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Old 05-09-2011, 08:49   #16
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

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Originally Posted by continuouswave View Post
..........
I agree that enforcement of these rather obscure regulations regarding VHF MARINE BAND radio licensing seems to be quite lax, particularly in Canada, where in 25-years of boating there I have never been personally questioned about this nor heard of anyone else being checked on this.

I don't know how enforcement agencies in the U.S.A. are handling this. I have never seen anyone from the FCC involved in any way with recreational boat radio other than to track down false distress messages. Whether or not some "badge-heavy" Homeland Security Agent is going to come down on a visiting yachtsman for lack of a perfunctory and pro-forma license is speculative.
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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
I agree that "enforcement" within the USA and probably even Canada is virtually non-existent. The only time I ever had my FCC certificates examined was during a USCG boarding in International waters. After finding everything else on the boat in compliance, I was asked for my FCC licenses - which just also happened to be okay. The final straw was their request to see my "trash plan" which I had since I was a faithful reader of the BoatUS newsletter.
I consider it a matter of pride to comply with such "rather obscure regulations ". It isn't onerous, it doesn't cost much and demonstrates (at least to me) a seriousness to one's chosen activity - in short, a sort of professionalism if you like.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:31   #17
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

The regulations, while being obscure--I've escalated that from rather obscure--are also curiously backwards. The FCC requires no station or operator license when you are in the USA, but if you leave the USA you need a USA station license and operator license issued by the FCC. It seems like a situation out of a Joseph Heller novel (CATCH-22).

As for the situation in Canada, there is some clarity for Canadians: they need an operator's license or permit all the time. As for Americans visiting Canada, there seems to be some confusion on the operator's license being mandatory if you are just visiting for a short time. One agency says you need it, another says you don't. I think it's a conflict between TRANSPORT CANADA and INDUSTRY CANADA. A good friend of mine who is a boater, and who, like me, spends a lot of the summer in Canadian water, and who is also a lawyer, is doing a bit of research into this question.

As for being boarded by the USCG in International Water, that sounds unusual. With my small boat I am either in USA water or Canadian water, there isn't any gap where I boat.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:49   #18
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

Actually, the "no VHF license" provision is an attempt by the FCC to make it easier and less expensive for U.S. boats which don't leave U.S. waters and don't communicate with foreign boats/ships.

The provision was well intentioned, to save millions of U.S. boaters the $180 and the effort required to obtain a station license and an operator's permit. Because it's caused so much confusion, though, I think it was misguided. The Boat US and other private issuance of an MMSI number is in the same category: well-intentioned but misguided.

When you leave U.S. waters, you are bound by International Regulations which were developed and ratified by most all nations of the world. These REQUIRE a station license for ships and an operators permit for users of transmitting equipment. It's not optional. That's the "bad" news.

The "good" news is that these same international regulations allow you to use your gear anywhere in the world. So you can use your radios and other transmitting gear on your boat even when in the waters of another country.

Bill
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:28   #19
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

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The regulations, while being obscure--I've escalated that from rather obscure--are also curiously backwards. The FCC requires no station or operator license when you are in the USA, but if you leave the USA you need a USA station license and operator license issued by the FCC. It seems like a situation out of a Joseph Heller novel (CATCH-22).
The FCC "quickie" method was one of those things, that really just confused things. Given that the full method, doesnt even require an exam ( which most of the rest of the world have to do), you'd think the FCC would abandon the "quickie" method with BoatUS and just issue proper licenses.

The other reason was of course the concern originally that the MMSI space for US VHFs would be rapidly eroded by mom and pop boaters.

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Old 05-09-2011, 20:09   #20
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

The history of the U.S. FCC allowing private recreational boats and non-commercial land use (CB radios and Family radios) originated in the years when CB usage in cars and trucks exploded in popularity. "10-4, Good Buddy, etc." The result was a deluge of FCC licensing applications, literally millions of them, descending upon the FCC. There was no practical way for the FCC to deal with that many applications, so legislation and rules were installed allowing private use within the borders of the country without a formal license. This was extended to the private recreational boating sector as well.
- - But as Btraysfor states, the international rules/treaties concerned with radio equipment were not and could not be changed so anybody leaving the borders or waters of the USA must have the proper FCC licenses. The one everybody forgets the personal "restricted radiotelephone operators permit."
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:33   #21
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

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...When you leave U.S. waters, you are bound by International Regulations which were developed and ratified by most all nations of the world. These REQUIRE a station license for ships and an operators permit for users of transmitting equipment. It's not optional. That's the "bad" news.

The "good" news is that these same international regulations allow you to use your gear anywhere in the world. So you can use your radios and other transmitting gear on your boat even when in the waters of another country.

Bill
I think your view of the treaty obligation is not quite correct. The treaty establishes that if I visit another country (that happens to be a signatory to the treaty) they will recognize my marine station license and my marine operator license, and I will not be forced to obtain a license in their country. In this way, as you mention, the treaty works in my favor.

However, the treaty probably does not--I can't say that I have actually read it--say that every nation must require its maritime visitors to have a station license and an operator license in their own country when they go abroad. A country, let's say Canada, would be free to decide, if it wished, that a visiting American recreational boater with a non-mandatory-equipped radio on his boat did not need to have a license from Canada or the USA, for either the station or the operator. This is probably entirely up to the country itself. I don't think they are obligated by the treaty to demand a license from the home country.

So in this sense, I disagree with your analysis of the treaty.

By the way, since we are talking about this treaty, perhaps someone could give us a pointer to it on-line so we could read what it says, before we go too far along interpreting what it says.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:49   #22
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

Having lived much of my working life in a number of countries around the world (was in Foreign Service), I can tell you that many countries are EXTREMELY CONCERNED by anyone operating an unlicensed radio of any kind within their territory. In many instances this concern borders on paranoia, and it's not limited just to the LDCs.

