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Research permits


Researchers may need one or more permits when conducting research in the Faroe Islands, depending on the area the researcher wants to explore and the type of research he or she plans to conduct.

There is no central coordination of research applications in the Faroe Islands. Scientists need to identify all relevant permits themselves and obtain these from relevant authorities.

It is advised always to contact the responsible authority/agency to learn if a permit is needed.


General principles

Personal data

All research involving personal data must comply with the rules in the Faroese Data Protection Act.

Transfer of personal data to a country or an international organisation outside The European Union or the European Economic Area may take place only if the minister for the data protection has decided that the country or the organisation in question secures an adequate level of protection.

Further information: The Data Protection Authority 


Field work

Field work, e.g. collection of samples and setting up measuring equipment, requires permission from the land owner. Special permission is required for some areas.

A permit may be needed for export of some samples. 


Drone flights

​In general, it is permitted to fly drones not weighing more than 25 kg in the Faroe Islands, providing the following conditions are met:

Drones must not be flown within 150 metres of a village, town or city or within 150 metres of main roads that connect villages

Drones must not be flown within a 5-kilometre radius of Vágar Airport

Drones must not be flown above summerhouses or camping areas, or in places where many people are gathered, e.g. at festivals

Drones must not be flown above 100 metres from the ground

Drones must be insured

Institutes and private companies can apply for dispensation from the rules if the drone is to be used for tests, research or commercial purposes. Drone pilots embraced by the dispensation must be able to document experince with drone flights and possibly pass a practical test.

Aviation rules and regulations in the Faroe Islands are overseen by the Danish Transport and Construction Agency.

Further information:

Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority

Regulations on unmanned aircraft not weighing more than 25 kg


Marine research

Research vessels planning to do surveys of plankton and fish must acquire permission for the cruise from the Ministry of Fisheries through the Danish embassy of their home country. 

Research vessels planning to do hydrographic surveys in Faroese waters must acquire permission for the cruise from the Ministry of Fisheries through the Danish embassy of their home country. If the research vessel intends to enter the 12 miles zone, a notice has to be given several days in advance. 

Further information:

Faroe Marine Research Institute (Havstovan)

Contact: +298 35 39 00  



Biological research

The Faroe Islands are part of the Ramsar Convention – an international treaty for the preservation of areas with special significance for birdlife and biological diversity. Three areas have been appointed Ramsar areas – Mykines, Nólsoy and Skúvoy.

Most bird species are protected and only limited and strictly regulated hunts of species that are not protected is allowed. Nesting areas are also protected during breeding season.

Dispensation can be given for catching protected birds for scientific purposes.

Permits needed for biological research:

Permit from landowner to do field research and collect samples

Permit from the National Museum to collect samples from preserved species

Permit from the Faroese Food and Veterinary Authority to fish in water used for smolt breeding

Permits needed for bird ringing:

Ringing permit (a Danish licens for ringing of birds)

Plastic ring permit (a special license needed for plastic rings which are typically used for placing transmitters on birds)

Permits needed for sending samples abroad:

Export permit for biological samples from CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) species. The recipient must also have an import permit.

In some cases a “zoosanitary certificate” from the Faroese Food and Veterinary Authority is needed.

Certificate of origin. Can be obtained from and has to be stamped by the Tax and Customs Authority.

Further information:

The Environment Agency (Umhvørvisstovan)



Biomedical sciences

Researchers carrying out research on human data are obliged to inform all participants of the purpose of the data processing and get their acceptance. All personal data must be protected and it must be ensured that the data can by no means be traced back to the individual.


All biomedical research has to be approved by the Research Ethics Council of the Faroe Islands (Vísindasiðsemisnevndin)



Research related to medicine has to be approved by the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer (Landsapotekarin)

Contact: +298 355200


Genetic research related to Faroese citizens has to be approved by the Genetic Biobank (Ílegusavnið)

Contact: +298


When carrying out research involving data on human health at the National Hospital (Landssjúkrahúsið), several requirements must be met:

A formal agreement must be signed between the researcher and the National Hospital

A risk evaluation based on the processing of personal data must be made

Contact: +298 304500 IT Security

              +298 234699



Geological surveys

Permits are needed when carrying out geological research in the Faroe Islands, depending on what kind of work is being carried out.




Onshore surveys

For research related to hydrocarbon onshore in the Faroe Islands, the scientific project leader must acquire permission from Jarðfeingi.

When carrying outfield work where samples will be taken it is necessary to acquire permit from the landowners. Jarðfeingi is able to assist with logistics of this kind.

For research based on archive sampling researchers can apply for permission to use samples from cores and other material in the Jarðfeingi archive. A special application form from Jarðfeingi has to be filled out.

Offshore surveys

For offshore surveys with relation to hydrocarbon in the Faroese territory (domestic or international),the scientific project leader must acquire permission for the cruise from Jarðfeingi.

For international offshoresurveys with no relation to hydrocarbon in the Faroese offshore territory, the scientific project leader must acquire permission for the cruise through the national embassy of the project leader.

Further information:

Faroese Geological Survey(Jarðfeingi)

Contact: +298 357000 



Cultural heritage and archaeology studies

Faroe Islands National Museum is responsible for all archeological research projects in the Faroe Islands. Foreign researchers who want to conduct archeological research in the Faroe Islands must contact the National Museum.

All land based archeological sites, visible and hidden, are protected. It is forbidden to disturb archeological sites in any way. Use of metal detectors near an archeological site is only allowed with special permission from the National Museum.

Archeological objects older than 100 years on land and at sea, up to 24 nautical miles from the baseline, including shipwrecks, are the property of the Faroe Islands.

Objects from the Second World War are protected under the same rules.

All archeological finds on land or at sea must immediately be reported to the National Museum. If the item has been picked up, it must immediately be handed to the Museum. Metallic items must undir no circumstances be cleaned before handed over to the Museum.

Further information:

Faroe Islands National Museum(Tjóðsavnið)

Contact: +298 340500