[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 241 (Thursday, December 15, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 90739-90750]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-29612]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 1, 25, 80 and 95

[WTB Docket No. 14-36; FCC 16-119]


Maritime Radio Equipment and Related Matters

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission 
(Commission or FCC) addresses a number of important issues regarding 
updating rules and requirements for technologies used to locate and 
rescue distressed ships and individuals in distress at sea or on land 
to provide better and more accurate data to rescue personnel. The 
Commission also addresses issues regarding radar equipment, the use of 
portable marine Very High Frequency (VHF) transmitters by persons on 
shore; permitting VHF digital small message service (VDSMS); and 
allowing assignment or transfer of control of ship station licenses. 
The Commission is amending its rules to permit the maritime community 
to make use of the most advanced and reliable communications 
technologies available for the alerting of search and rescue 
authorities when a vessel or individual is in distress, and to further 
the Commission's goal of ensuring that the spectrum allocated for 
emergency communications is used effectively and efficiently.

DATES: Effective January 17, 2017 except for the amendments to 
Sec. Sec.  80.233, 80.1061, 95.1402 and 95.1403 which contain 
information collection requirements that are not effective until 
approved by the Office of Management and Budget. The FCC will publish a 
document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date for 
those amendments. The incorporation by reference of certain 
publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the 
Federal Register as of January 17, 2017, except for the publications in 
Sec. Sec.  80.7 (amendatory instruction #7), 80.233, 80.1061, 95.1402 
and 95.1403 which are in sections that contain information collection 
requirements that are not effective until approved by the Office of 
Management and Budget. The FCC will publish a document in the Federal 
Register announcing the approval date for the incorporation by 
reference of publications into those sections.

ADDRESSES: Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20554. In addition to filing comments with the Office of 
the Secretary, a copy of any comments on the Paperwork Reduction Act 
information collection requirements contained herein should be 
submitted to Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, 1-C823, 
445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, or send an email to 
[email protected]. The Commission will send a copy of this Report & Order, in 
a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability 
Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 
801(a)(1)(A).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Shaffer, [email protected], 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-0687, or TTY (202) 418-
7233. For additional information concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act 
information collection requirements contained in this document, contact 
Cathy Williams, [email protected], (202) 418-2918, or send an 
email to [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Federal 
Communications Commission's Report and Order (R&O), in WT Docket No. 
14-36, FCC 16-119, adopted on August 31, 2016, and released on 
September 1, 2016. The full text of this document is available for 
inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC 
Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The full 
text may also be downloaded at: www.fcc.gov. Alternative formats are 
available to persons with disabilities by sending an email to 
[email protected] or by calling the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau 
at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).
    1. The Report and Order will permit the maritime community to make 
use of the most advanced and reliable communications technologies 
available for the alerting of search and rescue authorities when a 
vessel is in distress. Our decisions herein also further the 
Commission's goal of ensuring that the spectrum allocated for maritime 
communications is used effectively and efficiently.
    2. The Report and Order incorporates by reference standards for 
certain marine and personal radio safety devices and a standard to 
provide VHF Digital Small Message Service (VDSMS) on certain marine VHF 
channels. For 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacons 
(EPIRBs) the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) 
Standard 11000.3 provides the latest technical and testing procedures 
for EPRIBs and requires them to have an internal navigation device 
designed to provide position data upon activation. For 406 MHz Personal 
Locator Beacons (PLBs) the RTCM Standard 11010.2 provides updated 
technical requirements and adds test procedures for PLBs with integral 
GNSS receivers or internal navigation devices. For Satellite Emergency 
Notification Devices (SENDs) RTCM Standard 12800.0 provides minimum 
requirements for the functional and technical performance of SENDs to 
ensure reliability in emergency situations. For Maritime Survivor 
Locating Devices (MSLDs) RTCM Standard 11901.1 provides minimum 
functional and technical performance of MSLDs. For Automatic 
Identification System Search and Rescue Transmitters (AIS-SARTs) the 
International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution MSC.246(83) and 
the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61097-14 provide 
the minimum performance requirements and technical specifications for 
AIS-SARTs. Finally, for VHF digital small message services (VDSMS) RTCM 
Standard 12301.1 provides technical standard that enables transmission 
of short digital messages without interfering with other communications 
on the same channel. Copies of the RTCM documents are available and may 
be obtained from the Radio Technical Commission for

[[Page 90740]]

Maritime Services, 1611 N. Kent Street, Suite 605, Arlington, Virginia 
22209. Copies of the IMO documents are available and may be obtained 
from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), 4 Albert 
Embankment, London SE1 7SR, United Kingdom; http://www.imo.org; Tel. + 
44 (0)20 7735 7611; Fax + 44 (0)20 7587 3210; email: [email protected]. 
Copies of the IEC documents are available and may be obtained from 
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), 3 Rue de Varembe, CH-
1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland; www.iec.ch; phone: + 41 22 919 02 11; 
fax: + 41 22 919 03 00; email: [email protected]. (IEC publications can also 
be purchased from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 
through its NSSN operation (www.nssn.org), at Customer Service, 
American National Standards Institute, 25 West 43rd Street, New York NY 
10036, telephone (212) 642-4900.) The documents are available for 
inspection at Commission headquarters at 445 12th Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20554.

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs)

