Communication in shipping is of vital importance. A VHF radio is therefore mandatory on large ships and commercial shipping. Many countries do not have this obligation for small vessels. Nevertheless, we advise every boat owner not to rely on a mobile phone but to opt for maritime radio equipment.
Maritime transmission equipment does not always seem necessary on pleasure cruises. A mobile phone works too, does it not? But a registered marine telephone has important advantages. The Coast Guard can immediately recognise from which ship the call is coming from and can therefore send help more immediately. And direct communication with nearby skippers increases safety on the water. Also for small vessels that do not require a VHF radio.
Lorrendraaier can arrange the registration of a ship station licence for you. We will advise on the required documents and certificates and ensure an efficient and careful submission of application. If necessary, we can also supervise the registration with a flag state.
Is a VHF radio mandatory?
It is mandatory to have maritime transmission equipment on larger ships. What is considered large differs per flag state. In the Netherlands it is from 20 metres and up, but in Belgium you are already required to have a VHF radio when the vessel measures 7 metres or more. So be sure to look into this when applying for yacht registration. A VHF radio is therefore not compulsory for pleasure craft that fall outside this requirement. Nevertheless, we do recommend it.
With maritime transmission equipment, you can make direct contact with other skippers, the range is more reliable than with mobile phones, and the coastguard can immediately identify from which ship the call is coming. This increases safety.
Maritime registration: different requirements from each flag state
Do you plan to sail international waters? Then an MMSI is highly recommended. Only then can the skipper make use of the GMDSS, the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System. The procedure for applying for the MMSI differs in each flag state. In some countries it is a simple process, in others it can take weeks.
Some flag states have additional requirements. For example, in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland it is mandatory to register each radio with an ATIS code for use on inland waterways.