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Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Equipment Authorization Procedures

What must I do to get an FCC equipment authorization for GMDSS equipment?

All GMDSS equipment must be certified by the FCC, except equipment used in the INMARSAT system, which is subject to verification and must be approved by INMARSAT. All GMDSS equipment must conform to both the general requirements in Section 80.1101(a) and the specific performance requirements in Section 80.1101(b) of the FCC rules. For certification, the applicant must submit the material listed in Section 2.1033 of the FCC rules, and attest that the equipment complies with the performance standards listed in Section 80.1101. Sample units of GMDSS equipment need not be submitted unless specifically requested by the FCC laboratory. .

What and how do I file for FCC equipment authorization?

The FCC is presently accepting GMDSS equipment authorization applications. Applications for type acceptance and notification are to be filed on FCC Form 731. You may obtain a copy by calling (800) 418-FORM. The completed FCC Form 731 must be accompanied by FCC Form 159 and the required fee.

What are the labeling requirements for GMDSS equipment?

Before it can be used to meet the GMDSS equipment carriage requirements, equipment must be FCC authorized for GMDSS use and, except for existing 406 MHz EPIRBs, must have a label stating:
"This device complies with the GMDSS provisions of Part 80 of the FCC Rules."
Only the manufacturer, or the manufacturer's authorized representative, can add these labels. (Existing 406 MHz EPIRBs may have the label added -- at the option of the manufacturer.) It is to the manufacturer's benefit to obtain a grant of authorization and affix labels prior to marketing the equipment in order to avoid having to send personnel to affix the required label. The equipment must not be marketed with the label until FCC authorization has been obtained.
For further information on certifying GMDSS equipment, contact the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology Laboratory at (301) 362-3000.
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