    3. EPIRBs are carried on board ships to alert others of a distress 
situation, and to assist search and rescue (SAR) personnel in locating 
those in distress. Specifically, an EPIRB transmits a digital signal on 
406.0-406.1 MHz (406 MHz) that is detected by the search and rescue 
satellite-aided tracking (SARSAT) system operated by the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The digital signal 
provides distress alerting, homing assistance, country and 
identification code of the station in distress, and other pertinent 
information. Traditional EPIRBs rely on satellite Doppler shift to 
identify the distress location. Some EPIRBs, however, transmit their 
Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) coordinates, which enables 
SAR authorities to determine an accurate location significantly faster 
than satellite Doppler shift.
    4. EPIRBs must comply with the Radio Technical Commission for 
Maritime Services (RTCM) EPIRB standard incorporated by reference in 
our rules. RTCM updated its EPIRB standard to require, among other 
conditions, an internal navigation device designed to provide position 
data upon activation. The Commission asked if the new RTCM EPIRB 
standard should be incorporated by reference in our rules, and sought 
comment on the appropriate timetable for phasing out certification, 
manufacture, sale and use of EPIRBs that do not comply with the new 
standard.
    5. All commenters addressing the issue support revising Part 80 to 
incorporate by reference the revised RTCM EPIRB standard. We agree that 
such an action is in the public interest because better location 
availability reduces search time and therefore contributes to the 
success of emergency rescues. Moreover, most commenters state that the 
price difference between EPIRBs that broadcast position data and those 
that do not has diminished or even disappeared, so adopting this 
requirement will impose little or no additional cost on end-users who 
purchase EPIRBs that comply with the new standard. We amend our rules 
to incorporate by reference the revised RTCM EPIRB standard \1\ as 
proposed.\2\
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    \1\ After the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) was 
released, RTCM revised the standard. See RTCM Standard 11000.4 for 
406 MHz Satellite Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons 
(EPIRBs), dated June 1, 2015. The amended standard adds an option 
for the use of AIS position locating in addition to or in lieu of 
121.5 MHz homing. NTIA requests that we incorporate the amended 
standard, but we decline to add the AIS option without notice and 
comment. Until such time as the amended standard is incorporated 
into part 80, manufacturers may request waivers to permit the 
equipment authorization and use of AIS EPIRBs.
    \2\ We also, as proposed, remove references in part 80 to 
COSPAS-SARSAT C/S T.001, Specification for COSPAS-SARSAT 406 MHz 
Distress Beacons, and COSPAS-SARSAT C/S T.007 distress beacons 
specifications because they are included in the RTCM EPIRB standard, 
and EPIRBs must be tested for compliance with these specifications 
before being submitted for equipment authorization. We decline 
RTCM's suggestion to incorporate by reference the revised version of 
ITU-R Recommendation M.633-3, ``Transmission characteristics of a 
satellite emergency position-indicating radiobeacon (satellite 
EPIRB) system operating through a low polar-orbiting satellite 
system in the 406 MHz band,'' 2004 (ITU-R M.633-3), as beyond the 
scope of the Notice, because the Commission did not propose to amend 
the rules to revise the version of ITU-R M.633 that is incorporated 
by reference.
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    6. With respect to the appropriate timeline for phasing out EPIRBs 
that do not comply with the new standard, commenters generally agree 
that the Commission should cease accepting applications for 
certification of non-compliant EPIRBs beginning one year after the 
effective date of the rules adopted herein. With minor variations, 
commenters support prohibiting the continued manufacture, importation, 
and sale of non-compliant EPIRBs three years after the effective date. 
We conclude that these time frames are reasonable, and amend our rules 
to set forth these deadlines. With respect to continued use of non-
compliant EPIRBs, most commenters argue that there is no need to 
establish a date after which use of such EPIRBs will be prohibited 
because most boat owners replace their EPIRBs at the battery 
replacement date, which is typically five years after the EPIRB is 
sold, and one commenter proposes that use of non-compliant EPIRBs be 
prohibited six years after the rules become effective to allow owners 
to obtain the full five-year battery life of their current devices. We 
agree with the commenters that no deadline is required for vessels that 
voluntarily carry EPIRBs. We note that use by voluntary vessels of 
EPIRBs that do not comply with the new standard will continue to 
provide SAR personnel with the same quality of location information as 
they do currently. However, we adopt a six-year deadline for vessels 
that are required under our rules to carry EPIRBs, in order to ensure 
that these vessels provide better location availability during distress 
situations. We conclude that these transition periods fairly balance 
the interest in minimizing the compliance burden against the benefits 
of deploying new maritime safety features expeditiously.
    7. Finally, we adopt our proposal to amend our rules to make plain 
that the use of prior-generation EPIRBs that operate only on 121.5/243 
MHz and do not operate on 406 MHz is prohibited. Commenters support 
this proposal, which simply clarifies a prohibition that was adopted in 
2002.

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs)

    8. Like EPIRBs, PLBs send distress signals on 406 MHz that are 
detected by the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system and relayed to SAR 
authorities, but PLBs can be used on land and are intended to meet the 
distress alerting needs of the general public. PLB use is licensed by 
rule under part 95 of the Commission's rules, which governs the 
Personal Radio Services (PRS).
    9. PLBs must comply with the RTCM PLB standard incorporated by 
reference in our rules. RTCM revised its PLB standard to update various 
technical requirements and to add test procedures for PLBs with 
integral GNSS receivers or internal navigation devices. The Commission 
asked if the new RTCM PLB standard should be incorporated by reference 
in our rules and, if so, sought comment on the appropriate timetable 
for phasing out the certification, manufacture, sale and use of PLBs 
that do not comply with the new standard.
    10. All commenters who address the question support revising part 
95 to incorporate by reference the revised RTCM PLB standard. We agree 
that such an action is in the public interest because better location 
availability minimizes search time and therefore contributes to the 
success of emergency rescues. Moreover, commenters do not believe that 
compliance with the new

[[Page 90741]]

testing protocol will materially affect PLB prices, so adopting this 
requirement will impose little or no additional cost on purchasers of 
PLBs that comply with the new standard. We amend our rules to 
incorporate by reference the revised RTCM PLB standard.\3\
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    \3\ As suggested by commenters, we also remove the technical 
requirements set forth in section 95.1402(b) of the Commission's 
rules because those requirements are included in the revised RTCM 
PLB standard. We also, as above with respect to EPIRBs, remove the 
references in part 95 to COSPAS-SARSAT T.007 because it is included 
in the RTCM PLB standard.
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    11. With respect to the appropriate timeline for phasing out PLBs 
that do not comply with the new standard, commenters agree that the 
Commission should cease accepting applications for certification of 
non-compliant PLBs beginning one year after the effective date of the 
rules adopted herein. With some minor variations, commenters support 
prohibiting the continued manufacture, importation, and sale of non-
compliant PLBs three years after the effective date. We conclude that 
these time frames are reasonable, and amend our rules to set forth 
these deadlines. We agree with the majority of commenters that there is 
no need to establish a date after which use of non-compliant PLBs will 
be prohibited, because PLB use is voluntary and the continued use of 
PLBs that do not comply with the new standard will deliver the current 
quality of service to SAR personnel for distress alerting and locating 
capabilities. We conclude that these transition periods fairly balance 
the interest in minimizing the compliance burden against the benefits 
of deploying new safety features expeditiously.
    12. The Commission also sought comment on whether, as recommended 
by the Secretariat of the International COSPAS-SARSAT Programme 
(COSPAS-SARSAT), to amend part 95 to limit the use of 406 MHz band by 
PLBs to ``distress and safety of life communications,'' instead of 
``distress and safety communications.'' This clarification would make 
clear that PLB use should be under emergency conditions and for 
survival purposes. While non-life threatening emergencies or safety 
communications are important functions, use of PLBs to alert rescuers 
should be limited to situations of grave and imminent danger. This 
excludes some situations that might be broadly considered as safety 
communications. We agree with RTCM, the only commenter addressing this 
issue, that this clarification of the intended use of PLBs would be 
beneficial, and we amend the rule accordingly. As recommended by 
COSPAS-SARSAT, we also amend the rules to clarify that, rather than 
``issu[ing]'' unique identification codes, NOAA recognizes codes that 
manufacturers create based on COSPAS-SARSAT guidance.
    13. PLB owners must register their beacons with NOAA.\4\ Part 95 
requires manufacturers to include a postage pre-paid registration card 
with each PLB, and to set forth NOAA's mailing address on the PLB 
label.\5\ Commenters state that NOAA's current preferred method of 
beacon registration is online. We will therefore add the NOAA Web site 
information to our rules, but decline ACR's suggestion that we require 
manufacturers to add the Web site address to the PLB label as beyond 
the scope of the Notice, which did not propose to change the labeling 
requirements.\6\ Manufacturers may of course include such information 
with each PLB if they choose.
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    \4\ No commenter supported COSPAS-SARSAT's request that the 
Commission amend part 95 to emphasize that PLB owners are required 
to register their beacons. We conclude that the proposal is 
unnecessary because the rule already makes this clear.
    \5\ We note in response to commenters' concern that the mailing 
address set forth in the rule is obsolete that the rule was updated 
after those comments were filed.
    \6\ We note that ACR's suggestion that we prohibit the marketing 
as a ``Personal Locator Beacon'' or ``PLB'' of any device that does 
not meet the RTCM standard is under consideration in another 
proceeding.
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Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (SENDs)

