Process to Obtain Recognition of Australian VHF Licence in the Netherlands


  1. My wife and I own a 27.85m Dutch Barge

  2. It is registered on the Dutch Kadaster

  3. Melba is being re-fitted in Harlingen

  4. We will obtain ES-TRIN certification ( 'Community Certificate') as a by-product of the re-fit

We are required to have a VHF and AIS on board our boat, with a Ship Station Licence to authorise their use. The application for a Dutch SSL requires one of us to have a valid, recognised VHF Operators Cetrtificate.

Step 1.

  • I obtained my VHF Operators Certificate from a Royal Yachting Association ( RYA) accredited training centre, Yachtmaster in Melbourne – see attached VHF Licence

Step 2.

  • Our shipyard SRF who is carrying out our re-fit submitted my Operators Certificate to Agentschap Telecom who are the agents for the Dutch government in order to obtain our Call Sign, MMSI, and ATIS number.

    [Note: The process of applying for a Ship Station licence from AT is described here.]

Step 3.

  • Agentschap Telecom in a letter to me rejected my Australian VHF Licence as follows:

Recognition of a foreign certificate.

According to the 2008 Frequency Use Examination Regulations, the Minister acknowledges valid foreign maritime operating licenses on request. The condition is that the applicant can demonstrate that the exam requirements of the foreign exam are in accordance with the requirements set out in regulation ERC / DEC (99) 01 or in regional agreement regarding the radio telephony service for inland navigation. Certificates issued in accordance with these requirements must include a reference to the provisions of the Radio Regulations and these requirements.

The Exam Range Short Range Certificate (SRC) is not studied in Dutch, but is recognized if the SRC is taken according to ERC / REC 31-04.


Unfortunately, your operating license does not meet the aforementioned requirements.

Therefore, Telecom Agency is not authorized to provide you with a registration for maritime radio broadcasting equipment.

For example, you can do an exam at the Royal Yachting Association in England for a Short Range Certificate.

If you do not agree with this decision

If you have any objections, you may be motivated within six weeks of the date of dispatch of this decision.

Step 4.

  • In Australia, The University of Tasmania, as represented by the Australian Maritime College, is the delegate of the Australian Communications and Media Authority for the purposes of issuing marine radio certificates of proficiency

  • I contacted The University of Tasmania and they were aware that the Dutch Authorities were being difficult with recognizing Australian VHF Licences.

  • The University of Tasmania then sent me to the actual Federal body - Australian Communications and Media Authority ( ACMA) and they issued this email:

Dear Mark

Please find attached a letter confirming the Australian SROCP qualification does comply with ITU Resolution 343 (Examination syllabus for radio operator’s certificates appropriate to vessels using the frequencies and techniques of the GDMSS on a non-compulsory basis), except for section E which is provided through another qualification. This letter may provide some assistance in your pursuit to have your SROCP recognised.  Though, as I am sure you are aware, it is ultimately the sovereign right of the Dutch authorities what they recognise as equivalent qualifications.

That is good news about getting confirmation of equivalency from the RYA in the UK.

Carla Morgan
Senior Policy Officer
Australian Communications and Media Authority

  • The letter from ACMA is here.

Step 5.

  • I submitted my objection including the letter from ACMA and 6 weeks later, Agentschap Telecom accepted my Operators Certificate and issued me with the relevant Ship Station Licence.


Mark Dick. 

Oct 2017




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