Goto Section: 80.201 | 80.205 | Table of Contents

FCC 80.203
Revised as of September 1, 2021
Goto Year:2020 | 2022
  §  80.203   Authorization of transmitters for licensing.

   (a) Each transmitter authorized in a station in the maritime services
   after September 30, 1986, except as indicated in paragraphs (g), (h)
   and (i) of this section, must be certified by the Commission for part
   80 operations. The procedures for certification are contained in part 2
   of this chapter. Transmitters of a model that have received equipment
   authorization before October 1, 1986 will be considered acceptable for
   use in ship or coast stations as appropriate.

   (b) The external controls, of maritime station transmitters capable of
   operation in the 156-162 MHz band and manufactured in or imported into
   the United States after August 1, 1990, or sold or installed after
   August 1, 1991, must provide for selection of only maritime channels
   for which the maritime station is authorized. Such transmitters must
   not be capable of being programmed by station operators using external
   controls to transmit on channels other than those programmed by the
   manufacturer, service or maintenance personnel.

   (1) Any manufacturer procedures and special devices for programming
   must only be made available to service companies employing licensed
   service and maintenance personnel that meet the requirements of
   § 80.169(a) and must not be made available with information normally
   provided to consumers.

   (2) The channels preprogrammed by manufacturers, service and
   maintenance personnel for selection by the external controls of a
   maritime station transmitter must be limited to those channels listed
   in this part and the duplex channels listed in Appendix 18 of the
   international Radio Regulations. The duplex channels listed in Appendix
   18 of the international Radio Regulations must be used only in the
   specified duplex mode. Simplex operations on Appendix 18 duplex
   channels that are not in accordance with this part are prohibited.

   (3) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, programming
   of authorized channels must be performed only by a person holding a
   First Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, Second Class
   Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, Radiotelegraph Operator License,
   or General Radiotelephone Operator License using any of the following

   (i) Internal adjustments of the transmitter;

   (ii) Use of controls normally inaccessible to the station operator;

   (iii) Use of external devices or equipment modules made available only
   to service and maintenance personnel through a service company; and

   (iv) Copying of a channel selection program directly from another
   transmitter (cloning) using devices and procedures made available only
   to service and maintenance personnel through a service company.

   (4) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(3) of this section, authorized
   channels may be programmed via computerized remote control by any
   person, provided that the remote control operation is designed to
   preclude the programming of channels not authorized to the licensee.

   (5) VHF maritime radio station transmitters capable of being programmed
   by station operators by means of external controls that are installed
   in a maritime station by August 1, 1991, are authorized for use
   indefinitely at the same maritime station.

   (c) All VHF ship station transmitters that are either manufactured in
   or imported into the United States, on or after August 1, 1993, or are
   initially installed on or after August 1, 1994, must be equipped with
   an automatic timing device that deactivates the transmitter and reverts
   the transmitter to the receive mode after an uninterrupted transmission
   period of five minutes, plus or minus 10 per cent. Additionally, such
   transmitters must have a device that indicates when the automatic timer
   has deactivated the transmitter. VHF ship station transmitters
   initially installed before August 1, 1994, are authorized for use
   indefinitely at the same maritime station. VHF hand-held, portable
   transmitters are not required to comply with the requirements in
   paragraph (c) of this section except when used as described in § 80.141.

   (d) Except for radar equipment, applicants for certification of radio
   equipment designed to satisfy Part II of Title III of the
   Communications Act or the Safety Convention must also submit with their
   application a working unit of the type for which certification is
   desired. Manufacturers of radar equipment intended for installation on
   voluntarily equipped ships by persons without FCC operators license
   must include with their equipment authorization application a manual
   that provides step-by-step procedures for the installation,
   calibration, and operation of the radar stations.

   (e) [Reserved]

   (f) Transmitters certified for single sideband suppressed carrier
   radiotelephone transmissions may be used for facsimile transmissions
   without filing for a certification modification provided the
   transmitters retain certification and comply with the applicable
   standards in this part.

