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Under national law and international agreements, most operators of radio transmitters in the aeronautical, amateur and maritime services are required to:

These requirements are specified in the New Zealand General User Radio Licences (GURLís). Vessels in New Zealand waters no longer have to be individually licensed as their radio operation is covered under the General User Radio Licence for Maritime Purposes.


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Licencing Requirements

Vessels with Marine Radio MF/HF (SSB) or Marine Radio MF/HF & VHF installations and operating within NZ Territorial Limits

MF/HF (SSB) and MF/HF & VHF marine radiotelephones installed on vessels are operated in New Zealand waters under a General User Radio Licence, which does not require vessels to be licensed individually. MF/HF (SSB) and MF/HF & VHF callsigns along with an MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identifier) number can be obtained online here.

Operators of marine radio equipment must hold an appropriate operatorís certificate. A MROC Home Study Course is available through eNautical.

Ship Licences - VHF Radio

VHF marine radiotelephones may be installed either on vessels or used as portable transceivers. They may be used on vessels operated in New Zealand waters under a General User Radio Licence, which does not require vessels to be individually licensed.

A unique radio callsign is required for each vessel. This can be obtained along with an MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identifier) number from the Coastguard Boating Education Service.

Because operators of marine radiotelephones are required by their Licence to have an appropriate radio operator qualification, the Coastguard will ask for details of qualification during the call. The Ministryís MROC covers mandatory requirements and is compulsory for vessels equipped with VHF marine radio & travelling overseas, commercial vessels and those carrying single sideband sets. A MROC Home Study Course is available through eNautical.

Vessels travelling overseas

Vessels equipped with SSB (MF/HF) or VHF marine radiotelephones and travelling overseas must hold an individual Licence for the vessel. This will require the radio operator to have a minimum qualification of a Maritime Restricted Operator's Certificate. This can be obtained through eNautical.

Vessels travelling in overseas waters are not covered by the General User Radio Licence. Application for a Maritime Ship licence for a vessel travelling overseas can be made online or by sending RSM a completed Radio 1 application form. For applicable fees refer to the fees schedule.

Callsign series allocated by the Radio Spectrum Management to individually licenced vessels are stipulated in the appendix of PIB46. These callsign records can be searched online here.


Further Information


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