What a maritime ship licence is for
A maritime ship licence lets you operate one or more stations on a ship that communicate with:
- other radiocommunications equipment on or off the ship
- another ship
- a maritime coast station
- a mobile earth station
To license a coast station and its ship stations instead, consider a limited coast assigned licence.
There are 4 options for maritime ship licences.
You must be qualified to operate a maritime ship station.
The Radiocommunications (Interpretation) Determination 2015 defines the various options for maritime ship licences.
Frequencies for maritime ship stations
Under this licence, you must operate on these frequencies:
- maritime mobile-satellite
If you wish to use the following standard frequencies, you can operate under a maritime ship station class licence:
- 27 MHz marine band
- VHF marine band
You may only use the following Automatic Identification System (AIS) frequencies for AIS purposes:
- 161.975 MHz
- 162.025 MHz
This includes ship identification and heading information.
Frequencies 12290 and 16420 kHz are only for distress, urgency and safety.
Frequencies 12359 and 16537 kHz can be used for calling, if the peak power envelope does not exceed 1 kW.
When you have a maritime ship licence, you must follow the conditions of your licence.
- conditions of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act)
- Licence Condition (Apparatus Licence) Determination 2015
- Licence Conditions (Maritime Ship Licence) Determination 2015
- other conditions that apply to you under ‘special conditions’
These conditions help you communicate safely and without interference.
We will include information you should be aware of under the heading 'advisory notes'.
Call signs are a unique series of letters and numbers. They make it easy to identify a station.
We will give you a call sign or explain how to create one when we give you a licence.
You should use your call sign:
- every time you start to transmit
- before you transmit in a series
- when you test
Call sign template for maritime ship stations class B
Ship stations class B call sign template (example of a typical call sign: VHQ2739)
first 2 alpha characters are: VJ, VK, VL, VM, VN, VZ or AX. The third character is any alpha
numeric character 2 to 9
numeric character 0 to 9
Call sign template for maritime ship stations class C
Ship stations class C call sign template (example of a typical call sign: VJCK)
first 2 alpha characters are: VJ, VK, VL, VM, VN or VZ. The third and fourth are any alpha
Other call signs for maritime ship stations
If you use Digital Selective Calling (DSC) on your ship, you'll need a maritime mobile service identity (MMSI). You can apply to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
If you send public messages through an overseas coast station, you must have an accounting authority identification code (AAIC). You need this code because the overseas coast station will charge you a fee.
You can email us to get an AAIC.
Apply for a maritime ship licence
To apply for a maritime ship assigned licence, you should contact an accredited person.
- assign you a frequency
- give you a frequency assignment certificate
- apply for your licence for you
To apply for a maritime ship non-assigned licence, you should:
Transfer a maritime ship licence
You can apply to: