The ACMA

Overseas amateurs visiting Australia

Overseas amateurs visiting Australia for short periods may operate an amateur station under a class licence or an apparatus licence.

Class licence

Apparatus licence

Class licence

Class licences are open, standing authorities that allow anyone to operate particular radiocommunications equipment provided that the operation and the device comply with the conditions of the class licence. Class licences do not have to be applied for and no licence fees are payable.

Overseas amateurs visiting Australia may operate an amateur station under the Radiocommunications (Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia) Class Licence 2008 (the Class Licence).

The Class Licence authorises operation for up to 90 days after each entry to Australia. If the operation of the amateur station starts or finishes more than 90 days after the overseas amateur enters Australia, that operation must be authorised by an apparatus licence. For example: If an overseas amateur visits Australia for a period of 91 days he or she may operate an amateur station for the first 90 days under the Class Licence and not operate the amateur station on the 91st day. Alternatively, he or she may apply for an apparatus licence to cover the entire 91 days.

The Class Licence sets out conditions that apply to operation of an amateur station. The Class Licence provides for five different levels of operation. Each of these levels corresponds to the qualification or licence held by the overseas amateur.

The level of operation permitted under a particular overseas qualification or licence has been determined following comparative assessments of the qualifications and licences listed in the tables of equivalent qualifications and licences.

The Class Licence applies in Australian territories in the same way it applies to mainland Australia.

If a person operates an amateur station under the Class Licence, the person must meet all the relevant conditions, otherwise the operation of an amateur station is unauthorised and is subject to the offence provisions of the Radiocommunications Act 1992.

Tables of equivalent qualifications and licences

The operating privileges for persons wishing to operate under the Class Licence may be determined by comparison of the qualification or licence held against the qualification or licence listed in Tables C (i) to C (v).

Example:

  1. A person holding a Deutsche Bundepost Class B licence issued in Germany may only operate under the conditions in Division 1 and Division 2 of the Class Licence.
  2. A person holding a qualification or licence not listed in any of the tables C (i) to C (v) may only operate under the conditions in Division 1 and Division 6 of the Class Licence.

Over time the qualifications and licensing arrangements in overseas countries may change. If a particular qualification or licence is not mentioned in any of the tables C (i) to C (v), the issuing country should be encouraged to write to the Australian Communications and Media Authority detailing the current licensing arrangements.

Table C (i)

A person holding the qualification or licence listed in Table C (i) may only operate under the conditions in Division 1 and Division 2 of the Class Licence.

Administration

Class of certificate or licence held

CEPT ¤

  • CEPT HAREC» Level A
  • CEPT HAREC» Level B
  • CEPT HAREC»
  • CEPT class 1 licence
  • CEPT class 2 licence
  • CEPT licence

Argentina

  • Licencia de Aficionado, Categoria Superior (Amateur Radio Operator's Licence, Superior Category)

Canada

  • Advanced Amateur Certificates of Proficiency in Radio
 
  • Amateur Certificate of Proficiency in Radio

Denmark

  • Sendetilladelse Fur Amator Radio Station Kategory A and B
  • Kategory D and E

Hong Kong

  • Amateur (Sound) Station Licence

France (including New Caledonia)

  • Radio Amateur Station Licence Groups D and E
  • Radio Amateur Station Licence Group C

Germany

  • Deutsche Bundespost Class B Licence
  • Deutsche Bundespost Class C Licence

Greece (Hellenic Republic)

  • Certificate of Category 'A'
  • Certificate of Category 'B'

India

  • Amateur Wireless Telegraphy Station Licence

Indonesia

  • Advanced Level Amateur Station Licence
  • Intermediate Level Amateur Station Licence

Ireland

  • Amateur Experimenters Licence

Israel

  • Radio Amateur Licence Class 'A'
  • Radio Amateur Licence Class 'B'

Italy

  • Licenza di Impianto ed Esercizio di Stazione di Radioamatore, Classe 3 (Radio Amateur Station Licence Class 3)
  • Licenza di Impianto ed Esercizio di Stazione di Radioamatore, Classe 2 (Radio Amateur Station Licence Class 2)

