Thursday, March 22, 2012

US Amateurs Operating Overseas

US Amateurs Operating Overseas

There are three basic questions US citizens and amateurs should ask when traveling outside the US in order to decide which reciprocal operating authority is best:

1) Does the country you will be visiting participate in a multilateral reciprocal operating authority--CEPT or IARP? If so, operate under CEPT or IARP.

2) If it does not, can I obtain a Reciprocal Operating Permit even if the country does not share a Reciprocal Operating Agreement (bilateral) with the US? You can.

3) Are you traveling to Canada? The US and Canada share an automatic reciprocal operating agreement.

How can I operate outside the US?

You can find a complete listing of the requirement for a country or countries atOperating Information by Country. This includes most countries, including CEPT and IARP participating countries.

How can I operate when CEPT or IARP isn't possible?

Yes. It is possible to obtain a permit a permit for almost every country in the world. Although ARRL maintains paper files at HQ, the most up-to-date information on obtaining permission to operate in a country can be found online at the ARRL Web site or on the Web site of Veikko Komppa, OH2MCN. ARRL HQ and Veke, OH2MCN, work together to make sure that up-to-date information appears.

This can include information on the national Amateur Radio society, repeaters and local clubs. Information on travel warnings in a particular country can be obtained from the US Department of State with the primary purpose of alerting the public to adverse conditions in specific countries.

Are there guidelines for obtaining a permit when little information exists on the Web?

The most complete information appears on the ARRL Web page. If specific application information for a country on this page is unavailable or unclear, write a letter of request or send an e-mail to the countries telecommunications authority for a permit. Include information on the purpose of your trip, the dates and place(s) of your stay, your passport and the equipment you intend to use. Attach to it a photocopy of your amateur radio license issued by FCC. In some cases where Amateur Radio is not widespread, a letter attesting to your character signed by the chief of police (or equivalent) of your hometown might help if attached.

Submit your application as much in advance of your trip as possible. It may take 30 to 90 days or more to be processed. Do not forget to keep a photocopy of everything you send for future reference. This does not guarantee that you will get operating permission, but it is a start. In many cases, it is important to have contacts in a country and the IARU society of that country may be helpful.

How do I know what my privileges are in the country I will be visiting? 

When operating under CEPT or IARP, there are two classes: 

Class 1 licensees are those who have demonstrated proficiency in Morse code to the licensing agency. They may operate with the same privileges they are authorized in their home country provided that they do not exceed those privileges granted to the highest class license available in the country. 

Class 2 licensees have not demonstrated proficiency in Morse code to their national telecommunications agency and are limited to privileges above 50 MHz. 

If the country does not participate in CEPT or IARP, the privileges are whatever the telecommunications agency granting the reciprocal operating authority says that they are. If not specified, the ITU Regional provisions apply generally, but there may be exceptions. 

How can I operate my station in Canada? 

When a US amateur operates in Canada, simply bring your FCC license, proof of your US citizenship (a birth certificate or other proof) and identify as call / Canadian identifier, like N1KB/VE3. At least once during the communication, you must state your geographical location, like "30 km north of Toronto."

Operating Permit InformationIndonesia (YB-YH)

All foreigners must have a valid one year residence permit in Indonesia before they are eligible to apply for an Indonesian license.

After Japan and the United States, Indonesia has the third largest number of Amateur Radio licensees in the world. There are four categories of licenses, however, only two of these are relevant to reciprocal licensing:

Penggalang (Intermediate) This class, with a YC/YF prefix, permits operation with 150 watts on all bands except the WARC bands and 20 meters. This license can be issued to holders of the American Technician + Class license.
Penegak (Advanced) This class license, with a YB/YE prefix, permits operation on all bands with 500 watts below 30 MHz and 180 watts above 30 MHz. It will be issued to holders of American General Class and above licenses.The 3 letter suffix block for callsigns to be issued to expatriate operators is from AQA to AZZ.

The Indonesian archipelago is divided into 10 call districts: Capital District of Jakarta (1)West Java Province(2) Central Java Province and Yogyakarta Special District (3) East Java Province (4) Lampung, Bengkulu, Jambi and South Sumatra Provinces (5) Riau and West Sumatra Provinces (6) North Sumatra Province and Aceh Special District (7) West, Central, South and East Kalimantan Provinces (8) South, Southeast, Central and North Sulawesi, and Maluku Provinces (9) Bali, West and East Nusa Tenggara, Timor, and Irian Jaya Provinces (10)

The frequencies available for operation are consistent with the practices in IARU Region III. A formal band plan has been developed and the expatriate operator should procure a copy in order to comply with its requirements.

Indonesian Amateur Radio licenses are issued by the Director General of Post and Telecommunication, however, applications and processing of licenses are the responsibility of the IARU Member Society, Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia (ORARI) ORARI has its central operations in Jakarta, however, there are also regional offices in all provincial capitals and local offices in Jakarta and in many Kotomadya (incorporated cities) and kotip (administrative cities) across the country. All license application forms are to be obtained form the ORARI office having jurisdiction over the area where the applicant will reside.

It should be noted that there is no provision for portable operation in Indonesia. If an amateur moves the location of their station they must apply for a new license. Also, an expatriate operator may not operate with his home callsign "portable" in Indonesia. Actions contrary to these conditions are considered illegal. The authorities periodically conduct "sweeps", checking the correctness and validity of the operators' licenses. As guests of the country, expatriates should never abuse the privileges which reciprocal licensing offers them.

Recommended Action for Licensing
In some instances, the newly arrived expatriate amateur may pass an ORARI office by chance, or find its number in the local telephone directory. Often these directories are several years old and inaccurate. Some English may be understood in an ORARI office; this being totally dependent on the capabilities of the local staff/officers present.

No directory of ORARI office addresses is generally available. The recommended initial action that the expatriate amateur can take after arriving at their new domicile is to take note of the radio antennas that dot the skyline in every community. While most of these antennas are 2 meter arrays it is best if an amateur displaying a HF beam can be located for assistance. It is customary that the local amateur's callsign will be displayed on the front of their house. (A word of caution: There are illegal stations being operated in certain areas without respect to the laws. Select a house with an antenna installation as well as a displayed callsign).

While the local YB amateurs should be able to speak English, some may not so it is best to be accompanied by a translator. The local amateur should prove quite willing to direct the expatriate to the appropriate ORARI office. Once the expatriate amateur has moved into a home and obtained their residence permit, they are eligible to apply for an Indonesian Amateur Radio license. Be advised that out in the provinces it will take about 3 months for the license to be processed and issued; the process may be more expedient in Jakarta.

Application Procedure
While the actual Amateur Radio license is in both Indonesian and English languages, all application forms are in Indonesian language only. It is mandatory that the expatriate amateur be accompanied by a translator to review the forms with an ORARI officer and to ascertain exactly what information and supporting documents are needed. Five or more forms are required and will be obtained from the ORARI office. Each form requires the attachment of a Rp. 1000 tax stamp.

The expatriate amateur must also submit photocopies of their home country license and copies of the photo/signature pages and visa pages showing the residence permit, and entry/exit permit, if applicable, in their passport. Eleven unmounted 2x3 cm black and white passport type photos must also accompany the application packet. It is recommended that the expatriate procure the negative for this photo as photos are needed on many application/registration forms in the country).

The ORARI office may request a letter from the expatriate's client or sponsor in support of the application. This is especially applicable if the expatriate's residence permit is due to expire a few months after the date of application. The letter will certify that the applicant will be remaining on site for a longer period and also imply that the residence permit will be renewed.

The ORARI office will also determine how many copies of the application packet must be submitted with the original forms.

Payment of license fees is done via use of postal money transfers. These forms will be supplied to the applicant by the ORARI office. The fees are paid at the post office. As of June, 1993 the fees are as follow:

ORARI Local Rp. 86,500
Regional Office of Post and Telecommunication 47,500
Provincial ORARI Office 113,000
Total Fees Rp. 247,000

Considering that at least Rp. 4,000 is also required for tax stamps, the fees total Rp. 251,000 ($120 U.S.). The license is valid for 12 months, however, as that period seems to start with the date of application, the expatriate amateur will be able to use the initial license for about 9 months. License renewals must be submitted 3 months prior to expiration of the existing license. The station may remain in operation while the renewal is being processed -- even beyond the expiration of the old license.

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