Going overseas to activate

I am heading off to Europe in July for 7 weeks and I was hoping to activate a few Summits on the Air (SOTA) peaks and World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) parks whilst there.  So I commenced making enquiries re operating whilst over there.  What I found was information, here, there and everywhere.  Unfortunately the ACMA’s website contained very little information and even after telephoning them and corresponding via email, I was confused.  So here is a little bit of information, should you be in the same position as me with holding an Australian Standard class licence.

Sadly, as a Standard licence class holder, it is not easy getting on air overseas.  You are not covered by the CEPT agreements which I will talk about in more detail below.  The CEPT agreements are relevant if you are the holder of an Advanced licence.  However, I did find that as a Standard licence holder, you can apply for a 3 month visitor’s licence to operate in the Federal Republic of Germany.


The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) was instituted by an intergovernmental arrangement on the 26th June, 1959 at Montreux, Switzerland.  It was established as a co-ordinating body for European state telecommunications and postal organisations.  The CEPT acronym comes from the French version of its name, Conférence européenne des administrations des postes et des télécommunications.  It was originally established by 19 countries, which expanded to 26 during its first ten years.  There are now 48 member countries in the CEPT.



CEPT is organised into three main components:

  • Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) – responsible for radiocommunications and telecommunications matters and formed by the merger of ECTRA and ERC (European Radiocommunications Committee) in September 2001.  The permanent secretariat of the ECC is the European Communications Office (ECO)
  • European Committee for Postal Regulation (CERP, after the French “Comité européen des régulateurs postaux”) – responsible for postal matters
  • The Committee for ITU Policy (Com-ITU) is responsible for organising the co-ordination of CEPT actions for the preparation for and during the course of the ITU activities meetings of the Council, Plenipotentiary Conferences, World Telecommunication Development Conferences, World Telecommunication Standardisation Assemblies

Recommendation T/R 61-01 

In 1985 in Nice, France, the CEPT met and Recommendation T/R 61-01 was approved.  This Recommendation makes it possible for radio amateurs from CEPT countries to operate during short visits in other CEPT countries, without obtaining an individual temporary licence from the visited CEPT country.  The following is a list of CEPT member countries:

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican.

The Recommendation was revised in 1992 with the aim to make it possible for non-CEPT countries to participate in this licensing system.  Australia is recorded in the document as a non-CEPT country.  Other non-CEPT countries recorded in the document are Canda, Curacao, Israel, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, and the USA.

However, you need to be the holder of an Advanced amateur radio licence to operate in CEPT countries under this Recommendation.  Annex 4, Table 2, shows the required equivalence between National licences of non-CEPT countries and the CEPT licence.

Screenshot 2014-06-28 09.25.13

So in essence under this Recommendation, if you hold an Australian Advanced licence you can operate in the European CEPT countries for up to 3 months without needing to apply for a reciprocal licence.  You obviously need to adhere to the relevant band plans, power limits, rules, etc.

The Recommendation can be downloaded in full from…..


Recommendation (05)06

ECC Recommendation (05)06 CEPT Novice Radio Amateur Licence was  approved in October 2005 and was amended in October 2011.  This Recommendation acknowledges that in many countries, novice licences exist, none of which are included in the procedures of Recommendation T/R 61-01 mentioned above.

This Recommendation relates to both CEPT member countries, and CEPT non member countries.  However, please note, Australia is not included in this Recommendation and the Recommendation has not been implemented by Australia!  The only non CEPT country listed in the Recommendation is the United States of America (USA). It appears for whatever reason/s, the WIA and ACMA have not progressed Australia to be included in this Recommendation.  I will endeavour to find out why.

This Recommendation can be downloaded in full from…..


Recommendation T/R 61-02

This Recommendation was approved in 1990 and makes it possible for CEPT administrations to issue a Harmonised Amateur Radio Examination Certificate (HAREC).  Initially, only CEPT countries were involved in HAREC, however the Recommendation has been modified to allow non-CEPT countries to participate.

You need to successfully pass an amateur radio examination to obtain a HAREC.  The HAREC facilitates the issuing of an individual licence to radio amateurs who stay in a country for a longer term than that mentioned in CEPT Recommendation T/R 61-01.  It also facilitates the issuing of an individual licence to a radio amateur returning to his native country showing the HAREC certificate issued by a foreign administration.  Australia is listed as a non-CEPT country in this Recommendation.

German 3 month temporary licence.

If you are visiting the Federal Republic of Germany and would like to continue your hobby of amateur radio whilst there, you can apply for a 3 month temporary admission licence.  The fee is 70 Euros (EUR).  This licence will allow you to operate under the privileges of a German National Class E licence: the 160m band, the 15m band, and the 10m band on HF, with 100 watts PEP; and 2m and 70cm with 75 watts PEP.

Radio amateurs to which one of the CEPT Recommendations T/R 61-01 or (05)06 applies, or who are resident in Germany or hold a permanent German admission to participation in the amateur service cannot be issued a temporary admission upon this application.

Screenshot 2014-06-27 17.31.23

Other possibilities.

The Belgium Amateur Radio Society (UBA) allows amateurs who are not part of the CEPT Recommendations, to apply for a special guest licence.  You need to send a letter of enquiry to the UBA, with a photocopy of your amateur licence, together with the study program relating to the radio amateur examination in your country.  The UBA website states that the entire procedure may take quite a while and there is no guarantee of success.



While I have the opportunity, I would like to publicly thank the following people who promptly replied to my queries and sent me a lot of helpful information…..

  1.  Rik ON7YD, Belgium Amateur Radio Society (UBA)
  2. Rainer Wilhelm , Federal Network Agency, Germany
  3. Gianni Nigita, DL7GBN, Deutscher Amateur-Radio-Club (DARC)
  4. Jan, OK1NP
  5. Ed, VK2JI (now DD5LP)

Sadly, I never received a reply from the French authorities, and I received a very limited response from ACMA.  The ACMA’s website also has out of date information, and it is difficult to interpret information on the site.  This has been pointed out on the SOTA Yahoo group previously when the issue of reciprocal licensing was discussed.


So what have I learnt?  Get my upgrade!

I am hoping to have my application for a 3 month temporary admission licence to Germany approved, so I can activate a few summits and a park in south western Germany.







4 thoughts on “Going overseas to activate

    • A really great summary Paul..mirrors much of my experiences as well.. The upgrade path seems to be beckoning doesn’t it…. and with that a new callsign?? Pity, your current one is very well known and I’m guessing that it’s quite personalised as well…. now wouldn’t it be great if we could upgrade AND keep the current callsign???….. that might mess up the system though….

      Above you write about German National Class E licence:, from the included graphic it seems that access to 80m was also available, not just HF 160, 15, and 10. Take it easy.. Colin

      • Hi Colin,

        I did promise myself to upgrade at the start of the year. But I have too many fingers in too many pies, to knuckle down at the moment. Plus I’m having a lot of fun in the hobby with the Standard call anyway. A few of my mates down in the South East reckon the suffix ‘PAS’ stands for ‘Parks And Summits’



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