Amateurs with General Class Licenses to be Granted Reciprocal Licenses in Some CEPT Countries
On Thursday, September 10, the Federal Communications Commission released a new Public Notice implementing changes in CEPT reciprocal operating arrangements for US citizens who hold an FCC-issued General, Advanced or Amateur Extra class Amateur Radio licenses. DA-09-2031 continues to allows US licensees "to utilize temporarily an amateur station in a European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) country that has implemented certain recommendations with respect to the United States," subject to the regulations in that country and implements recent changes in the agreement.
When an Amateur Radio operator with US citizenship holds an Advanced or Amateur Extra Class license, they continue to be granted CEPT Radio Amateur License privileges in accordance with CEPT Recommendation T/R 61-01 (as amended). There is no change in reciprocity for those license classes. What has changed is that US citizens holding a General class license -- who had lost all CEPT reciprocal privileges in 2008 -- are now granted CEPT Novice Radio Amateur License privileges in accordance with ECC Recommendation (05)06 (as amended).
The Public Notice states that while operating an amateur station in a CEPT country, the person "must have in his or her possession a copy of this Public Notice, proof of US citizenship and evidence of an FCC-issued Amateur Radio license. These documents must be shown to proper authorities upon request." The Public Notice can be found online on the FCC's Web site.
According to ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, the changes in the CEPT reciprocity are a two-part result of changes made by the European Communications Office (ECO) in February 2008 when they re-examined US license class equivalency in comparison to their HAREC examination contest. "The result of that review was full CEPT reciprocity was only granted to US Amateur Extra and Advanced class licensees, leaving US General and Technician class operators without CEPT reciprocal privileges." The new public notice now reflects that change.
"In order to re-obtain at least some limited privileges under CEPT for those class licensees, the ARRL approached the FCC, asking that the US consider accepting ECC Recommendation (05)06" Henderson continued. "Reciprocal agreements between the US and other countries are actually diplomatic arrangements and come about through the agreements through the State Department. In the winter of 2008/2009, the FCC followed up on our request and contacted the US Department of State, asking that the US formally approach the ECO with a request to become party to the recommendation."
At its meeting in late spring 2009, Henderson said that the ECO working group that handles issues pertaining to Amateur Radio accepted the US request to join ECC Recommendation (05)06, and authorized US General Class licensees to operate under that recommendation's terms. It did not extend those privileges to US Technician class licensees.
Henderson stated that it is important to note two things about ECC Recommendation (05)06: "First, not all European countries have implemented this recommendation. Therefore, a US General class operator does not have reciprocal privileges in many countries, including popular US travel destinations like Italy, the UK or France. Second, as with any reciprocal operation, the band frequencies and privileges are those allowed by your host country -- they are not the frequencies and privileges extended by your FCC license. Travelers need to make sure they are familiar with the authorized privileges for the CEPT Novice Radio Amateur License if operating using ECC Recommendation (05)06 or T/R 61-01."
CEPT countries participating in CEPT Recommendation T/R 61-01 as of September 10, 2009 include Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Estonia, Finland, France (including Corsica, Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique, St Bartholomew, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Martin, Reunion and its Dependencies, Mayotte, French Antarctica, French Polynesia and Clipperton, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Monaco, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom(including Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).
CEPT countries participating in ECC Recommendation (05)06 as of September 10, 2009 are Belgium, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Germany, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Switzerland.