    14. Although there is no established definition for the term 
``SENDs,'' it is often used to refer to small transmitters that provide 
a means for individuals in remote areas to alert others of an emergency 
situation and to aid SAR personnel to locate those in distress. These 
devices differ from PLBs in that they operate on satellite networks 
other than the 406 MHz COSPAS-SARSAT system. The service provided is 
typically a subscription service that sends data to a satellite, and is 
then used to create a Web-based report that enables the tracking of 
persons.
    15. RTCM, with participation from the mobile satellite industry, 
has developed minimum requirements for the functional and technical 
performance of SENDs to ensure that these devices will work with a high 
degree of reliability in emergency situations. The Commission sought 
comment on RTCM's proposal that the part 95 rules be amended to 
incorporate by reference its SEND standard, and to prohibit devices 
that do not meet that standard from being marketed as SENDs. The 
Commission noted, however, that such devices do not require 
authorization under part 95 because they already can operate pursuant 
to the part 25 mobile satellite service (MSS) rules, and tentatively 
concluded that incorporating what is effectively a voluntary standard 
is unnecessary and would not further the public interest.
    16. Commenters are split regarding whether we should incorporate by 
reference RTCM's SEND standard into our rules. Most argue that it 
should be incorporated because users rely on satellite emergency 
notification services in emergency situations and expect devices to 
perform in a manner similar to PLBs (which, as discussed above, are 
required to meet the relevant RTCM standard), but the part 25 MSS rules 
do not include any specific provisions to ensure that devices will 
perform with the degree of reliability specified in the RTCM standard. 
ACR Electronics Inc. (ACR), a manufacturer of survival products, argues 
further that compliance with the RTCM SEND standard should be mandatory 
for all satellite communications devices outside the 406 MHz band that 
provide emergency distress notification functions, except for devices 
that offer real-time two-way switched voice service. Iridium Satellite 
LLC (Iridium), an MSS provider, argues that incorporation by reference 
of the standard is unnecessary because voluntary compliance with the 
SEND standard by manufacturers and MSS providers is sufficient.
    17. We are adopting RTCM's proposal to the extent that we 
incorporate the RTCM SEND standard by reference under the part 25 MSS 
rules for devices that are marketed as SENDs. We address commenters' 
concerns about consumer expectations by amending part 25 to specify 
that the terms ``SEND'' and ``Satellite Emergency Notification Device'' 
may be used in marketing and sales only for devices that meet the 
requirements set forth in the RTCM SEND standard. We agree with Iridium 
that requiring all devices that are capable of transmitting an 
emergency distress alert to meet the RTCM SEND standard is 
overbroad.\7\
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    \7\ Implementation of such a requirement could require a more 
precise definition of what devices are covered, which is beyond the 
scope of the record in this proceeding.
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Maritime Survivor Locating Devices (MSLDs)

    18. MSLDs are intended for use by persons at risk of falling into 
the water such as mariners and workers on marine installations or 
docks, or by divers

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returning to the surface out of sight of their dive boats. They can be 
worn on or as part of a garment or life jacket, and are intended to 
facilitate the rescue of personnel in the vicinity of their vessel or 
structure so that immediate assistance can be rendered without a time-
consuming and expensive SAR operation. In light of this narrower focus, 
MSLDs do not operate on a frequency monitored by COSPAS-SARSAT, and do 
not transmit with as much power or for as long as EPIRBs or PLBs. 
Instead, MSLDs transmit on frequencies that are received on a device 
monitored by personnel at the MSLD-wearer's vessel or facility.
    19. RTCM has developed minimum requirements for the functional and 
technical performance of MSLDs. The Commission proposed to incorporate 
by reference RTCM's MSLD standard into the part 95 rules to allow 
certification and use of devices meeting the standard, and asked 
whether manufacturers should be required to coordinate their 
applications for equipment certification of MSLDs with the United 
States Coast Guard (Coast Guard). The Commission also sought comment on 
the appropriate timetable for phasing out manufacture, sale and use of 
devices intended to aid in the location of persons in the water that 
were approved by waiver but do not comply with RTCM's MSLD standard.
    20. Commenters agree that RTCM's MSLD standard should be 
incorporated by reference in our rules. We agree that allowing for 
certification and use of MSLDs will enhance safety for individuals on 
or near the water by providing for earlier alerting and rescues that 
are both more rapid and effective and less costly, and we therefore 
incorporate the standard into part 95 as proposed.\8\ We also agree 
with commenters who support coordination with the Coast Guard for 
equipment authorization to assure that MSLDs meet the RTCM MSLD 
standard, and will therefore also require such coordination. As 
suggested by RTCM, certification of MSLDs that include a function 
intended to send a distress message directly to the Coast Guard or any 
other SAR organization will not be permitted unless that function is 
endorsed by the Coast Guard in its pre-certification review. With 
respect to the appropriate timeline for phasing out devices that were 
approved by waiver but do not comply with the standard, we will 
prohibit the continued manufacture, importation, and sale of non-
compliant devices as of one year after the effective date of the rules 
adopted herein, but will permit the continued use of those devices.
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    \8\ After the Notice was released, RTCM revised the standard. 
The amended standard adds an option permitting ``open loop'' 
operation allowing alerting of all vessels in the vicinity with 
Digital Selective Calling (DSC) radios of the alert situation. DSC 
is a digital signaling system that automatically allows ship and 
shore stations to call one another directly, similar to the use of a 
telephone, and establish contact. RTCM requests that we incorporate 
its amended MSLD standard but we decline to authorize the ``open 
loop'' option without notice and comment. Instead, we incorporate by 
reference the 2012 version of RTCM's MSLD standard.
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Automatic Identification System Search and Rescue Transmitters (AIS-
SARTs)

