Recently ACMA, the radio licensing body here in Australia, have been very concerned with the amount of unapproved & non standard radio’s coming in from overseas, especially budget priced handheld radio’s from China and are looking for users using radio approved devices.
With Internet sites such as eBay, people have been obtaining VHF or UHF handheld transceivers at what seem like bargain prices.
Therefore are they legal to use in Australia?
The answer is nearly always NO, unless you are a licensed radio amateur & you use them only on the amateur bands.
Did you buy your radio off the Internet from a overseas supplier?
If so the chances are it’s illegal to own &/or use here in Australia.
The ACMA are already cracking down on illegal use of these radio’s starting off in the major cities & the penalties for using or even owning a radio of this type can be very serious.
This is what ACMA has to say:
“Supply of non standard radio communications devices is an offence under Section 160 of the Radio Communications Act 1992, and can attract substantial penalties of up to $13,200 Operation and possession of non-standard radio communications devices are offenses under sections 157 and 158 of the Act. Non standard devices have the potential to cause harmful interference to licensed radio communications services.”
Some guidelines to help you
How can I tell if my radio is approved for use in Australia?
Look at the back of the radio or under the battery compartment to see if it’s got a C tick mark
The user manual &/or box it came with will normally also shows the approval mark & number.
This is usually followed by the supplier’s registration number – Example N3215
New labeling requirements now require the C Tick mark to be changed over to the RCM mark in the near future.
My radio has a C tick mark therefore can I use it on all the frequencies that it’s designed for?
You can only use it on frequencies that you, your company or organization (i.e. SES) are licensed and approved for;
If the radio is a UHF CB then you can of course use it legally on all the CB channels
My radio hasn’t got a C tick, surely I can use it on the UHF CB frequencies?
NO unless it’s got a C tick it can only be used on the amateur radio frequencies with the appropriate license
I like to listen to the Police, Marine radio etc, is this legal to do on a non C ticked radio?
Yes it quite legal to listen on these frequencies, however the radio cannot be capable of transmitting
(i.e. the transmit capability of the radio has to be disabled)
I have a non C ticked radio what should I do?
First option is to get rid of it ASAP or sell it to a licensed radio amateur. The other option is to obtain an amateur radio license yourself; it’s a great hobby & it is now fairly easy to get what’s called a foundation license. For more details on the foundation license please click here
There are local radio clubs in most towns & cities who would help you obtain a license.
Please look at: www.wia.org.au for further details & list of local radio clubs.
My radio is not C ticked, what frequencies can I use it on?
You can only transmit on the amateur bands (with a license) that’s between 144 & 148 MHz or 430 & 450 MHz
The radio has to locked to these frequencies & cannot be capable of transmitting outside these frequencies.
What are my options if I want a fully approved C tick radio to use on frequencies that I, my company or organization (i.e. SES) have
There are a wide range of radio’s available from companies such as Motorola, GME & Icom Etc, however these can be expensive (anything from $600 or more).
However we, Far Northern Communication now sells a SES/Land Mobile compatible, fully type approved, handheld called the FDP EMS for only $179 retail (discounts apply for SES members – appropriate conditions and training apply).
Further details on the FDP EMS Radio will be available soon in our online shop.
Therefore please be warned that owning &/or using these non-approved types of radio’s can result in severe penalties by the ACMA.
Source: Baycom Communications