Radio Licence

I have got my Restricted Radio Telephone Operators Certificate – now called an MROC I believe (maritime Restricted Operators Certificate). But we will also need to get a call sign for the yacht, and some countries require a ships radio licence as well, although Coastguard say on their website that:

In most cases a standard GURL (General Users Radio Licence) or ships call sign is all that is required for vessels travelling overseas. In some cases when engaged in international voyaging a vessel owner may have difficulty in convincing a foreign port authority that the Radiocommunications Regulations (General User Radio Licence for Maritime purposes) Notice 2007 and a callsign record in SMART constitutes a valid radio licence, hence vessel owners may choose to maintain an individual licence for their vessel (and pay an annual fee) so that they can present a copy of the radio licence to officials in foreign ports. To obtain an application form, contact Coastguard Boating Education (
A Maritime Ship (radio) Licence consists of a licence number, a call sign number, an MMSI number and depending on the vessel type, a radio telex number. The Maritime Ship Licence is an individual radio licence granted to the owner of the vessel.

  • New Zealand call signs can only be issued to New Zealand vessels. If the vessel is registered overseas then you must contact the licensing authority of that country to obtain a callsign.
  • To operate a MF/HF (SSB) radio, a Maritime Restricted Operator Certificate (MROC) is the minimum requirement.
  • The cost is $350.00 per year.

So I guess this all leads back to the decision as to where to register the yacht…

It seems that new VHF radios also have the capability of transmitting a digital code – MMSI – Maritime Mobile Service Identity – this can be obtained when you apply for your VHF call sign for an additional $10.00. The call sign cost is $45.00.

You also need to register your EPIRB on

If the yacht is registered in the UK then the licences are free if you register online at You need to register your VHF, EPIRB, AIS, Personal Locator Beacons and Radar too.


2 thoughts on “Radio Licence

  1. Pingback: Ocean Yachtmaster | Astrolabe Sailing

  2. Pingback: RYA Offshore Yachtmaster | Astrolabe Sailing

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