Radiocommunications (121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz EPIRBs) Standard | ACMA

Radiocommunications (121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz EPIRBs) Standard


It is important to note that the Radiocommunications (Emergency Locating Beacons) Class Licence 2006 (revoked) and the Radiocommunications (Emergency Locating Devices) Class Licence 2016 do not authorise the operation of 121.5 MHz and 243 MHz emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs). As a result, 121.5MHz and 243 MHz EPIRBs can not be operated in Australia

Also note since 1 February 2009, the COSPAS-SARSAT international satellite aided tracking system no longer monitors EPIRBs operating on 121.5MHz. This means that EPIRBs operating on this frequency will not be detected by the satellite tracking system. 

Suppliers must ensure that EPIRBs or personal locator beacons (PLBs) supplied in Australia comply with Radiocommunications (406 MHz Satellite Distress Beacons) Standard 2014.

Additional information related to EPIRBs and PLBs is available on the ACMA website. Information on the operation of EPIRBs and PLBs can be found on the Australian Maritime Safety Authority website.

ACMA Standard

The ACMA standard, Radiocommunications (121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) Standard 2014, refers to the industry standard AS/NZS 4330:2006 121.5 and 243.0 MHz emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) including personal EPIRBs for technical performance matters including test methods and limits.

The ACMA standard modifies aspects of the industry standard (see the ACMA standard for excluded provisions).

It is important to note that the applicable mandatory standard is the ACMA standard, not the industry standard to which it refers.

Testing and record-keeping requirements for this standard are Compliance level 2 (medium-risk device).

The ACMA standard is available from the Comlaw website.

The Explanatory Statement provides more information.

All industry standards can be purchased from SAI Global.

Last updated: 31 January 2017