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Subelement A
Rules & Regulations
Section 6
Miscellaneous Rules & Regulations
What regulations govern the use and operation of FCC-licensed ship stations in international waters?
  • The regulations of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Radio Officers Union.
  • Correct Answer
    Part 80 of the FCC Rules plus the international Radio Regulations and agreements to which the United States is a party.
  • The Maritime Mobile Directives of the International Telecommunication Union.
  • Those of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Maritime Mobile Service, Washington, DC 20554.

Title 47 Chapter I Subchapter D Part 80

47 CFR 80.1 Basis and purpose.

Basis. The rules for the maritime services in this part are promulgated under the provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, which vests authority in the Federal Communications Commission to regulate radio transmission and to issue licenses for radio stations.

The rules in this part are in accordance with applicable statutes, international treaties, agreements and recommendations to which the United States is a party.

Communications Act of 1934, as amended - (Communications Act).

Communications Satellite Act of 1962, as amended - (Communications Satellite Act).

International Telecommunication Union Radio Regulations, in force for the United States - (Radio Regulations).

Agreement Between the United States of America and Canada for the Promotion of Safety on the Great Lakes by Means of Radio, as amended, and the Technical Regulations annexed thereto - (Great Lakes Radio Agreement).

International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended, and the Annex thereto - (Safety Convention).

Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act - (Bridge-to-Bridge Act).

(b) Purpose. This part states the conditions under which radio may be licensed and used in the maritime services.

These rules do not govern radio stations operated by agencies of the U.S. Government.

Code of Federal Regulations - Basis and Purpose

FCC pdf presentation on Part 80

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When may the operator of a ship radio station allow an unlicensed person to speak over the transmitter?
  • At no time. Only commercially-licensed radio operators may modulate the transmitting apparatus.
  • When the station power does not exceed 200 watts peak envelope power.
  • Correct Answer
    When under the supervision of the licensed operator.
  • During the hours that the radio officer is normally off duty.

Title 47 Chapter I Subchapter D Part 80 Subpart D Operator Requirements

§ 80.155 Ship station operator requirements.

Except as provided in §§ 80.177 and 80.179, operation of transmitters of any ship station must be performed by a person holding a commercial radio operator license or permit of the class required below. The operator is responsible for the proper operation of the station.

§ 80.156 Control by operator.

The operator on board ships required to have a holder of a commercial operator license or permit on board may, if authorized by the station licensee or master, permit an unlicensed person to modulate the transmitting apparatus for all modes of communication except Morse code radiotelegraphy.

Code of Federal Regulations - Control by Operator

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Where do you make an application for inspection of a ship GMDSS radio station?
  • To a Commercial Operator Licensing Examination Manager (COLE Manager).
  • To the Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC 20554.
  • Correct Answer
    To the Engineer-in-Charge of the FCC District Office nearest the proposed place of inspection.
  • To an FCC-licensed technician holding a GMDSS Radio Maintainer’s License.

47 CFR § 80.59 - Compulsory ship inspections.

The mandatory inspection of U.S. vessels must be conducted by an FCC-licensed technician holding an FCC General Radiotelephone Operator License, GMDSS Radio Maintainer's License, Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, First Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, or Radiotelegraph Operator License.

Reference used, for more info please see

FCC Regional Offices Info

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Who has ultimate control of service at a ship’s radio station?
  • Correct Answer
    The master of the ship.
  • A holder of a First Class Radiotelegraph Certificate with a six months’ service endorsement.
  • The Radio Officer-in-Charge authorized by the captain of the vessel.
  • An appointed licensed radio operator who agrees to comply with all Radio Regulations in force.

Master of the Ship refers to the Captain or the Chief Commanding Officer of the ship.

The Master of the ship has the final or ultimate responsibility (the buck stops there) for the safety and security of the vessel, passengers, crew, and the cargo.

The Master represents and executes the owners' interests, kind of like a General Manager in other business entities.

Master of the Ship from Maritime Info

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Where must the principal radiotelephone operating position be installed in a ship station?
  • At the principal radio operating position of the vessel.
  • In the chart room, master’s quarters or wheel house.
  • Correct Answer
    In the room or an adjoining room from which the ship is normally steered while at sea.
  • At the level of the main wheel house or at least one deck above the ship’s main deck.

§ 80.871 VHF radiotelephone station.

47 CFR 80.871(b-c)

(b) The VHF radiotelephone station must be installed to insure safe and effective operation of the equipment and facilitate repair. It must be protected against vibration, moisture and temperature.

(c) The principal operating position of the radiotelephone station must be in the room from which the ship is normally steered while at sea.

Code of Federal Regulations VHF station.

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By international agreement, which ships must carry radio equipment for the safety of life at sea?
  • All ships traveling more than 100 miles out to sea.
  • Cargo ships of more than 100 gross tons and passenger vessels on international deep-sea voyages.
  • All cargo ships of more than 100 gross tons.
  • Correct Answer
    Cargo ships of more than 300 gross tons and vessels carrying more than 12 passengers.

Title 47 Chapter I Subchapter D Part 80 Subpart W Global Maritime Distress and Safety System

47 CFR § 80.1065 Applicability. (a) The regulations contained within this subpart apply to all passenger ships regardless of size and cargo ships of 300 tons gross tonnage and upwards.

Code of Federal Regulations - Applicability to 80.1065

Title 47 Chapter I Subchapter D Part 80 Subpart A

§ 80.5 Definitions. Categories of ships.

(1) When referenced in Part II of Title III of the Communications Act or the radio provisions of the Safety Convention, a ship is a passenger ship if it carries or is licensed or certificated to carry more than twelve (12) passengers.

A cargo ship is any ship not a passenger ship.

Code of Federal Regulations - Applicability

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