Ships' Radio or Ship Portable Radio

Ships’ radio is used for the safe navigation of vessels and for making distress calls in emergency situations. It enables communication with coast stations, port/harbour authorities and with other vessels. Ships radio can include MF (medium frequency), VHF (very high frequency), HF (high frequency), and UHF (ultra high frequency) radio equipment. It can also include satellite communications equipment, radar equipment, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Search and Rescue Transponders (SARTs).


Ofcom is upgrading the licensing systems used to support Spectrum (Wireless Telegraphy Act) licensing.

The first phase of this work is to replace the on-line licensing systems which support amateur radio and ships licensing. We aim to make the transition as seamless as possible. All existing licences will automatically transfer to the new system. For existing on-line users the system will continue to be accessed in the normal way through Ofcom’s website.

Our aim is to minimise any disruption caused by the switchover. However, during the change it will be necessary to withdraw the availability of some of our systems for a short time. We expect the first phase to happen this summer.