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WGFM#86 Decisions (October 2016) on Radio Amateur issues

24 Oct 2016, 11:05WG FM met on 17-21 October 2016 in Bordeaux, France, and made the following decisions on radio amateur issues, in particular, the revised ERC Report 32 was approved for publication:

4.10 Radio Amateur Forum Group (RA FG)

4.10.1 Progress Report

  1. The acting chairman of the RA FG, Mr Thomas Weber (ECO), introduced document FM(16)195, the progress report.

4.10.2 REC T/R 61-01 (CEPT Radio Amateur Licence)

  1. WG FM had tasked the ECO to inform CITEL, other regional organisations as well as other individual non-CEPT countries to inform about this new possibility for a self-declaration. Mr Weber informed the meeting that letters informing about the new ‘Statement of Conformity’ concept were so far sent to CITEL/OAS, CRASA (Communications Regulators’ Association of Southern Africa), APT, Radio Sector of RCC Executive Body, and ATU. It is intended to continue and send further letters to the Arab Spectrum Management Group and also individual non-European countries of interest, e.g. some in Latin America (e.g. Brazil, Argentina, Chile).
  2. With respect to countries which may join T/R 61-01 by means of the new SoC it is likely that the SoC would also be acceptable to ECO in order to secure participation in T/R 61-02 or the Novice Licence.
  3. Mr Weber informed that a possible issue was identified about the expiry date/ validity of radio amateur licences: in some countries, no expiry date is given, and this could potentially lead to enforcement problems (e.g. licence not always taken back in justified cases). The radio amateur Recommendations avoid the word “expiry date’ and instead use ‘within the limit of validity of the national licence’. So far there has been no reporting that this situation really caused problems.
  4. Concerning those countries providing multiple prefixes in T/R 61-01 it is understood that any of the prefixes listed in the appropriate annex to T/R 61-01 may be used.
  5. WGFM discussed the issue of short term licences and related fees for radio amateurs operating in foreign countries under T/R 61-01. WGFM agreed that the intentions of T/R 61-01 are that no short term licence is needed and no related fees are to be paid. This understanding is shared even with the administrations overseas (i.e. these do not inform their radio amateurs about such needs). A footnote in this regard may not help, if individual administrations apply short term licences/ fees.
  6. WG FM agreed that in order to avoid that single radio amateurs infringe national rules, those countries should actually not participate in the framework of T/R 61-01. This information should be provided on the ECC’s radio amateur topic website and communicated by the Office as appropriate.

4.10.3 Revision of ERC Report 32

  1. The results of the public consultation in doc. FM(16)167 and the result of the comment resolution in the forum group in doc. FM(16)195 Annexes 1 and 2 were presented. Since not all comments were resolved by the RA FG, a drafting group during the WG FM meeting resolved the remaining comments.
  2. WG FM approved the draft revised ERC Report 32 (amateur radio examination syllabus for the CEPT radio amateur novice licence as in ECC/REC/(05)06) for publication. The revision aligns ERC Report 32 with the revised text of T/R 61-02. Since not all comments were resolved in the radio amateur forum group, a drafting group at the WGFM meeting was used to resolve the remaining questions.
  3. With regard to the mentioning of the radio amateur code of conduct in ERC Report 32 as well as Recommendation T/R 61-02, the IARU-R1 and EURAO are invited to work together on a common code of conduct which may be set out as information on the radio amateur topic page, once consensus will have been achieved.

4.10.4 Other issues

  1. WGFM agreed to task the Office to editorially align Recommendation T/R 61-02 and ECC/REC/(14)06 with the Terms of Reference of the forum group and the wording recently approved in ECC/REC/(05)06, i.e. to replace the ‘IARU’ with ‘international organisations representing amateur radio service licensees’.
  2. WG FM noted that Japan was included in the Annex 4 of Recommendation T/R 61-02, ECO received a verbal note from Japan and added a footnote as requested in the verbal note, with regard to the situation for radio amateurs who are Japanese nationals. This makes it also possible to consider an entry for Japan in Recommendation 61-01. Japan was invited to consider joining, and to do so, Japan should use the 'Statement of Conformity' (SOC) form included in the Recommendation T/R 61-01.
  3. WG FM noted the amended new radio amateur topic website: https://www.cept.org/ecc/topics/radio-amateurs/. Suggestions for amendment should be sent to Mr Weber (ECO).
  4. WG FM noted that CPG PTD was reminded by ECO that administrations are urged to remove their assignments to broadcasting service in the band 50-54 MHz. This action will be in line with earlier decision to protect assignments according to the Stockholm Agreement 1961 Plan. CPG19 PTD has included in their work programme the need to remove unused assignments affecting the band 50 - 54 MHz in view of Agenda Item 1.1 of WRC-19. However, the ECA (ERC Report 25) is reviewed frequently at WGFM meetings. Footnote ECA3 states 'CEPT administrations are urged to take all practical steps to clear the band 47-68 MHz of assignments to the broadcasting service. The broadcasting assignments according to Stockholm Agreement 1961 shall be protected.' From a WGFM standpoint it could be useful if the totality of broadcasting band 1 could be addressed in accordance with ECA3 and unused assignments listed in the MIFR be suppressed. It is therefore suggested that progress in respect of meeting the terms of ECA3 be reviewed at future WGFM meetings when the ECA is addressed. Such an action is also likely to help CPG PTD in their task to prepare for WRC-19. EFIS/MG was tasked to discuss the terms of footnote ECA3.
  5. The FCC published DA 16-1048A1 about AMATEUR SERVICE OPERATION IN CEPT COUNTRIES, and it is assumed it was sent in particular to member of the ARRL. ECO informed the FCC about necessary updates with regard to the URLs used for CEPT and the ECO, and the latest on-line versions of documents (i.e. Recs. T/R 61-01 and (05)06). The FCC confirmed they will use the new URLs in their next update about CEPT regulations for radio amateurs.

4.10.5 RA FG Chairmanship

  1. No administration provided a candidate for the RA FG chairmanship. WG FM decided that Mr Thomas Weber, ECO, should continue as acting chairman of RA FG.
  2. Since the revisions of the radio amateur Recommendations are finalised (T/R 61-01, T/R 61-02, ECC/REC/(05)06 and ERC Report 32), the remaining tasks are of administrative nature and handled by the ECO. WGFM therefore decided that the RA FG is put in ‘idle mode’. Proposals for new work should be provided via a CEPT administration directly to WG FM before a task is assigned to the RA FG. In this case in the future, the administration suggesting new work should also provide a candidate for the chairmanship of this forum group.