Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) usage in CEPT


This table gives an overview of the PLB usage in the listed CEPT countries. It is updated by ECO when new information is received from CEPT administrations. Therefore ECO cannot be made responsible for any harm caused by use of this information. For the most up-to-date information on PLB, users are advised to directly contact relevant authorities within CEPT administrations.

Country PLB
Where License
Certificate required The acceptance of a foreign license holder Coding Protocol Database National
Further information
Albania Yes All Yes Yes Yes     AKEP  
Austria Yes All Yes No Yes Serial User Protocol National Telecommunications Authority Republic Austria Austria
Belgium Yes All No No Yes NA IBRD BIPT  
Croatia Yes Not specified Yes No Yes SUP/SLP MInistry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Hakom Croatia
Cyprus Yes All No No Yes Serial Number - Assigned by competent authority
(JRCC Larnaca)
National JRCC Larnaca Cyprus
Czech Republic Possession/
No usage
NA NA NA Possession/
No usage
NA NA CTU Czech Republic
Denmark Possession/
No usage
NA NA NA Possession/
No usage
NA NA Agency for Data Supply and Infrastructure Denmark
Estonia Yes All No No Yes   National Estonian Technical Regulatory Authority Estonia
Finland Yes All  Yes No Yes SUP/NLP National Traficom Finland
France Yes Maritime Only in case MMSI No     National ANFR France
Georgia Yes All No No Yes     GNCC Georgia
Germany No NA NA NA NA NA NA   Germany
Greece Yes Maritime Yes No No NA NA EETT  
Iceland Yes/No Land Yes No Yes Under Review National PTA Iceland
Ireland Yes National No No Yes SLP National COMREG Ireland
Latvia Yes All No No Yes SLP IBRD MRCC, Electronic Communications Office of Latvia Latvia
Lithuania Yes All No No Yes SUP/SLP Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration

Transport Competence Agency
Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration

Transport Competence Agency
Malta Yes All No No Yes SLP IBRD MCA The framework regulating the installation or use, including registration requirements for PLBs is currently established by the General Authorisations (Radiocommunications Apparatus) Regulations (S.L.399.40 of the Laws of Malta). Please refer, in particular, to the “Thirty-Third Schedule” in the following link: http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=11475&l=1           
                                                                                                              Amongst other things, these Regulations require that PLBs must be coded with the Maltese country code 256 (by using the Serial Standard Location Protocol). The coding of PLBs with the other country codes of Malta is not permitted.
Moldova Yes Maritime Yes Yes     National ANRCETI  
Montenegro Yes ? No Not regulated yet       Ekip Montenegro 
The Netherlands Yes Maritime Yes Yes Yes SUP National Radiocommunications agency The Netherlands
Norway Yes All Yes Yes Yes SUP/NLP/RLS National Norwegian Communications Authority Norway
Poland Yes All Yes No Yes   National Uke  
Portugal Yes Maritime Yes Yes Yes MMSI National DGRM Portugal
Romania Yes Land No No Yes   National ANCOM Romania
Slovak Republic Pending Pending Yes No Pending NA NA Telecommunications Office of the Slovak Republic  
Spain Yes See info No No   MMSI Yes Yes Spain
Sweden Yes All No No Yes SUP/SLP IBRD Sjofartsverket Sweden
Switzerland Yes All No, Self-Registration by user in IBRD No Yes SLP/SUP International Beacon Registration Database (IBRD) COSPAS-SARSAT OFCOM Switzerland
Türkiye Yes All Under examination Under examination Yes SUP/SLP Undersecretary for Maritime Affairs /Main Search & Rescue Coordination Centre   Türkiye 
The United Kingdom Yes Maritime Yes Yes Yes SUP/SLP National Ofcom The United Kingdom

Definition of PLB:

Abbreviation PLB comes from the words PERSONAL LOCATOR BEACON. The equipment operates in the Cospas-Sarsat system using the same frequencies as EPIRBs onboard ships and ELTs onboard aircraft. PLB is, however, smaller in size and easier to carry. PLB equipment operates in the certain portion of the 406 MHz band, which is monitored by satellites. The majority of PLB equipment also transmit on the aeronautical distress frequency 121,5 MHz for homing purposes. The latest models are fitted with in-built satellite positioning receiver; which means that the PLB transmission already includes accurate position. This enables faster mobilization of search and rescue operations by authorities.

Please note:

Where a PLB is used within an administration in column 3 “where” indicate is this for use in land, sea or air.

Regarding the Licence column, if all is used for “where” is this an indication that a licence is required or only a national registration process.

Certificate applies to a radio operator’s certificate.

  • PLB must be programmed and either licenced or registered to the satisfaction of the national administration;
  • PLB is neither an EPIRB nor an ELT, because of its characteristics and mechanical structure.

For more information, please see the home page of Cospas-Sarsat

CEPT administrations are welcome to provide updates to Susanne Have  ([email protected]).


Updated: 24 November 2023, 11:34