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Old 18-09-2018, 14:11   #1
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Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

I recently purchased a sailboat with a Marine SSB (Icom IC-M801E) and I'm trying to understand the training and licensing requirements.

The article linked below states, "You don't need to pass a Ham radio operator's test to use a marine SSB. All that's required is a valid Ship Station license and a lifetime Restricted Radiotelephone Operator's permit. No testing required!"

Latitude 38 - Idiot's Guide to Marine SSB

Is that correct for the US? What about for the Mediterranean?

I plan to be in the Mediterranean in the next year. I have not been able to find clear training and licensing requirement for counties in that area (Spain, France, Greece).

Thanks you in advance for any input!
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Old 18-09-2018, 16:31   #2
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

The primary license needs to come from the country the vessel is registered in. Then you can checkwhat countries allow reciprocal use, which will be most.
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Old 18-09-2018, 16:37   #3
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRobinson View Post
I recently purchased a sailboat with a Marine SSB (Icom IC-M801E) and I'm trying to understand the training and licensing requirements.

The article linked below states, "You don't need to pass a Ham radio operator's test to use a marine SSB. All that's required is a valid Ship Station license and a lifetime Restricted Radiotelephone Operator's permit. No testing required!"

Latitude 38 - Idiot's Guide to Marine SSB

Is that correct for the US? What about for the Mediterranean?

I plan to be in the Mediterranean in the next year. I have not been able to find clear training and licensing requirement for counties in that area (Spain, France, Greece).

Thanks you in advance for any input!
As Paul says, you need to have a license from the flag country of the vessel.

The description you provide in your post is correct for a US vessel and US citizen.
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Old 18-09-2018, 17:00   #4
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

Perfect advice from Paul and Bill ^^.

In general, most countries follow the ITU mandate which means the radio/vessel needs a valid "Ship Station Licence" normally issued for a time period (say 1 year or 10 years or whatever) and the operator must have a "appropriate radio operators licence" which is usually a lifetime issue. Different countries have different names for these two requirements.

The first allows the equipment to use the relevant part of the radio spectrum for a period determined by the licence and the second recognises the operator is (or should be?) capable of using the spectrum responsibility.

In some countries, e.g. Australia, the licensed operator may allow an unlicensed user to use the equipment in effect as "under supervision".
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Old 18-09-2018, 17:21   #5
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

[QUOTE=Wotname;
In some countries, e.g. Australia, the licensed operator may allow an unlicensed user to use the equipment in effect as "under supervision".


I hope that's true for a USA flagged boat too. I figure from anywhere on our boat my wife could supervise me. That is not my kind of test, so she has the creds but I use the radio.
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Old 18-09-2018, 17:37   #6
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

Great, thank you all for the advice.
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Old 18-09-2018, 17:40   #7
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

Station license is all you need legally. Get one. Make sure it is for overseas. This will cost money while a US station license is free (We$t Marine). The license is very long term so no annual fee. There is a similar thread here on CF. We have never been asked to show our license. You will likely never be asked at customs and immigration. If you were in trouble with local boat police they might ask as a means of piling on.
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Old 18-09-2018, 18:45   #8
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

Note that everything said above is in regard to the standard "Marine" SSB channels. But the transceiver is cable of much more. With a (US) Amateur General license, you can transmit on "non-marine" Ham frequencies to Hams around the world. The required testing is actually very cheap through your regional ARRL clubs, and there are very good study guides available online - in fact, the FCC publishes the entire pool of test questions online, so by reviewing those you can't help but to succeed! So why not do that and be able to unlock your set and communicate with landlubbers as well as "marine" stations?

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Old 19-09-2018, 03:43   #9
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Station license is all you need legally. Get one. Make sure it is for overseas. This will cost money while a US station license is free (We$t Marine). The license is very long term so no annual fee. There is a similar thread here on CF. We have never been asked to show our license. You will likely never be asked at customs and immigration. If you were in trouble with local boat police they might ask as a means of piling on.
Besides the station license, you need an operator's license in Europe, and they do check sometimes.
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Old 19-09-2018, 04:54   #10
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

I believe in the EU each country has its own. This is at least the case with the VHF.


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Old 19-09-2018, 06:04   #11
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

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I believe in the EU each country has its own. This is at least the case with the VHF.


b.

Indeed, but you don't need a license from each country. A license from the country of citizenship OR residency of the operator is all that is needed, even if the boat's flag state is different.
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Old 19-09-2018, 06:34   #12
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

I am a US citizen and the boat will be US flagged. So it sounds like I will need a Ship Station license and a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator's license issued by US authorities to meet the minimum requirements for marine SSB in the US and EU.

As MaCro suggested, i can optionally pursue additional licensing to access additional functionality.
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Old 19-09-2018, 06:41   #13
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

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Originally Posted by DrRobinson View Post
I am a US citizen and the boat will be US flagged. So it sounds like I will need a Ship Station license and a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator's license issued by US authorities to meet the minimum requirements for marine SSB in the US and EU.

As MaCro suggested, i can optionally pursue additional licensing to access additional functionality.

You got it. The Operator License is a simple online process with no test.


If you want to transmit on the amateur radio bands, you will need an amateur radio license. Note that the General Class license gives you very limited privileges -- it is considered equivalent to the CEPT Novice license, which has privileges similar to those of the U.S. Technician class. If you want to operate freely, you need the Extra class license.
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Old 19-09-2018, 08:40   #14
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

Should be aware that in many countries it is illegal to use ham (and SSB?) while in port unless you have a license from that country. If you have a US license then they are easy to obtain in some countries, and less so in others.


Not sure if the above applies to SSB frequencies, but definetely to ham freqs.
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Old 19-09-2018, 08:58   #15
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Re: Licensing requirements for marine SSB in US and EU

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Originally Posted by Moontide View Post
Should be aware that in many countries it is illegal to use ham (and SSB?) while in port unless you have a license from that country. If you have a US license then they are easy to obtain in some countries, and less so in others.


Not sure if the above applies to SSB frequencies, but definetely to ham freqs.

In CEPT countries, whether on land or on your boat, a U.S. licensed ham with the appropriate license level (Extra Class for general privileges) does not need a special license and does not need special permission. This includes all of Europe and even such countries as Russia. What you need:


"
European Conference of Postal & Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT)

European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT)radio-amateur license -- allows US Amateurs to travel to and operate from most European countries without obtaining an additional licensee or permit. For a US citizens to operate an amateur station in a CEPT country, certain requirements of the CEPT European Radio Committee (ERC) must be met for participation by non-CEPT Administrations (the US is a Non-CEPT administration who has obtained permission to allow its licensees the privilege of operation from CEPT countries).

Under the CEPT Agreement, to activate operating authority, a traveler would have to carry credentials in English, French and German that the person, if a US citizen, and if a Commission-authorized amateur operator, is entitled to certain amateur station operating privileges in the specific countries that have implemented the CEPT Agreement."


CEPT
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