Japan

  • First Class Amateur Radio Operator Certificate
  • Second Class Amateur Radio Operator Certificate

Luxembourg

  • Licenced Amateur (Amateur Radio Operator's Certificate)

Malaysia

  • Amateur Station Licence§
  • Amateur Station Licence (no telegraphy qualification)

Malta

  • City and Guilds of London Radio Amateur's Certificate§
  • City and Guilds of London Radio Amateur's Certificate (no telegraphy qualification)

Nauru

  • Amateur Radio Station Licence

Netherlands

  • Amateurradiozendmachtiging Categorie A (Amateur Radio Licence Class A)
  • Amateurradiozendmachtiging Categorie B (Class B)
  • Amateurradiozendmachtiging Categorie C (Class C)

New Zealand

  • Amateur Operator's Certificate (General) (Grades I and II prior to 14/07/1986)
  • Amateur Operator's Certificate (Limited) (Grade III prior to 14/07/1986)

Norway

  • Amateur Station Licence Class A

Papua New Guinea

  • Amateur Licence
  • Amateur Licence (Limited)

Philippines

  • Radio Amateur Station Licence Class A (Advanced Class)
  • Radio Amateur Station Licence Class B (General Class)
  • Radio Amateur Station Licence Class C (Novice Class)

Poland*

  • Amateur Licence Kategoria (Category) Pierwsza (Class A)
  • Amateur Licence Kategoria (Category) Drugiej (Class B)

Singapore

  • Amateur Station Licence§
  • Amateur Station Licence (no telegraphy qualification)

Solomon Islands

  • Amateur Radio Licence (Unrestricted)
  • Amateur Radio Licence (Restricted)

South Africa

  • Amateur Radio Station Licence
  • Restricted Amateur Licence

Spain

  • Aficionado Class A
  • Aficionado Class B

Sweden

  • Tillstand att inneha och anvanda amatorradiosandare, Klass A and B (Amateur Licence Class A and B)
  • Tillstand att inneha och anvanda amatorradiosandare, Klass T (Amateur Licence Class T)

Switzerland

  • Amateur Radio Telegraphist's Certificate (Transmission)
  • Class A Licence
  • Class B Licence

United Kingdom

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Full (CEPT HAREC)

United States of America

Original licence granted before 15 April 2000

  • Amateur Extra Class operator
  • Advanced Class operator
  • General Class operator
  • Technician Plus Class operator
  • Technician Class operator

Licences granted on or after 15 April 2000

  • Amateur Extra Class operator
  • Advanced Class operator
  • General Class operator
  • Technician Plus Class operator
  • Technician Class operator

Vanuatu

  • Amateur Wireless Station Operator's Certificate

West Indies

  • Amateur Radio Operator's Certificate Class A and B

§ Qualified in telegraphy at 12 words per minute.

¤ European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT). This information appears on the European Radiocommunications website under Documentation/ ERC Recommendations T/R 61-01 and T/R 61-02.

» Harmonised Amateur Radio Examination Certificate (HAREC)

* This is a 'de facto' arrangement between Poland and Australia. Polish authorities recognise certificates issued by countries which recognise Polish qualifications, without having concluded a formal agreement.

 

Table C (ii)

A person holding the qualification or licence listed in Table C (ii) may only operate under the conditions in Division 1 and Division 3 of the Class Licence.

Administration

Class of certificate or licence held

Cayman Islands

  • Amateur Operator's Certificate Class C

Denmark

  • Kategory C

France (including New Caledonia)

  • Radio Amateur Station Licence Group B

Germany

  • Deutsche Bundespost Class A Licence

Greece (Hellenic Republic)

  • Certificate of Category 'C'

Indonesia

  • Preliminary Level Amateur Station Licence

Israel

  • Radio Amateur Licence Class 'C'

Italy

  • Licenza di Impianto ed Esercizio di Stazione di Radioamatore, Classe 1 (Radio Amateur Station Licence Class 1)

New Zealand

  • Amateur Operator's Certificate (Novice)

Papua New Guinea

  • Novice Licence

Spain

  • Aficionado Class C

Sri Lanka

  • Radio Amateur Licence

Sweden

  • Tillstand att inneha och anvanda amatorradiosandare, Klass C (Amateur Licence Class C)

United States of America

Original licence granted before 15 April 2000

  • Novice Class operator

Licences granted on or after 15 April 2000

  • Novice Class operator

Table C (iii)

A person holding the qualification or licence listed in Table C (iii) may only operate under the conditions in Division 1 and Division 4 of the Class Licence.

