining stone from the mountains, the red desert sand or the colorful pebbles from the beach can be very tempting.

The stone as Decorative piece in the apartment or the sand for the colorful aquarium, for what these souvenirs are used, is just as varied, like the appearance of these. But one may sand from the beach actually take? The Collecting, exporting and importing of such vacation souvenirs can sometimes lead to real difficulties and namely if in the case of stones and sand taking along is forbidden.

Holidaymakers should do not collect sand or stones, without inquiring beforehand whether it is allowed to. Whether it uniform regulations in this regard what vacationers should pay attention to and what can happen if unauthorized sand and stones to be brought back from vacation, explains the following guide.

Take stones and sand with you: In Germany forbidden?

To Bring sand from vacation Germans do not have to leave for faraway places. With North Sea and Baltic Sea coast they have the vacation beach practically almost before the front door. Here and there times small bag or bottle of sand fork, to pick up the colored little stones, that will be permitted nevertheless probably? Or maybe not? What do the beach rules in this respect?

collecting stones and sand is allowed for private use in Germany

collecting stones and sand is allowed in Germany for private use.

It is allowed, but only in small quantities and only for private use. So vacationers can take stones and sand with them. Prohibited are neither at the North Sea nor at the Baltic Sea. However, there are restrictions. Are the beaches in a nature reserve or is it so called rubble walls, stones may not be removed. The ramparts are coastal protection facilities and serve as a defense against storm surges.

In places where it is forbidden for stones and sand to be taken, this is usually done in made clear by signs. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein, for example, you often find a pentagonal yellow sign, which a black owl contains. This indicates a protected area. Here vacationers should it is better to skip collecting.

Stones and sand as a souvenir from abroad: Here a lot can go wrong

Is it allowed to take sand from vacation? This is decided by each country itself

May one take sand from the vacation? This is decided by each country itself.

Basically is to say, that there are worldwide no uniform regulations exist, which generally prescribe whether in the case of stones or sand the taking is forbidden or permitted. It always comes on the vacation country and the regional regulations indicate whether collecting sand and stones is prohibited or permitted.

Important is therefore, that vacationers always inform themselves well, before they go on a collection tour go. For example, certain stones (such as lava rocks or fossilized fossils) be prohibited in a protected area, normal sand from the beach, however, does not. bans can also apply to so-called cultural goods such as archaeological finds or for the sand from nature reserves and national parks be present.

Are holidaymakers caught, as they take stones or sand, although it is forbidden, are besides high fines quite also imprisonment for several years possible. In the following sections some examples from Europe and the world listed. The specifications are without guarantee and should either be checked before the trip with the embassies or the Foreign Office or. the customs be inspected. Also on the spot can use the tourism offices, the tour operator or the authorities usually give information about prohibitions and permissible souvenirs from nature.

Examples from Europe: No uniform requirements

As already described there are no uniform regulations, not even in Europe. Usually in the European Union for sand the taking not basically forbidden, as long as they are small quantities for private use acts. However, regional regulations may prohibit this as well. For example, vacationers are not allowed to take sand or stones from Italy take along, especially on Sardinia this is supervised. Here threaten then fines between 500 and 3.000 euros, if tourists are caught collecting.

Stones from Mallorca: taking them with you is usually allowed if they do not come from nature reserves

stones from Mallorca: taking them is usually allowed, if they do not come from nature reserves.

Go less hard authorities in other European vacation countries before. Thus may travelers stones from Iceland or Greece take stones with them, as long as around certain minerals, natural monuments or ancient or. archaeologically important stones acts. In these cases, it is also prohibited to take. Holidaymakers can from these countries also take sand with them, because it is not forbidden.

In Spain tourists should pay attention, where to go collecting. Basically it is allowed if Private individuals sand and stones want to take from Spain. On the Canary Islands but should only be collected outside the national parks. travelers are allowed to take black sand from Tenerife take along as well as the white one from Mallorca. Want them from Lanzarote stones take it with you, this is also possible, if it is not minerals from the Timanfaya National Park acts. Take sand and stones from the beach: In Spain, that is usually no problem.

For the European Union, too, it is therefore best for holidaymakers to be careful inform about it before the trip or on the spot, whether or not it is forbidden to take along stones and sand.

How is it regulated outside Europe?

Outside Europe the regulations concerning sand and stone can still be far more restrictive. So, for example, in Egypt and the Dominican Republic for stones and sand is the taking basically forbidden. In New Zealand and Mexico, this affects Ban mainly artifacts, archaeological finds and certain types of stone. Holidaymakers should still be careful and the stone or. the sand leave in doubt on the spot.

The Beaches of Thailand invite formally to collect souvenirs. But beware, if vacationers want to take sand from Thailand, can just the collecting on the beach high Fines to the consequence have. Even if corals, stones or sand are bought in the store, this does not mean that they are may be taken out of the country. Depending on the object and region, the Sanctions partly very different from.

The same applies if tourists corals, shells, stones or sand from Dubai want to take. However, there are no clear information to take sand with them, therefore vacationers should always inform or this souvenir prefer to keep only in memory, instead of taking it.

If vacationers want to take stones from Croatia, this is usually allowed

If vacationers want to take stones from Croatia, this is usually allowed.

Particularly restrictive handles the Turkey the export of stones and sand. The country considers these throughout as natural goods, which are Possession of Turkey and therefore may not be exported.

In addition, travelers who want to take stones from Turkey should also expect that it concerns archaeological artifacts. If vacationers are caught exporting sand, they can detention, high bail and prison sentences up to ten years to be taken. For objects purchased in stores or markets, as well as for artistically designed natural sand, the taking also prohibited.

The import regulations of Germany also play a role

In addition to the export regulations of the individual countries, tourists also have to bear in mind that they can’t do it all to Germany may import. So the introduction of archaeological objects is generally not allowed. So do travelers have Stones or alleged sand in the luggage and turns out to be this kind of cultural goods, sanctions are threatening.

Want vacationers Take sand with you, this is forbidden if it is collected from a Nature reserve originates. Then this souvenir can not be imported to Germany. Does the customs Sand or stones in the luggage firmly, this can result in a lengthy inspection, as sometimes determines the type of items must be.

FAQ – Collecting sand and stones

Yes. Small amounts can be collected for private use on the beach. For more info click here.

No. Each country decides for itself whether sand and stones may be taken as souvenir. In our table you will find an overview of the regulations of popular vacation countries.

Yes, this is quite possible. Some countries prohibit not only taking sand and stones, but even already collecting them on the beach. Which consequences can threaten, you can find out here.

No, there are also limitations. As a rule, archaeological artifacts and fossils are not allowed to be imported into Germany.

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