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New measures to protect fossils

By WANG QIAN | | Updated: 2013-02-27 17:31

China released measures for the country's first fossil protection law on Feb 27, which will be implemented on March 1 to curb illegal transfers, the country's land watchdog said.

Yao Yichuan, deputy director of the Department of Policy and Legislation of the Ministry of Land and Resources, said the implementation of the new measures will bring the legislation in fossil protection to a new stage.

The measures elaborate the duties of fossil managers, owners and preservers, the procedure for fossil transfer and exchange, and the penalties for illegal behaviors.

The measures said international scientific cooperation involving discovering fossils under sea must first apply to the Ministry of Land and Resources, the leader of such archaeological teams should be Chinese, and all the fossil specimens discovered belong to China.

Any organization or individual who exchanges, transfers, loans, gives or conveys any protected fossil specimens on the national protection list to foreign individuals or organizations will be penalized up to 500,000 yuan ($79,400).

Chen Xiaoning, deputy director of the Geological Environment Department of the ministry, said China has established effective cooperation with police in the United States, Australia and Italy to curb fossil smuggling.

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