At present no qualifications or licences are identified under this category.

Table C (iv)

A person holding the qualification or licence listed in Table C (iv) may only operate under the conditions in Division 1 and Division 5 of the Class Licence.

Administration

Class of certificate or licence held

Japan

  • Third Class (Telegraph Class) Amateur Radio Operator Certificate
  • Fourth Class (Telephone Class) Amateur Radio Operator Certificate

Table C (v)

Overseas amateurs who possess an overseas amateur qualification or licence other than a qualification or licence listed in Tables C (i) to C (iv) may only operate under the conditions in Division 1 and Division 6 of the Class Licence.

Callsigns

Overseas amateurs visiting Australia must not operate an amateur station unless he or she identifies the station by use of the person’s ‘home’ callsign, followed by the suffix VK to indicate location. Section 11 of the Class Licence provides more information about the use of callsigns.

Further information

Further information about operation under the class licence may be obtained by contacting the Australian Communication and Media Authority at amateurs@acma.gov.au

Apparatus licence

Radiocommunications equipment typically authorised under an Apparatus Licence includes stations operating in the Outpost, Amateur, Broadcasting, Maritime, Aircraft and Land Mobile services. Operation of equipment under an apparatus licence involves the payment of licence fees. Individual licences are issued to authorise the operation of equipment.

If the operation of an amateur station by a visiting overseas amateur starts or finishes more than 90 days after the overseas amateur enters Australia, that operation must be authorised by an Apparatus Licence . Australian amateur licensing arrangements recognise certain overseas qualifications/licences for the purpose of issuing an Australian amateur apparatus licence. These arrangements reflect negotiated reciprocal licensing agreements and individual recognition of certain other qualifications or licences.

Operation for periods up to 90 days may be authorised under the Radiocommunications (Overseas Amateurs Visiting Australia) Class Licence 2008.

However, a visiting overseas amateur may choose to operate for the entire period of their visit to Australia under an Apparatus Licence .

Amateur apparatus licence categories

Under the ACMA's apparatus licensing system there are three categories of amateur stations. The amateur apparatus licence issued will depend on the qualifications or licence held by the prospective licensee:

  • Amateur Advanced;
  • Amateur Standard; and
  • Amateur Foundation.

Qualifications

Reciprocal licensing

Amateurs from countries with which Australia has reciprocal licensing arrangements can obtain an equivalent Australian amateur licence. An Australian Certificate of Proficiency is not required.

Reciprocal licensing arrangements between countries result from comparative assessments of each country's qualifications and licences, and include the establishment of a formal reciprocal licensing agreement. Table A lists the countries with which Australia has reciprocal licensing arrangements and details the overseas qualifications/licences and their Australian equivalents.

Other equivalent overseas qualifications

Persons holding overseas qualifications, or a licence that has been recognised by the ACMA as being equivalent to an Australian qualification or licence, may be granted the equivalent Australian amateur licence. An Australian Certificate of Proficiency is not required.

Table B lists those countries from which equivalent qualifications or licences have been recognised and details the overseas qualifications/licences and their Australian equivalents.

Circumstances where no equivalent overseas qualifications exist

Amateurs holding an overseas class of certificate, or licence, that has not been accepted as having an Australian equivalent, are deemed to hold qualifications equivalent to the qualifications necessary for the issue of an amateur licence authorising an amateur Standard station. In these circumstances, applicants may be issued a conditional amateur licence authorising an amateur Standard station for the duration of the visit. Special conditions also apply to the operation of these stations.

