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Apply to be exempt from an embargo

Accredited persons can use this business operating procedure to request an exemption from a spectrum embargo. This allows you to apply for frequency assignments in embargoed bands.

How to request an exemption

You need to provide information to support your request. As a minimum, this information must include details of:

  • the proposed service(s)
  • the embargoe(s) you seek to be exempt from
  • why your proposed solution uses embargoed spectrum
  • what other solutions you have explored and why you consider them unsuitable
  • any acknowledgements or other correspondence that the embargo requires

You must include the reference number from your Frequency Assignment Certificate submission. We use this to ensure that the exemption is relevant to the submission.

In some cases, you will also need to provide a supporting assessment. This shows that the intent of the embargo will be preserved even if we approve an exemption. An example is an exemption to an embargo that supports the operation of an earth station.

Apply by emailing the details to

If you have any questions before you submit your request, email

How we assess requests for exemption

For each request, we look at the context and circumstances at the time of the application.

The time we take to asses a request depends on how complex it is. The usual process takes 2 to 4 weeks.

If we grant an exemption, it is specific to the application. Accredited persons cannot assume that we will approve a similar exemption in future.

After you receive an exemption

You must submit an appropriate licence application or Frequency Assignment Certificate within 3 months of the exemption date.

We limit how long you are exempt because the circumstances and context can change. After 3 months, it may no longer be appropriate. This is likely to happen when we conduct replanning activities.

Where we make you exempt with conditions, the licence holder (not the accredited person) must agree to meet those conditions.

The Business operating procedure disclaimer applies to this process.

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