Changes to maritime VHF channel arrangements | ACMA

Changes to maritime VHF channel arrangements

Following public consultation, the ACMA has made the Radiocommunications – Maritime Omnibus Variation 2019 (the instrument) which brings in a raft of changes to the VHF maritime mobile band. View the instrument and supporting explanatory statement.

The instrument varies the following legislative instruments:

The changes include:

  • improvements to the integrity of the VHF maritime mobile band as it applies to all maritime stakeholders 
  • implementing international obligations to enhance and protect safety of life, and search and rescue services in Australia including:
    • access to new safety of life technologies such as Automatic Identification System (AIS) satellite, and the integrated functionality provided by VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) and Application Specific Messages (ASM)
    • specifying channels in the relevant licensing instruments to provide greater protection to search and rescue (SAR) functions by limiting use of Channel 06 for SAR operations
  • a number of channels identified in Appendix 18 that are not currently included in the relevant legislative instruments.

View the VHF maritime mobile band channel allocations

The ACMA will continue to work with industry, noting the outcomes of relevant international deliberations arising from WRC-19.

Last updated: 05 July 2019