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Maritime ship station class licence

This class licence lets you operate some marine radio equipment on specific frequencies.

What this class licence lets you do

This class licence lets you operate a maritime ship station on designated channels:

  • 27 MHz
  • VHF

All users operate on shared frequencies.

You may also use:

  • certain UHF radio equipment
  • navigation radars on a ship

You must be qualified to operate VHF marine radio equipment under this class licence. 

Licence rules

You don't need to apply for a class licence or pay any fees.

But you must follow all the rules in the:

Power output

Your equipment cannot exceed the maximum power stated in the class licence.

Ships travelling overseas

If you plan to travel into international waters, you should keep a copy of the class licence on board.

Frequencies for maritime ship stations

You can only use the frequencies shown in the class licence and only for the specific purpose described. Relevant channels for Automatic Identification System (AIS), VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) and Application Specific Messages (ASM) are also listed in the class licence.

To use other frequencies, you must apply for an apparatus licence.

Inmarsat satellite frequencies come under the communication with a space object class licence.

Emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) come under the emergency locating devices class licence.

VHF maritime mobile frequencies and their permitted uses are set out in the VHF maritime mobile band – Channel allocations.

Station identification

You must use an appropriate form of identification when transmitting with your maritime radio.

If using Digital Selective Calling (DSC), you must use a maritime mobile service identity (MMSI) issued by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to identify the station.

The Marine Radio Operator's Handbook has more information about identification of ship stations. Get a copy of the handbook from the Australian Maritime College.

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