   (g) Manufacturers of ship earth station transmitters intended for use
   in the INMARSAT space segment are subject to Supplier's Declaration of
   Conformity pursuant to the procedures given in subpart J of part 2 of
   this chapter. Such equipment must be approved in accordance with the
   technical requirements provided by INMARSAT and must be type approved
   by INMARSAT for use in the INMARSAT space segment. The ship earth
   station input/output parameters, the data obtained when the equipment
   is integrated in system configuration and the pertinent method of test
   procedures that are used for type approval of the station model which
   are essential for the compatible operation of that station in the
   INMARSAT space segment must be disclosed by the manufacturer upon
   request of the FCC. Witnessing of the type approval tests and the
   disclosure of the ship earth station equipment design or any other
   information of a proprietary nature will be at the discretion of the
   ship earth station manufacturer.

   Note 1 to paragraph (g): The verification procedure has been replaced
   by Supplier's Declaration of Conformity. Equipment previously
   authorized under subpart J of part 2 of this chapter may remain in use.
   See § 2.950 of this chapter.

   (h) In addition to the certification requirements contained in part 2
   of this chapter, applicants for certification of 406.0-406.1 MHz
   radiobeacons must also comply with the certification procedures
   contained in § 80.1061 of this part.

   (i) Certification is not required for U.S. Government furnished
   transmitters to fulfill a U.S. Government contract. However, such
   transmitters must comply with all technical requirements in this part.

   (j) [Reserved]

   (k) Certification of individual radio transmitters requested by station
   applicants or licensees must also follow the certification procedure in
   paragraph (a) of this section. However, operation of such transmitters
   must be limited to the specific units individually identified on the
   station authorization.

   (l) Ship station transmitters may be certified for emissions not shown
   in § 80.205. However, such emissions are not authorized for use in the
   United States or for communications with U.S. coast stations.

   (m) Ship station MF, HF, and VHF transmitters may employ external or
   internal devices to send synthesized voice transmissions for distress
   and safety purposes on any distress and safety frequency authorized for
   radiotelephony listed in § 80.369 provided the following requirements
   are met:

   (1) The technical characteristics of the distress transmissions must
   comply with this part.

   (2) A transmitter and any internal device capable of transmitting a
   synthesized voice message must be certified as an integral unit.

   (3) The synthesized voice distress transmission must begin with the
   words “this is a recording” and should be comprised of at least:

   (i) the radiotelephone distress call as described in § 80.315(b) and the
   ship's position as described in § 80.316(c); or

   (ii) the radiotelephone distress message as described in § 80.316(b). If
   available, the ship's position should be reported as described in
   § 80.316(c).

   (4) Such transmission must be initiated manually by an off-switch that
   is protected from inadvertent activation and must cause the transmitter
   to switch to an appropriate distress and safety frequency. The
   radiotelephone distress call and message described in § § 80.203(m)(3)
   (i) and (ii), respectively, may be repeated. However, the entire
   transmission including repeats must not exceed 45 seconds from
   beginning to end. Upon ending the transceiver must return to the
   receive mode and must not be capable of sending the synthesized
   distress call for at least thirty seconds. Placing the switch to the
   off position must stop the distress transmission and permit the
   transmitter to be used to send and receive standard voice

   (5) Use of the microphone must cause the synthesized voice distress
   transmission to cease and allow the immediate use of the transmitter
   for sending and receiving standard voice communications.

   (6) No ship station shall include any device or provision capable of
   transmitting any tone or signal on a distress frequency for any purpose
   unless specific provisions exist in this part authorizing such tone or

   (n) Applications for certification of all marine radio transmitters
   operating in the 2-27.5 MHz band or the 156-162 MHz band received on or
   after June 17, 1999, must have a DSC capability in accordance with
   § 80.225. This requirement does not apply to transmitters used with AMTS
   or hand-held portable transmitters.

   (o) Existing equipment that does not comply with the rules in this
   subpart but was properly authorized as compliant with the rules in
   effect at the time of its authorization, and remains compliant with the
   rules in effect at the time of its authorization, may continue to be
   installed until February 1, 2003.

   (p) Applicable July 14, 2017, the Commission no longer accepts
   applications for certification of non-AIS VHF radios that include
   channels 75 and 76.

   [ 51 FR 31213 , Sept. 2, 1986]

   Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting § 80.203, see
   the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids
   section of the printed volume and at


Goto Section: 80.201 | 80.205

Goto Year: 2020 | 2022
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