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Old 17-12-2014, 21:56   #46
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

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Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post

So if I as a "voluntary" vessel am supposed to monitor 16, is that day and night while anchored or only while underway? How about during the lightning storm when a lot of people disconnect their radios? Seems the same people who wrote these regulations also did those for cruising in Cuba...a lack of common sense.

According to the FCC, from the link three posts above, you must monitor channel 16 while underway. You need not be monitoring while communicating on another channel.
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Old 17-12-2014, 22:31   #47
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

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Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
it is obvious the authorities have done a very poor job to clearly communicate the requirements to the general recreational boating public since a number of "knowledgable" sources do not quite agree here. I think the majority of the forum members are pretty intelligent and yet do not fully understand. We do have both a ships license and an operator license and working thru the federal web site was not easy. It they are going to charge those significant fees, the least they can do is make a easy to navigate web site with clear requirements and directions of what to do.

So if I as a "voluntary" vessel am supposed to monitor 16, is that day and night while anchored or only while underway? How about during the lightning storm when a lot of people disconnect their radios? Seems the same people who wrote these regulations also did those for cruising in Cuba...a lack of common sense.
If the web site is too complex it is possible to obtain licenses by mail.

From US FCC link posted just above:

  • Maintain your watch. Whenever your boat is underway, the radio must be turned on and be tuned to Channel 16 except when being used for messages.
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Old 03-08-2015, 19:22   #48
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

Forgive me if i missed someons post but i seem to remember that a license was not required for a RECREATIONAL boat(er).

I have been boarded by uscg and in the Bahamas for years and never asked for a license.

Now i'm beginning to wonder.
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Old 03-08-2015, 19:28   #49
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

FCC registration is only required in the FCC's jurisdiction, i.e. in the US.


However, other countries will generally require a ships station license for VHF, issued by the flag of the ship. Which means yes, an FCC-issued SSL is required for the vessel by most foreign countries. If you're going OUT of the US? You will probably need it.


Don't tell the greedy b@stards in the Bahamas that want a $300 entry fee...they could make lots more money by fining vessels that made improper use of their radios and committed similar sins. (Shh!)
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Old 03-08-2015, 20:10   #50
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

While the USCG may not care when they board you, international treaties require licensing in most cases for international voyages. And the FCC requires US flagged vessels to have a station license when traveling internationally (by being a US flagged vessel you are in FCC jurisdiction anywhere - you are also in the jurisdiction of any country you visit, so must meet two sets of requirements).

Quote:
Ships are considered as operating domestically when they do not travel to foreign ports or do not transmit radio communications to foreign stations. Sailing in international waters is permitted, so long as the previous conditions are met. If you travel to a foreign port (e.g., Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands), a license is required. Additionally, if you travel to a foreign port, you are required to have an operator permit.
Above from the FCC's discussion on voluntarily equipped vessels.
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Old 03-08-2015, 20:16   #51
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

"And the FCC requires US flagged vessels to have a station license when traveling internationally "
Not to split nits, but IIRC the FCC does not require the voluntary vessel to have a license simply for possessing the radio, but only for USING it abroad.
Since the FCC has no overseas inspection or enforcement staff (and damned few inside the US) and the USCG does not inspect FCC compliance, it comes back mainly to what the host jurisdiction is looking for.


Many places in the world could care less. A few, like China, would prefer to press you with espionage charges and confiscate the equipment if you don't have their own permission to import it--let alone use it.


The FCC is actually a very casual and tolerant organization compared to much of the world.(G)
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Old 03-08-2015, 20:18   #52
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

In the U.S. no VHF licenses (station license or operator's permit) are required for recreational vessels, provided they do not talk to foreign vessels. This provision was intended to encourage small boaters to carry VHF radios (fixed or handheld).

However, if you go abroad OR if you talk to foreign vessels while in U.S. waters you must have two things:

1. a station license issued by the FCC; and
2. an operators permit, also issued by the FCC.

These may be obtained by applying online. There is no exam, but the fee is now nearly $200 I believe.

If you're going to get the station license, be sure to check all the boxes for all kinds of equipment -- VHF, HF, satellite, etc. -- even if you don't have it yet, otherwise you'll have to re-apply and re-pay the fee if you add new equipment.

BTW, the requirement for a station license and an operators permit is pursuant to international treaties....not a U.S.-imposed thing.