    21. Like EPIRBs, SARTs are carried on board ships and survival 
craft to alert others of a distress situation, and to assist SAR 
personnel in locating those in distress. Currently, the part 80 rules 
authorize only traditional SARTs, which act as active reflectors of 
9.2-9.5 GHz (9 GHz) radar signals. Each time a 9 GHz SART detects a 
pulse from the radar of a searching vessel that is within approximately 
five nautical miles, the SART transmits a signal that is displayed on 
the screen of the radar that activated it.
    22. An AIS-SART, as part of the AIS maritime navigation safety 
communications system, is used to locate a survival craft or distressed 
vessel by transmitting a unique identification code and GPS coordinates 
to all AIS-enabled devices within VHF radio range. The International 
Maritime Organization (IMO) has amended the GMDSS regulations to permit 
AIS-SARTs as an alternative to 9 GHz SARTs. In addition, the 
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) approved performance 
and technical specifications for AIS-SARTs. In the Notice, the 
Commission proposed to incorporate by reference the IMO and IEC 
standards for AIS-SARTs into our rules, which would allow certification 
and use of AIS-SARTs meeting those standards, and to require 
manufacturers to coordinate AIS-SART equipment certification 
applications with the Coast Guard.
    23. We agree with the commenters that AIS-SARTs represent an 
important tool for improving maritime safety and have gained 
international acceptance, and therefore revise Part 80 to incorporate 
by reference the IMO and IEC standards for AIS-SARTs. We will require 
that AIS-SART equipment certification applications be coordinated with 
the Coast Guard, as is required for other AIS equipment. We agree with 
RTCM's suggestion to use the term ``search and rescue locating 
devices'' when referring to both traditional SARTs and AIS-SARTs, but 
we decline, as beyond the scope of this proceeding, its request that we 
amend the rules regarding the stowage of these devices on ships 
equipped with free-fall lifeboats.

Ship Radar

    24. Section 80.273 of the Commission's Rules contains the technical 
requirements for radar equipment installed on ships, and incorporates 
by reference relevant international standards for such equipment, 
including IEC 62388 for compulsory vessels and IEC 62252 for voluntary 
vessels. As proposed in the Notice, we amend part 80 to remove the 
incorporation by reference of IEC 62252 because manufacturers have not 
designed or built radar sets to this standard, and IEC has withdrawn 
the standard. We understand that RTCM is in the process of drafting new 
ship radar standards for voluntary vessels and anticipates publishing 
these standards in the near future. Voluntary vessels are permitted to 
carry radar equipment intended for use solely on voluntary vessels, 
without reference to any particular standard, until appropriate 
standards are developed and adopted. As proposed, we also correct a 
cross-reference to clarify that radar installations on compulsory 
vessels must meet IEC 62388.\9\
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    \9\ In addition, as suggested by commenters, we revise section 
80.273(b) to agree with the latest IEC 62388 standard and require 
``effective diameter of not less than 320 millimeters (12.6 
inches)'' for the radar display, rather than 340 millimeters (13.4 
inches).
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Portable Marine VHF Radios on Shore

    25. Section 80.115(a)(2) of the Commission's Rules prohibits the 
use on shore of a portable marine VHF radio associated with a vessel. 
The GMDSS Task Force proposed that the rule be amended to allow persons 
on shore within three miles of the water to use portable marine VHF 
radios to communicate with the vessel that is subject to the ship 
station authorization. The Commission, however, noted that limitations 
on the use of maritime frequencies are intended to minimize 
interference to maritime communications (particularly distress and 
safety messages), and tentatively concluded that permitting the use of 
portable marine VHF radio transmitters on shore would not further the 
public interest. We questioned the practical enforceability of a three-
mile rule, and asked whether shore parties' communications needs could 
be met by commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) or PRS options. The 
Commission also asked commenters supporting the proposal to discuss 
what limitations would be appropriate to

[[Page 90743]]

minimize the impact on maritime communications.
    26. The GMDSS Task Force acknowledges that CMRS options likely will 
be preferred in areas with reliable coverage, and asserts that this 
makes it unlikely that use of low-powered portable marine VHF radio 
radios on land will interfere with maritime communications. It also 
argues that permitting such use will further the public interest by 
encouraging more boaters to a carry a VHF radio, which has safety 
benefits not available from CMRS or PRS options because marine VHF 
channels can be used to contact the Coast Guard and other nearby 
vessels in a distress situation, for bridge-to-bridge communications, 
and to receive maritime safety information broadcasts.
    27. We agree with commenters that the public interest will be 
served by allowing the use of portable VHF radios ashore, so long as it 
is limited to enhancing the usefulness of marine VHF radios without 
negatively affecting maritime communications. Such limited onshore use 
will promote flexibility in the use of marine radio equipment in a 
manner that furthers maritime safety by encouraging more boaters to a 
carry a VHF radio. Specifically, as suggested by ACR, we will permit 
use of portable marine VHF radios only in areas adjacent to the water, 
such as docks and beaches. In addition, as suggested by RTCM, and 
consistent with our requirements for offshore use, onshore 
communications using such radios must relate to the operational and 
business needs of the associated vessel, and must be limited to the 
minimum practicable transmission time.\10\ We amend section 80.115 
accordingly.\11\ We caution operators that the Commission's Enforcement 
Bureau will continue to investigate complaints against operators who 
improperly use marine VHF radios, particularly any violation that 
concerns unauthorized transmissions on 156.800 MHz (VHF Channel 16).
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    \10\ We remind all operators that superfluous radiocommunication 
is considered an unauthorized transmission in the Maritime Services. 
See 47 CFR 80.89(a).
    \11\ We amend the rule to clarify that portable VHF DSC radios 
should operate on frequency 156.525 MHz (Channel 70), which is the 
DSC Distress, Safety and Calling channel but was not specifically 
listed in section 80.115.
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VHF Digital Small Message Services (VDSMS)

