Changes to ship radio licence likely
Yachting Monthly|June 2021
UK ship radio licence holders will soon be expected to carry proof that their licensable radio equipment, including Class A AIS, radar and DSC VHF complies with electromagnetic field (EMF) emission exposure limits and doesn’t pose a risk to the public.
Katy Stickland

OFCOM consulted on its plans last year before contacting all licence holders in March to give notice of the proposals to vary licences, which are expected to come into effect from 18 May 2021. New licensees must comply immediately, whilst those with licence renewals will have between 6-12 months.

OFCOM’s changes followed public concerns about the risk of exposure to EMF emissions from the 4G and 5G mobile phone network, and the new regulations are primarily aimed at network operators.

Like many other marine electronics manufacturers, Digital Yacht has been contacted by customers concerned at the changes, which only apply to equipment transmitting in excess of 6.1W Effective Radiated Power (ERP), which includes most fixed VHF radio sets. This means handheld VHF and Class B AIS are exempt. Emergency communication at sea is also exempt.

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