W3BE'S BE Informed!
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Home1.0 W3BE Checklists1.1 RF Safety1.2 Antenna Structures1.3 Quiet Zones1.4 60 Meter Privileges1.5 Take A Paying Job?1.6 Hams At Sea1.7 Imported Radios1.8.0 Reciprocal Privileges1.8.1 For Canadians1.8.2 Reciprocal I.D.1.8.3 More Reciprocal Q&A1.8.4 Hear Something Say Something1.9 Third Party Communications1.10 Incentive Licensing1.11 GEPs and GAPs1.12 Hamslanguage1.13 Visiting Operators1.14 Terms in Part 971.15 Amateur Station?1.16 Licenses & Call Signs1.17 All About Spectrum1.18 Transmitter Stability1.19 Selling Over Ham Radio1.20 Still an Amateur?1.21 Use My Station?1.22 Digi-Standards1.23 No Secrets1.24 Where's My License?1.25 Spectrum Management1.26 A Little Bit Commercial1.27 What is CW?2.0 Ham Needs To Know2.1 VE System Management2.2 What A VE Does2.3 Remote Testing2.4 Get Your Pools Right2.8 GOTA Experience: License Qualifier?2.12 Former Hams2.13 The Hunt for Stereotype W2.14 VE's Universe2.15 More HF for Techs2.16 Can A VE Accept Pay2.17 VEC Supposed To Do2.18 Significance of license2.19 Enough Operator Classes?3.0 Smell Test3.1 Maintenance Monitoring3.2 International/domestic3.3 Excuses3.4 Heed The Rules!3.5 Regulatable3.6 No Broadcasting3.7 Station Records4.0 Which Call Sign?4.1 Self-assigned indicator4.2 Station ID4.3 ID Every 10 minutes4.5 Indicator Schedule4.6 Special Event 1 by 14.7 Non-Appended Indicator4.8 Club Station ID5.0 Alternatives To Exams5.1 VPoD Protocols5.3 Big Red Switch6.0 Constitution Go-By6.1 What Ia A Radio Club?6.2 School Radio Club6.3 Club Stations Control Op6.4 Radio Club Repeater Station7.0 EmComm7.2 RACES7.3 Commercial Communications7.11 Supposed To Be7.12 Emergency Responders & Part 978.0 Repeaters & Part 978.1 Auxiliary Stations & Part 978.2 Remote Control, Telecommand & Part 978.3 Frequency Coordination8.4 Automatic Control & Part 978.5 The Internet & Part 978.6 Beacons & Part 978.7 Automatic Control & Part 978.8 Frequency Coordination & Part 9710.0 Comments in RM-1170810.2 Deceased's Call Sign10.3 A New Era for Ham Radio10.4 New Era Q/A10.5 Four Operator Classes10.6 Novice ArtifactQUIZ

BE Informed No. 1.8.0

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Reciprocal Privileges

In Places Where the FCC Regulates Our Amateur Service

John B. Johnston W3BE


Q. U.S. citizens have to qualify for an FCC amateur operator/primary station license grant in order to receive permission to cause an amateur station to transmit from a place where the FCC regulates our amateur service. They can only do this by passing a test prepared and administered by our volunteer examiners. Foreigners, on the other hand, are granted the exact same privileges without similarly qualifying. So, how does the FCC get away with allowing aliens not holding a FCC license grant to operate their stations here?   

A. Communications Act SEC.303(l)(3) gives the FCC the power to issue authorizations, under such conditions as it may prescribe, to permit an alien licensed by his government as an amateur radio operator to operate his amateur station licensed by his government in the U.S. provided there is in effect a multilateral or bilateral operating arrangement, to which the U.S. and the alien's government are parties, for amateur service operation on a reciprocal basis. The FCC has so prescribed the necessary conditions in Section 97.107. It says:

   A non-citizen of the United States (“alien”) holding an amateur service authorization granted by the alien's government is authorized to be the control operator of an amateur station located at places where the amateur service is regulated by the FCC, provided there is in effect a multilateral or bilateral reciprocal operating arrangement, to which the United States and the alien's government are parties, for amateur service operation on a reciprocal basis. The FCC will issue public announcements listing the countries with which the United States has such an arrangement. No citizen of the United States or person holding an FCC amateur operator/primary station license grant is eligible for the reciprocal operating authority granted by this section. The privileges granted to a control operator under this authorization are:

   (a) For an amateur service license granted by the Government of Canada:

      (1) The terms of the Convention Between the United States and Canada (TIAS No. 2508) Relating to the Operation by Citizens of Either Country of Certain Radio Equipment or Stations in the Other Country;

      (2) The operating terms and conditions of the amateur service license issued by the Government of Canada; and

      (3) The applicable rules of this Part, but not to exceed the control operator privileges of an FCC-granted Amateur Extra Class operator license.

   (b) For an amateur service license granted by any country, other than Canada, with which the United States has a multilateral or bilateral agreement:

      (1) The terms of the agreement between the alien's government and the United States;

      (2) The operating terms and conditions of the amateur service license granted by the alien's government;

     (3) The applicable rules of this part, but not to exceed the control operator privileges of an FCC-granted Amateur Extra Class operator license; and

   (c) At any time the FCC may, in its discretion, modify, suspend or cancel the reciprocal operating authority granted to any person by this section.

Q. Where can I find the FCC public announcements listing the countries with which the United States has reciprocal operating arrangements? 

A. They are listed on the FCC webpage About Amateur Reciprocal Operating ArrangementsAdditionally, in Sections 97.301(a) and (b), certain transmitting frequency bands are available to an amateur station located within 50 km of the Earth's surface, within the specified ITU region, and outside any area where the amateur service is regulated by any authority other than the FCC for an amateur station having a Section 97.105 control operator who holds a CEPT radio-amateur license or IARP. Section 97.3(a)(12) defines a CEPT radio-amateur license as one issued by a country belonging to the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) that has adopted Recommendation T/R 61–01 (Nice 1985, Paris 1992, Nicosia 2003).  Section 97.3(a)(24) defines an IARP (International Amateur Radio Permit) as a document issued pursuant to the terms of the Inter-American Convention on an International Amateur Radio Permit by a country signatory to that Convention, other than the United States. Montrouis, Haiti. AG/doc.3216/95.

Q. What are the privileges of an alien amateur operator in the United States?

A. Section 97.107(b) says that for an amateur service license granted by any country, other than Canada, with which the U.S. has a multilateral or bilateral agreement, the privileges are the terms of the agreement between the alien's government and the U.S.; the operating terms and conditions of the amateur service license granted by the alien's government; the applicable rules of Part 97, but not to exceed the control operator privileges of an FCC-granted Amateur Extra Class operator license. 

   For an amateur service license granted by the Government of Canada, the terms of the Convention Between the U.S. and Canada (TIAS No. 2508) Relating to the Operation by Citizens of Either Country of Certain Radio Equipment or Stations in the Other Country also apply.

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June 23, 2016

Supersedes all prior editions