Period of licence

Licences issued under these arrangements to authorise operation during one-off short term visits will be issued for a period of one year unless a short term licence is specifically requested. These licences will not be automatically renewed. Frequent visitors or permanent residents may have their licences renewed.

Callsigns

Visiting overseas amateurs will be allocated an Australian amateur callsign usually associated with the State/Territory in which the licence is obtained. The ACMA permits visiting amateurs to use their home station callsign during voice announcements. This is conditional on the visiting amateur using his or her Australian-allocated callsign first in all transmissions. For example, VK*ABC/WA6BY (where * is the State indicator).

VK9 callsigns

VK9 callsigns generally indicate that the amateur station is being operated from an Australian External Territory (for example, Christmas Island and Norfolk Island). Visiting overseas amateurs, who wish to operate from an Australian External Territory, may be issued a licence with a VK9 callsign.

Special conditions

Visiting overseas amateurs who do not possess 'recognised' qualifications or licences

In circumstances where an Australian amateur licence authorising the operation of a Standard station has been issued on the basis of qualifications or licences not recognised by the ACMA, the following special condition will apply. The special condition allows operation only in the 146 - 148 MHz band, using a maximum power of 10 watts and an emission of 16K0F3E.

The special condition states:

'This licence is issued for the duration of the licensee's stay in Australia and permits operation only on the 146 to 148 MHz (2 metre) amateur band with a maximum power of 10 watts.'

Japanese amateur operators who hold a Telegraph or Telephone Class Certificate

Australian amateur licences issued to Japanese amateur operators who hold a telegraph or telephone class certificate will have the following special condition attached. The condition states:

'This licence authorises telephone only operation on amateur bands above 30 MHz employing a maximum power of 10 watts.'

Advisory notes

Australia does not permit amateur licences issued under the arrangements detailed in this document to be used to gain undue consideration from other administrations.

An Advisory Note is therefore attached to all licences issued to overseas amateurs who obtain their licence under arrangements detailed in this document, stating:

'This licence has been issued under visiting amateur arrangements and must not be used to obtain the issue of a licence in another country.'

A second advisory note will be added to licences issued to a client with an overseas postal address. This advisory note states:

'Payment by bank cheque, made payable to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, must be in Australian Dollars ($AUD). The bank cheque obtained must be from a bank that is a 'correspondent' bank with an Australian bank.'

Applying for a licence

Since 2 March 2009, the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) has managed the recommendation of all amateur callsigns in Australia. Please contact the WIA for more information at www.wia.org.au.

Applications for an Apparatus Licence should be made to Radiocommunications Licensing and Telecommunications Deployment, ACMA, Canberra. The following documents need to be provided when applying for a licence (English translations are to be supplied where applicable):

  • a copy, certified by a public notary, of the applicant's current licence or certificate of qualifications
  • a certified copy of the applicant's passport
  • proof of the duration of the visit, such as a visa, or if issued with an Electronic Travel Authority, a certified true copy of a "travel ticket to Australia"
  • a completed licence application form entitled Application for apparatus licence(s) (R057).
  • the current licence fee (in Australian dollars [$AUD])
  • a letter of callsign recommendation from the WIA (if appropriate).

Applications should be lodged at least three months prior to arrival in Australia. This will allow enough time for the licence to be issued and forwarded prior to arrival.

Note: Visitors from some countries are now issued with an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) instead of a traditional visa. For visitors travelling under an ETA, an amateur licence will only be issued for a maximum of three months from the date of entry into Australia. The date of entry will be either the date stamped on a passport or in the case of people applying by mail, the date printed on the travel ticket to Australia. For further information about ETAs, please visit the information pages of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Fees and charges applicable to amateur stations

Spectrum is a valuable resource. Fees are intended to ensure a fair return to the Commonwealth for the private use of this valuable public resource. Licence fees are set having regard to spectrum location, geographical location, amount of spectrum occupied and coverage area authorised by the licence.

Further information about fees can be found here: Radiocommunications Apparatus Licence Fees and Charges.

If you have any additional queries relating to these, or any licence types, please contact Industry Partnerships and Numbering , ACMA.

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