    28. VDSMS is intended to provide short-distance digital messaging 
ship-to-ship, shore-to-ship and ship-to-shore. The International 
Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the future need for 
worldwide systems to exchange data and email on maritime VHF channels 
and the availability of new digital data systems that provide this 
service efficiently and without harmful interference. In the United 
States, however, maritime communications generally are limited to 
particular emission designators in order to avoid interference between 
users; a full range of data transmissions is permitted only on VHF 
Public Coast frequencies and one channel in Alaska.
    29. RTCM developed a technical standard for VDSMS that enables 
transmission of short digital messages without interfering with other 
communications on the same channel. The Commission proposed to amend 
part 80 to incorporate by reference the RTCM VDSMS standard in order to 
permit transmission of short data messages on VHF maritime private 
communications frequencies. It tentatively concluded that accommodating 
VDSMS in the Commission's rules would advance the Commission's goal of 
promoting flexibility and efficiency in the use of marine radio 
equipment in a manner that would further maritime safety.
    30. RTCM, the only commenter addressing this issue, agrees that 
part 80 should be revised to incorporate by reference its VDSMS 
standard. It argues that adopting a single VDSMS standard will avoid 
use of a variety of different and potentially incompatible data 
protocols, and ensure VDSMS communications are not disrupted. We agree, 
and amend part 80 to incorporate by reference the RTCM VDSMS standard. 
We note that VDSMS will not be permitted on or adjacent to marine 
safety and security channels and other channels excluded under Appendix 
18 of the ITU Radio Regulations.\12\ Further, VDSMS operation on the 
non-excluded VHF frequencies is subject to existing eligibility 
requirements.
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    \12\ We include port operations channels among the marine safety 
channels on which VDSMS will not be permitted. Port operations 
communications are ``[c]ommunications in or near a port, in locks or 
in waterways between coast stations and ship stations or between 
ship stations, which relate to the operational handling, movement 
and safety of ships and in emergency to the safety of persons.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prohibition of Applications To Assign or Transfer Control of Ship 
Licenses

    31. Under section 1.948 of the Commission's rules, ship station 
licenses may not be assigned or transferred. Instead of efficiently 
assigning or transferring the license to another entity, ship station 
licensees must submit the ship station license to the Commission for 
cancellation; and the entity acquiring the vessel must instead apply 
for new ship licenses in its own name. In the Notice, the Commission 
noted that most other types of wireless radio licenses may be assigned 
or transferred, and proposed to remove the prohibition on the 
assignment or transfer of ship station licenses. The Commission 
reasoned that ``[t]he prohibition on assigning or transferring ship 
licenses . . . requires applicants and Commission licensing personnel 
to undertake a relatively cumbersome process when control of ship radio 
station assets are to change hands, and there appears to be little 
public interest benefit, if any, for continuing the prohibition.''
    32. We believe that it would serve the public interest to permit 
the assignment and transfer of control of ship station licenses. 
Permitting the assignment and transfer of control of ship station 
licenses would be more administratively efficient than maintaining the 
current prohibition on applications to assign or transfer such 
licenses, and would reduce transactional costs for ship station 
licensees.\13\ RTCM, the only commenter addressing this issue, agrees 
that it would be beneficial to permit the assignment and transfer of 
ship station licenses. We will therefore amend section 1.948(b)(5) to 
remove the prohibition of applications to assign or transfer control of 
ship station licenses. Ship station licensees and potential licensees 
are cautioned that failure to obtain Commission approval for an 
assignment or transfer of control of a ship station license may result 
in enforcement action being taken against the entities involved.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ In addition, we discern no basis to treat ship station 
licenses differently in this regard from the other types of wireless 
licenses for which assignment and transfer of control applications 
are accepted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Corrections

    33. As proposed, we correct certain part 80 rules to change 
erroneous references to Title II of the Communications Act to refer to 
Title III, restore subparagraphs that were inadvertently deleted, and 
correct typographical errors. No commenter addressed these corrections.

Procedural Matters

A. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    34. This document contains new information collection requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-
13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, 
and

[[Page 90744]]

other Federal agencies are invited to comment on the new or modified 
information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. In 
addition, we note that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief 
Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we 
previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might 
``further reduce the information collection burden for small business 
concerns with fewer than 25 employees.''
    35. In this present document, we have we establish requirements for 
the certification of MSLDs, and AIS-SARTs devices. The rule would 
require, inter alia, that applicants for certification submit specified 
information, including copies of test reports and test data, to the 
United States Coast Guard prior to filing their applications with the 
Commission, and that they include with their applications to the 
Commission copies of letters from the United States Coast Guard stating 
that the device in question satisfies all of the requirements of all 
the pertinent standard. We find that the certification requirements 
adopted herein would not impose an undue burden or excessive cost on 
such manufacturers, including those that have fewer than 25 employees.

B. Report to Congress

    The Commission will send a copy of this R&O in a report to be sent 
to Congress and the General Accountability Office pursuant to the 
Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

C. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    36. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the 
Commission has prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) 
of the rules adopted in this Report and Order.
    37. Summary. The rules adopted in the Report and Order are intended 
to update the rules and requirements for technologies used to locate 
and rescue distressed ships and individuals in distress at sea or on 
land to provide better and more accurate data to rescue personnel. The 
Commission amends its rules to (a) require emergency position 
indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) to be capable of broadcasting 
position data when activated; (b) update the equipment standards for 
Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs); (c) provide that only devices that 
meet the RTCM standard for Satellite Emergency Notification Devices 
(SENDs) may be marketed for use in the United States as SENDs; (d) 
permit equipment certification and use of Maritime Survivor Locating 
Devices (MSLDs) that comply with RTCM standards; (e) provide for 
equipment certification and use of Automatic Identification System 
Search and Rescue Transmitters (AIS-SARTs) that comply with 
international standards; (f) clarify the rules regarding ship radar 
equipment; (g) permit the use of portable marine VHF radio transmitters 
by persons on shore that are on or adjacent to the dockside of the 
associated vessel; (h) permit VHF digital small message services 
(VDSMS) on certain maritime VHF channels; (i) allow assignment or 
transfer of control of ship station licenses; and (j) correct certain 
typographical errors.
    38. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to 
Which Rules Will Apply. The closest estimate of the number of small 
businesses that may potentially be affected by our rule changes is the 
SBA's ``Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite)'' 
category. This industry comprises establishments engaged in operating 
and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide 
communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have 
spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as 
cellular phone services, paging services, wireless Internet access, and 
wireless video services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules 
for the category Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except 
satellite) is that a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer 
employees. Census data for 2007 show that there were 1,383 firms that 
operated for the entire year. Of this total, 1,368 firms had employment 
of fewer than 1000 employees. Thus under this category and the 
associated small business size standard, the Commission estimates that 
the majority of wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) 
are small.
    39. Marine Radio Services. Small businesses in the aviation and 
marine radio services use a marine very high frequency (VHF), medium 
frequency (MF), or high frequency (HF) radio, any type of emergency 
position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) and/or radar, an aircraft 
radio, and/or any type of emergency locator transmitter (ELT). The 
Commission has not developed a definition of small entities 
specifically applicable to these small businesses. For purposes of this 
analysis, the Commission uses the SBA small business size standard for 
the category Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except satellite),'' 
which is 1,500 or fewer employees. Census data for 2007, which 
supersede data contained in the 2002 Census, show that there were 1,383 
firms that operated that year. Of those 1,383, 1,368 had fewer than 100 
employees, and 15 firms had more than 100 employees. Most applicants 
for recreational licenses are individuals. Approximately 581,000 ship 
station licensees and 131,000 aircraft station licensees operate 
domestically and are not subject to the radio carriage requirements of 
any statute or treaty. For purposes of our evaluations in this 
analysis, we estimate that there are up to approximately 712,000 
licensees that are small businesses (or individuals) under the SBA 
standard. In addition, between December 3, 1998 and December 14, 1998, 
the Commission held an auction of 42 VHF Public Coast licenses in the 
157.1875-157.4500 MHz (ship transmit) and 161.775-162.0125 MHz (coast 
transmit) bands. For purposes of the auction, the Commission defined a 
``small'' business as an entity that, together with controlling 
interests and affiliates, has average gross revenues for the preceding 
three years not to exceed $15 million dollars. In addition, a ``very 
small'' business is one that, together with controlling interests and 
affiliates, has average gross revenues for the preceding three years 
not to exceed $3 million dollars. There are approximately 10,672 
licensees in the Marine Coast Service, and the Commission estimates 
that almost all of them qualify as ``small'' businesses under the above 
special small business size standards and may be affected by rules 
adopted pursuant to the Report and Order.
    40. Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications 
Equipment Manufacturing. The U.S. Census defines this industry as 
comprising ``establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio 
and television broadcast and wireless communications equipment. 
Examples of products made by the establishments are transmitting and 
receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, 
cellular phones, mobile communications equipment, and radio and 
television studio and broadcasting equipment. The SBA has established a 
size standard for this industry which classifies any businesses in this 
industry as small if it has 750 or fewer employees. Census data for 
2007 indicate that 939 such businesses operated in that year. Of that 
number, 912 businesses operated with fewer than 500 employees. Based on 
this data, we conclude that a majority of businesses in this industry 
are small by the SBA standard.
    41. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements for Small

[[Page 90745]]

Entities. In the Report and Order we adopt six rule amendments that may 
affect reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for 
small entities. First, we amend section 80.1061 of the rules to require 
that EPIRBs comply with the RTCM Standard 11000.3, and to mandate that 
vessels that are required to carry EPIRBs replace their existing 
radiobeacons with EPIRBs that meet the new standard within six years of 
the effective date of the rule amendment. Second, we amend section 
95.1402 of the rules to require that PLBs comply with the RTCM Standard 
11010.2. Third, we adopt section 25.301 of the rules to specify that 
the term SEND refers only to a device that meets the requirements set 
forth in the RTCM SEND Standard 12800.0 and make it unlawful to market 
for use in the United States a non-compliant device as a SEND. Fourth, 
we amend section 95.1043 of the rules to require that MSLDs comply with 
the RTCM Standard 11901.1. Fifth, we amend section 80.233 of the rules 
to require that AIS-SARTs comply with the IEC Standard 61097-14 Ed. 1.0 
(2010-02) and IMO Resolution MSC.246(83). Sixth, we amend section 
80.364 of the rules to require that VDSMS equipment comply with the 
RTCM Standard 12301.1 We conclude that none of these matters will have 
a direct, significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The equipment standards are in use internationally, so it 
imposes no additional burden on manufacturers to meet those standards 
for equipment to be used in the United States. Moreover, most boat 
owners replace their EPIRBs at the battery replacement date, which is 
typically five years after the EPIRB is sold, so a six-year deadline 
for certain vessels will not have a significant impact.
    42. Response to Comments by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the 
Small Business Administration. The Chief Counsel did not file any 
comments in response to the proposed rules in this proceeding.
    43. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on 
Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered. With respect 
to all of the rules adopted in the Report and Order that may affect 
reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements for small 
entities, as identified in this FRFA we have considered how we might 
minimize the economic impact on small entities, and we have considered 
alternative measures that might minimize that impact. As a general 
matter, the alternatives considered, and in many cases adopted, include 
exempting small entities from the requirement; providing 
``grandfathering'' protection from the requirement; providing a 
transition period to give either small entities or all affected 
entities additional time to come into compliance; and imposing a less 
burdensome requirement, either for small entities or for all affected 
entities. In addition, to the extent we establish here new standards 
for authorization of marine radio equipment, we have generally required 
compliance with performance standards, rather than prescribing a 
particular equipment design.

Ordering Clauses

    44. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to sections 4(i), 303(r), 
and 332(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 
154(i), 303(r), 332(a)(2), that parts 1, 25, 80, and 95 of the 
Commission's rules ARE AMENDED as set forth in the attached Appendix B, 
and such rule amendments SHALL BE EFFECTIVE thirty (30) days after 
publication of the rules amendments in the Federal Register, except for 
47 CFR 80.233, 80.1061, 95.1402, 95.1043, which contain new information 
collection requirements that require approval by the OMB under the PRA 
and which WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE after such approval, on the effective 
date specified in a document that the Commission publishes in the 
Federal Register announcing such approval and effective date.

List of Subjects

47 CFR Part 1

    Communications equipment, Radio.

47 CFR Parts 25, 80 and 95

    Communications equipment, Incorporation by reference, Radio.

Federal Communications Commission.
Gloria J. Miles,
Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.

Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 1, 25, 80 and 95, as 
follows:

PART 1--PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

0
1. The authority citation for Part 1 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 155, 157, 225, 303(r), 309, 
1403, 1404, 1451, and 1452.


0
2. Section 1.948 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(5) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  1.948   Assignment of authorization or transfer of control, 
notification of consummation.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (5) Licenses, permits, and authorizations for stations in the 
Amateur, Commercial Operator and Personal Radio Services (except 218-
219 MHz Service) may not be assigned or transferred, unless otherwise 
stated.
* * * * *

PART 25--SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS

0
3. The authority citation for Part 25 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Interprets or applies 47 U.S.C. 154, 301, 302, 303, 
307, 309, 310, 319, 332, 605, and 721, unless otherwise noted.


0
4. Subpart E, consisting of Sec.  25.301, is added to read as follows:

Subpart E--Miscellaneous


Sec.  25.301  Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (SENDs).

