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Marine Radio Licensing


  Marine Radio Licensing

In simple terms ACMA stipulates the following licensing requirements in respect to marine radio use on leisure craft in Australia:


Equipment on Vessel

Minimum Operator Qualifications

VHF marine radio ONLY (with or without digital selective calling facilities)


Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency OR

Marine Radio Operators VHF Certificate of Proficiency


VHF marine radio

(with or without digital selective calling facilities) AND

MF/HF marine radio (with or without digital selective calling facilities)

Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency

(this certificate is also required for pactor modem email transmissions)



It is a requirement that at least someone on board the vessel has a Certificate. This person can then authorise others on board to operate the equipment pursuant to his or her certificate. 

To obtain the MROCP (required for HF radio and pactor modem use) an examination must be completed – training and testing is conducted by many marine rescue organisations, boating clubs and and colleges of technical and further education.

Alternately you can self study and then contact your local “invigilator” for completion of the examination. The course and examination are not difficult. 

Supervision of the licensing process has been delegated out by the ACMA to the Office of Maritime Communications (OMC) at the Australian Maritime College in Launceston, Tasmania.

The Marine Radio Operators Handbook which contains the knowledge needed to procure a MROCP (this is your self study guide) can ordered from the OMC website here 

You can also find a list of accredited Invigilators (your closest examiner) at the OMC website here

Once you have your MROCP in hand you are then qualified to own / operate your radio - but there is still the additional step of applying for your radio license callsign (this is also done via appplication to the ACMA). The radio license attracts an annual fee and is issued automatically to any applicant that has an MROCP. Your callsign is the unique identifier that you will use on air and is also required for membership of the Sailmail Association (membership required for sending and receiving emails)

A key further key condition is that you are only able to operate your Marine HF radio on a boat – ie it is not permissible to set up a second marine HF radio at home under your MROCP / marine radio license.



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