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ECC Decision on AM SSB CB apparatus

In June 2011, the ECC (-1-) published a Decision (-2-) about harmonising CB across Europe. While the UK had reservations, we did not actively oppose this Decision, as it enjoyed consensus amongst most CEPT member states. Unlike Decisions of the European Commission or Parliament, CEPT Decisions are not binding and not all countries will be implementing this Decision. So, although we are not obliged to implement this Decision, we nonetheless plan to do so, subject to the agreement of the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

The spectrum used by CB is allocated primarily to the MOD in the UK. So, we must consult the MOD, to ensure that any proposed change in use to spectrum which is primarily for its use is acceptable. If the MOD agrees, we anticipate that the ECC Decision should probably be implemented by the end of 2013.

Implementing a Decision such as this is not a straightforward process. We must make changes to legislation and to the Interface Requirement (IR 2027). IR 2027 sets out the conditions with which the use of CB apparatus must comply. Before changing legislation we must conduct a public consultation. Before we change the IR, we must submit the proposed changes to the European Commission, to allow other EU Member States to comment on it.

Until all of the changes described above have been made, it will remain an offence to install or use AM/SSB (or any other) CB apparatus other than in accordance with the current exemption regulations and IR. So, it will remain an offence to install or use AM SSB apparatus or to use multimode equipment in AM mode. It is also an offence to possess or have under ones control any radio apparatus, with the intention of using it in a manner that isnt covered by a licence or exemption regulations. This means that, until any changes are implemented, it remains unlawful to install or use AM/SSB CB apparatus or have it available for use as described above.

We shall publish updates on this website.

FAQs

Why is it taking so long to implement these changes?
We are bound by European legislation. This says that if we want to propose changes to an Interface Requirement, we must first submit these proposed changes to the European Commission for scrutiny by other Member States. We must also amend UK legislation to reflect these changes. The UK law under which we work says that we must consult before we can do that. In the UK, the spectrum used by CB radio is allocated to the MOD. So, we must get their agreement before we change the way that their spectrum is used. All of this takes time.

Why all the fuss? Its only hobby radio!
We must ensure that all uses of radio can coexist, minimising the risk of interference. If CB suddenly starts using SSB, AM and more power, we must ensure that this does not harm other users. The quid pro quo for licence exemption is that CB is unprotected and must not cause interference to others. This is particularly important, as CB uses MOD spectrum.

Is it illegal to own AM/SSB CB kit?
You may be committing an offence if it could be shown that you have and intend to use AM-only equipment or the AM/SSB element of multimode equipment before we change the legislation and the IR.

Will I be prosecuted for selling AM/SSB CB equipment?
It is not an offence under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (and associated legislation) to sell radio apparatus that is properly CE marked and that thus conforms to the essential requirements of the Radio & Telecommunications terminal Equipment Directive, which is the principal European Directive that covers the supply of radio apparatus, generally. However, if you were to sell any radio apparatus knowing that someone was going to use it illegally, a court may hold that you had committed an offence.

I am a licensed radio amateur. Can I use AM CB equipment?
The bands authorised for use by CB are 26.965 to 27.405 MHz and 27.60125 to 27.99125 MHz. These are not covered by the amateur radio licence.

I got some AM/SSB kit off a bloke in the pub/eBay/mail order. Is it legal?
Equipment designed for use, for example, in the USA may well not conform to European requirements. Such equipment may not be used, even after the changes have been implemented. Any apparatus placed on the European market must bear the CE mark of conformity. We have published further information about the use of the CE mark and the associated Directive on our website at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/spectrum/spectrum-management/research-guidelines-tech-info/rtte/rtte_faq.

How do I know if my CB kit can be used in the UK?
It is your responsibility to understand the radio equipment that you are using and to use it correctly and within the law. If you are unsure if your equipment can be used legally, you should ask a dealer what type of equipment it is and take such other expert advice as you may need.

If a foreign lorry driver brings AM/SSB equipment into the UK, can he use it here lawfully?
No. Not until the changes have been implemented. Even then, he must comply with the UK law as it stands at that time.

Footnotes:

  1.-http://www.cept.org/ecc

  2.- Decision ECC 11(03) The harmonised use of frequencies for Citizens Band (CB) radio equipmenthttp://www.erodocdb.dk/docs/doc98/official/pdf/ECCDec1103.pdf

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