    No device described by the marketer or seller using the terms 
``SEND'' or ``Satellite Emergency Notification Device'' may be marketed 
or sold in the United States unless it complies with the requirements 
of RTCM 12800.0. RTCM 12800.0, ``Satellite Emergency Notification 
Devices (SENDs),'' dated August 1, 2011 is incorporated by reference in 
accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a), and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of the 
document are available and may be obtained from the Radio Technical 
Commission for Maritime Services, 1611 N. Kent Street, Suite 605, 
Arlington, Virginia 22209. The document is available for inspection at 
Commission headquarters at 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. 
Copies may also be inspected at the National Archives and Records 
Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this 
material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

PART 80--STATIONS IN THE MARITIME SERVICES

0
5. The authority citation for Part 80 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 4, 303, 307(e), 309, and 332, 48 Stat. 1066, 
1082, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 307(e), 309, and 332, unless 
otherwise noted. Interpret or apply 48 Stat. 1064-1068, 1081-1105, 
as amended; 47 U.S.C. 151-155, 301-609; 3 UST 3450, 3 UST 4726, 12 
UST 2377.


0
6. Section 80.7 is amended by:

[[Page 90746]]

0
a. In paragraph (d)(5), removing ``IEC 1097-3:1994'' and adding in its 
place ``IEC 61097-3:1994''; in paragraph (d)(8), removing ``IEC 1097-
7:1996'' and adding in its place ``IEC 61097-7:1996''; in paragraph 
(d)(12), removing ``IEC 1097-12:1996(E) and adding in its place ``IEC 
61097-12:1996(E).
0
b. Removing paragraph (d)(17), redesignating paragraphs (d)(14) through 
(16) as (d)(15) through (17), and adding and reserving new paragraph 
(d)(14); and
0
c. Revising paragraph (f)(3) and adding paragraph (f)(4).
    The additions and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  80.7   Incorporation by reference.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (3) RTCM Standard 11020.1 (``RTCM 11020''), ``RTCM Standard 
11020.1, Ship Security Alert Systems (SSAS) Using the Cospas-Sarsat 
Satellite System,'' October 9, 2009, IBR approved for Sec.  80.277.
    (4) RTCM Standard 12301.1 (``RTCM 12301''), ``VHF-FM Digital Small 
Message Services,'' July 10, 2009, IBR approved for Sec.  80.364(a).

0
7. Section 80.7 is amended by:
0
a. Adding paragraphs (b)(28);
0
b. Redesignating paragraphs (d)(14) through (19) as (d)(15) through 
(20);
0
c. Adding a new paragraph (d)(14);
0
d. Revising paragraph (f)(2); and
0
e. Removing paragraph (g).
    The additions and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  80.7   Incorporation by reference.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (28) IMO Resolution MSC.246(83), (``IMO Resolution MSC.246(83)'') 
``Adoption of Performance Standards for Survival Craft AIS Search and 
Rescue Transmitters (AIS-SART) for Use in Search and Rescue 
Operations,'' IBR approved for Sec.  80.233(a).
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (14) IEC 61097-14 (``IEC 61097-14''), Edition 1.0, 2010-02, 
``Global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS)--Part 14: AIS 
search and rescue transmitter (AIS-SART)--Operational and performance 
requirements, methods of testing and required test results,'' IBR 
approved for Sec.  80.233(a).
* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (2) RTCM Standard 11000.3 (``RTCM 11000''), ``406 MHz Satellite 
Emergency Position Radiobeacons (EPIRBs),'' June 12, 2012, IBR approved 
for Sec.  80.1061(a) and (c).
* * * * *

0
8. Section 80.59 is amended by revising the note in paragraph (a)(1) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  80.59  Compulsory ship inspections.

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    Note to paragraph (a)(1): Nothing in this section prohibits 
Commission inspectors from inspecting ships. The mandatory inspection 
of U.S. vessels must be conducted by an FCC-licensed technician holding 
an FCC General Radiotelephone Operator License, GMDSS Radio 
Maintainer's License, Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's 
Certificate, First Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, or 
Radiotelegraph Operator License in accordance with the following table:
* * * * *

0
9. Section 80.115 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(1) through (4) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  80.115  Operational conditions for use of associated ship units.

    (a) * * *
    (1) It must only be operated on the safety and calling frequency 
156.800 MHz or 156.525 MHz or on commercial or noncommercial VHF 
intership frequencies appropriate to the class of ship station with 
which it is associated.
    (2) Except for safety purposes, it must only be used to communicate 
with the ship station with which it is associated or with associated 
ship units of the same ship station. Such associated ship units may be 
used from shore only adjacent to the waterway (such as on a dock or 
beach) where the ship is located. Communications from shore must relate 
to the operational and business needs of the ship including the 
transmission of safety information, and must be limited to the minimum 
practicable transmission time.
    (3) It must be equipped to transmit on the frequency 156.800 MHz or 
156.525 MHz and at least one appropriate intership frequency.
    (4) Calling must occur on the frequency 156.800 MHz or 156.525 MHz 
unless calling and working on an intership frequency has been 
prearranged.
* * * * *

0
10. Section 80.157 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  80.157  Radio officer defined.

    A radio officer means a person holding a First Class Radiotelegraph 
Operator's Certificate, Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's 
Certificate, or Radiotelegraph Operator License issued by the 
Commission, who is employed to operate a ship radio station in 
compliance with Part II of Title III of the Communications Act. Such a 
person is also required to be licensed as a radio officer by the U.S. 
Coast Guard when employed to operate a ship radiotelegraph station.

0
11. Section 80.159 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  80.159  Operator requirements of Title III of the Communications 
Act and the Safety Convention.

* * * * *
    (b) Each cargo ship equipped with a radiotelegraph station in 
accordance with Part II of Title III of the Communications Act and 
which has a radiotelegraph auto alarm must carry a radio officer 
holding a First Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, Second 
Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, or Radiotelegraph Operator 
License who has had at least six months service as a radio officer on 
board U.S. ships. If the radiotelegraph station does not have an auto 
alarm, a second radio officer who holds a First Class Radiotelegraph 
Operator's Certificate, Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's 
Certificate, or Radiotelegraph Operator License must be carried.
* * * * *

0
12. Section 80.203 is amended by adding paragraphs (b)(3)(i) through 
(iv) to read as follows:


Sec.  80.203  Authorization of transmitters for licensing.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) Internal adjustments of the transmitter;
    (ii) Use of controls normally inaccessible to the station operator;
    (iii) Use of external devices or equipment modules made available 
only to service and maintenance personnel through a service company; 
and
    (iv) Copying of a channel selection program directly from another 
transmitter (cloning) using devices and procedures made available only 
to service and maintenance personnel through a service company.
* * * * *

0
13. Section 80.231 is amended by revising paragraph (c) introductory 
text and paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  80.231  Technical requirements for Class B Automatic 
Identification System equipment.