Bill
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Old 03-08-2015, 22:30   #53
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

Actually, quite the contrary, on a purely technical legal basis. By Federal law, each and every station in maritime service must be licensed (this is mostly the result of international treaties). But, the license, when the vessel is operated domestically, is provided by rule and no application is required and no individual license is issued. But, from a legal perspective, when you install a VHF radio on a boat (in the US) you have automatically applied for and received a license, and are bound by the license terms.

47 CFR Part 80, Subpart B

Quote:
80.13 Station license required.
(a) Except as noted in paragraph (c) of this section, stations in the maritime service must be licensed by the FCC either individually or by fleet.
(b) One ship station license will be granted for operation of all maritime services transmitting equipment on board a vessel. Radiotelegraph and narrow-band directing-printing equipment will not be authorized, however, unless specifically requested by the applicant.
(c) A ship station is licensed by rule and does not need an individual license issued by the FCC if the ship station is not subject to the radio equipment carriage requirements of any statute, treaty or agreement to which the United States is signatory, the ship station does not travel to foreign ports, and the ship station does not make international communications. A ship station licensed by rule is authorized to transmit radio signals using a marine radio operating in the 156-162 MHz band, any type of AIS, any type of EPIRB, and any type of radar installation. All other transmissions must be authorized under a ship station license. Even though an individual license is not required, a ship station licensed by rule must be operated in accordance with all applicable operating requirements, procedures, and technical specifications found in this part.
One of those terms is that you maintain a radio watch while underway (and the definition of radio watch depends on whether or not you have DSC and some other factors) and does not relieve you of that requirement when you are overseas. Which then gets you into the question of what is "radio operation" as defined by the foreign government in whose territory you operate. And thus begins the slope,just easier to have the station license, as then you are covered by international treaty in most places.

Do the Bahamas care? Not generally. Could they make it difficult for you by picking on technicalities if you pissed someone off? Probably.
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Old 03-08-2015, 22:31   #54
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

The fee structure for all FCC application and regulatory fees can be found here:

https://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/app...rocessing-fees

The current PDF file is here:

https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/at...C-329341A1.pdf

On page 19 for ship radio license it says:

New, Renewal or Renewal/Modification
FCC 605
FCC 159
Application Payment/Fee Type Code: PASM - $65.00 Fee AND
Regulatory Payment/Fee Type Code: PASR - $150.00 (For a new Fleet license, multiply number of stations in the Fleet by $215.00.)

So for a recreational vessel the total fee is $215.00. This is good for 10 years.
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Old 04-08-2015, 08:02   #55
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

if the ship station is not subject to the radio equipment carriage requirements of any statute, treaty or agreement to which the United States is signatory, the ship station does not travel to foreign ports, and the ship station does not make international communications.

That's pretty clear.

If you stay in the USA no need for a license. If you leave the 20 mile line, you are required.
In a foreign nation you may be requested to answer with official call sign (number).

It's not that hard, just log onto the FCC site, and follow directions.
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Old 07-08-2015, 03:24   #56
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

Out of curiosity, assuming someone is fined for not having the discussed licenses, what agency(s) would come aboard or otherwise contact someone to issue the fine and where and to whom should it be paid?

This one should stir things up a bit.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:59   #57
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

buzzard-
Within the US, only the FCC's enforcement division will enforce FCC regulations. Outside of the US...the FCC doesn't have lunch money, let alone airfare. And unless they get a formal invitation, they're not likely to go looking overseas either. So overseas, enforcement will depend on where you are and who that venue authorizes to enforce their own regulations. In ex-soviet or communist countries, that could be the "militia" or other general police agency, or "Guardia", or border/customs agents...you can write to ask each one.(G)


In the US, the FCC usually will send a written enquiry and "notice of violation" and if they don't receive a satisfactory answer, they'll pursue it into court and escalate by levying fines and/or seizing equipment and having an arrest warrant served on you. Pretty much the same as any other administrative agency that finds you in violation of any other administrative code.


Compared to a tropical jail, a $10,000 FCC fine could be really trivial. But some of us would rather not gamble on the prospects of either. Chances of getting hit by lightening, slim to none. But I still don't go golfing under storm clouds and rain.
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Old 09-08-2015, 14:18   #58
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Re: Is FCC Registration Required in Bahamas for VHF Radio ?

I've cleared into the Bahamas over 25 times as a commercial and private vessel, been boarded by Royal Bahamas Defence Force and have never been asked for this. I don't think customs or immigration in the Bahamas even know that there is such a thing.

Considering most VHF traffic in the Bahamas is by locals driving around in their cars or at their house - I would say they don't care.
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