The proposed changes to the Treasure Act (1996) was laid in front of Parliament on the 20th February in the form of a Statutory Instrument. In plain English, this means that the House of Commons and the House of Lords are being given information on proposed changes to the Treasure Act. This is for them to consider and vote on at some date (to be confirmed) in the next few months.
This is not a new law, just a change to the existing Treasure Act (1996). It will come into law at some point in the future, most likely early in 2024. There are three changes being proposed.
- An update to the administrative process for treasure. (see section 2 below)
- Clarification of the role of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) in the process for England and Wales. (see section 2 below)
- A new class of treasure taking in the significance of a find. (see section 1 below)
It is very important to note that the new significance class of treasure is in addition to the existing classes of treasure and does not replace them.
For clarity, this means that if an item does not qualify as significant, then it still needs to be at least 300 years old and meet the existing rules on precious metal content. For ~95% of treasure items it is business as usual!
READ FULL DOCUMENT HERE