There are almost 200 countries in the world -- 48 in subSaharan Africa alone -- and each one has it's own laws and regulations concerning the installation and operation of radio transmitting equipment. There are considerable differences amongst the countries.

What the ITU agreement ensures is that a marine radio station, duly licensed by one of its member countries and operated by someone holding an appropriate permit, can be used without further approval in virtually any country in the world.

Stations in the aeronautical mobile service have similar arrangements.

Note that this is NOT true of many other radio services, like amateur radio, business radio, Citizen's Band radio, etc.

I certainly would not want to be aboard a boat in a foreign country where someone was using an unlicensed radio or lacked the proper operator's permit to use the radio. That would be a very good way to see the inside of the host country's lockups -- up close and personal :-)

Bill
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Old 06-09-2011, 16:14   #23
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

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However, the treaty probably does not--I can't say that I have actually read it--say that every nation must require its maritime visitors to have a station license and an operator license in their own country when they go abroad. A country, let's say Canada, would be free to decide, if it wished, that a visiting American recreational boater with a non-mandatory-equipped radio on his boat did not need to have a license from Canada or the USA, for either the station or the operator. This is probably entirely up to the country itself. I don't think they are obligated by the treaty to demand a license from the home country.

What the International Radio Regulations require ,is that in the absence of a reciprocal agreement, countries must require that you have a ships station license and a valid operator ,when operating outside your countries waters

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Old 06-09-2011, 16:30   #24
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

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Originally Posted by Herbseesmoore View Post
is there a certificate that can be found on the internet and printed for a Canadian entering the US. If so can you point to the website.
Has your question been answered? If not, no, there is no such thing. He will be required to have a radio station license (if he is taking his boat) and a Restricted Radio Operators license and these are issued by Industry Canada, but cannot be printed off from the internet. You must pass a proficiency test to get the Restricted Radio Operators license. These are required whether he is in Canada or in the USA.
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Old 06-09-2011, 16:34   #25
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

The other thing to point out , unless mandated by local laws, You do not have to have a Operators Cert from you own country. You do have to have a national ships station license however.

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Old 06-09-2011, 17:39   #26
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Having lived much of my working life in a number of countries around the world (was in Foreign Service), I can tell you that many countries are EXTREMELY CONCERNED by anyone operating an unlicensed radio of any kind within their territory. In many instances this concern borders on paranoia, and it's not limited just to the LDCs.

There are almost 200 countries in the world -- 48 in subSaharan Africa alone -- and each one has it's own laws and regulations concerning the installation and operation of radio transmitting equipment. There are considerable differences amongst the countries.

What the ITU agreement ensures is that a marine radio station, duly licensed by one of its member countries and operated by someone holding an appropriate permit, can be used without further approval in virtually any country in the world.

Stations in the aeronautical mobile service have similar arrangements.

Note that this is NOT true of many other radio services, like amateur radio, business radio, Citizen's Band radio, etc.

I certainly would not want to be aboard a boat in a foreign country where someone was using an unlicensed radio or lacked the proper operator's permit to use the radio. That would be a very good way to see the inside of the host country's lockups -- up close and personal :-)

Bill
How many here who have sailed from florida to trinidad and back have certificates for all the countries along the way?
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Old 06-09-2011, 17:49   #27
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

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How many here who have sailed from florida to trinidad and back have certificates for all the countries along the way?
Huh? I think you missed something. You do not need "certificates for the countries along the way." All you need is your home country's licenses for "ship's radio station permit(license)" and a personal radio operators license/permit. It has been that way for many, many decades, if not longer - nothing new about it.
- - The unique USA or Canadian "exemptions" for private recreational vessels was put in place to relieve the huge paperwork burden from the government's communications licensing departments for folks who never will or intend to leave their home waters.
- - All commercial operation vessels are not eligible for the exemptions and must have the appropriate licenses just like they have had to do forever. Same with private recreational vessels who are going to leave their home country's waters for foreign waters.
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Old 06-09-2011, 18:25   #28
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

The curious part of this USA-Canada radio license reciprocity--or lack of reciprocity--is that the Canadians require their own citizens to possess some sort of operator permit or radio operator license to operate a VHF Marine Band radio. The USA does not require its citizens to have such a permit or license.

Thus when a Canadian comes to USA water, he is likely to already have an operator permit or operator license, but most American boater probably don't. When an American citizen operates his boat in Canadian water, it seems reasonable that the Canadian government treat him equally as a Canadian boat, that is, they'll require him to have a license. The illogical part is that the USA should not really be asking visiting Canadians to have a license when they don't bother to ask their own citizens.

The RESTRICTED RADIOTELEPHONE OPERATOR PERMIT is a ridiculous license. To obtain it an applicant simply certifies he will comply with the simplest of procedures, and also pay the fee. If you don't lose the license itself, it is good for your lifetime and no further fees are required. The cost can be amortized over several decades, typically.
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Old 06-09-2011, 18:32   #29
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

Jeez, why is this so hard to get right?

The operator of a VHF radio on an American boat visiting Canada -- or anywhere outside the U.S. -- MUST HAVE BOTH A STATION LICENSE AND AN OPERATOR'S PERMIT.

Is this truly so hard to understand?

There's no question of "treating Canadians different than Americans are treated in Canada". In both cases, radio operators MUST HAVE THE REQUISITE LICENSES AND PERMITS ISSUED BY THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

The specifics of obtaining those licenses and permits will differ in each country, and is immaterial to the licensing requirement.

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Old 06-09-2011, 19:43   #30
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Re: Canadian VHF License for US

Bill - you forgot to add . . .
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