* * * * *
    (c) Prior to submitting a certification application for a Class B 
AIS device, the following information must be submitted in duplicate to 
[email protected] or the

[[Page 90747]]

Commandant (CG-ENG-4), U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509, 2703 Martin Luther 
King Jr. Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20593-7509:
* * * * *
    (e) A certification application for an AIS device must contain a 
copy of the U.S. Coast Guard letter stating that the device satisfies 
all of the requirements specified in IEC 62287-1, a copy of the 
technical test data, and the instruction manual(s).

0
14. Section 80.233 is added to subpart E to read as follows:


Sec.  80.233  Technical requirements for Automatic Identification 
System Search and Rescue Transmitters (AIS-SART) equipment.

    (a) Automatic Identification System Search and Rescue Transmitter 
(AIS-SART) equipment must meet the technical requirements of IEC 61097-
14 and IMO Resolution MSC.246(83) (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  
80.7(b)).
    (b) Prior to submitting a certification application for an AIS-SART 
device, the following information must be submitted in duplicate to the 
U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE., Stop 7126, 
Washington, DC 20593-7126:
    (1) The name of the manufacturer or grantee and the model number of 
the AIS-SART device; and
    (2) Copies of the test report and test data obtained from the test 
facility showing that the device complies with the environmental and 
operational requirements identified in IEC 61097-14.
    (c) After reviewing the information described in paragraph (b) of 
this section, the U.S. Coast Guard will issue a letter stating whether 
the AIS-SART device satisfies all of the requirements specified in IEC 
61097-14.
    (d) A certification application for an AIS-SART device must contain 
a copy of the U.S. Coast Guard letter stating that the device satisfies 
all of the requirements specified in IEC 61097-14, a copy of the 
technical test data, and the instruction manual(s).

0
15. Section 80.273 is amended by removing paragraph (b), redesignating 
paragraphs (c) and (d) as paragraphs (b) and (c), and revising newly 
redesignated paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  80.273  Radar standards.

* * * * *
* * * * *
    (b) For any ship of 10,000 tons gross tonnage and upwards or that 
is otherwise required to be equipped with two radar systems, each of 
the two radar systems must be capable of operating independently and 
must comply with the specifications, standards and general requirements 
set forth on paragraph (a) of this section. One of the systems must 
provide a display with an effective diameter of not less than 320 
millimeters (12.6 inches), (16-inch cathode ray tube). The other system 
must provide a display with an effective diameter of not less than 250 
millimeters (9.8 inches), (12-inch cathode ray tube).
* * * * *

0
16. Section 80.277 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  80.277  Ship Security Alert System (SSAS).

    (a) * * *
    (1) Equipment that complies with RTCM 11020 (incorporated by 
reference, Sec.  80.7); or
* * * * *

0
17. The first undesignated center heading under subpart H is revised to 
read as follows:

Radiotelegraphy and Data

0
18. Section 80.351 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  80.351  Scope.

    The following sections describe the carrier frequencies and general 
uses of radiotelegraphy and data transmission with respect to the 
following:
    (a) Distress, urgency, safety, call and reply.
    (b) Working.
    (c) Digital selective calling (DSC).
    (d) Narrow-band direct-printing (NB-DP).
    (e) Facsimile.
    (f) VHF-FM digital small message services (VDSMS).

0
19. Section 80.364 is added under the undesignated center heading for 
Radiotelegraphy and Data to read as follows:


Sec.  80.364  Frequencies for VHF digital small message services 
(VDSMS).

    Frequencies in the 156-162 MHz band may be used for VHF digital 
small message services (VDSMS) complying with RTCM 12301 (incorporated 
by reference, see Sec.  80.7), except as follows

     VHF-FM Channels Not Available for Digital Small Message Service
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Channel                          Frequency (MHz)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    01A                              156.050
                    63A                              156.175
                    05A                              156.250
                    65A                              156.275
                     06                              156.300
                    66A                              156.325
                     67                              156.375
                     70                              156.525
                     12                              156.600
                     13                              156.650
                     73                              156.675
                     14                              156.700
                     74                              156.725
                     15                              156.750
                     75                              156.775
                     16                              156.800
                     76                              156.825
                     17                              156.850
                     77                              156.875
                    20A                              157.000
                    22A                              157.100
              AIS \1/2\                      161.975/162.025
------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
20. Section 80.1005 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  80.1005  Inspection of station.

    The bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone station will be inspected on 
vessels subject to regular inspections pursuant to the requirements of 
Parts II and III of Title III of the Communications Act, the Safety 
Convention or the Great Lakes Agreement at the time of the regular 
inspection. If after such inspection, the Commission determines that 
the Bridge-to-Bridge Act, the rules of the Commission and the station 
license are met, an endorsement will be made on the appropriate 
document. The validity of the endorsement will run concurrently with 
the period of the regular inspection. Each vessel must carry a 
certificate with a valid endorsement while subject to the Bridge-to-
Bridge Act. All other bridge-to-bridge stations will be inspected from 
time to time. An inspection of the bridge-to-bridge station on a Great 
Lakes Agreement vessel must normally be made at the same time as the 
Great Lakes Agreement inspection is conducted by a technician holding 
one of the following: A General Radiotelephone Operator License, a 
GMDSS Radio Maintainer's License, a Radiotelegraph Operator License, a 
Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, or a First Class 
Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate. Additionally, the technician 
must not be the vessel's owner, operator, master, or an employee of any 
of them. Ships subject to the Bridge-to-Bridge Act may, in lieu of an 
endorsed certificate, certify

[[Page 90748]]

compliance in the station log required by section 80.409(f).

0
21. Section 80.1053 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  80.1053  Prohibition on certification, manufacture, importation, 
sale or use of Class A, Class B, Class S, and INMARSAT-E EPIRBs.

    The manufacture, importation, sale or use of Class A, Class B, 
Class S, or INMARSAT-E EPIRBs is prohibited. New Class A, Class B, 
Class S, or INMARSAT-E EPIRBs will no longer be certified by the 
Commission.

0
22. Section 80.1061 is amended by:
0
a. Revising paragraph (a);
0
b. Revising paragraph (c) introductory text and (c)(1); and
0
c. Revising paragraphs (d) and (e).
    The additions and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  80.1061  Special requirements for 406.0-406.1 MHz EPIRB stations.

    (a) Notwithstanding the provisions in paragraph (b) of this 
section, 406.0-406.1 MHz EPIRBs must meet all the technical and 
performance standards contained in RTCM 11000 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  80.7), and must also comply with the standards 
specified in Sec.  80.1101(c)(5). Beginning January 17, 2018, all new 
applications for certification of 406.0-406.1 MHz EPIRBs must 
demonstrate compliance with the requirements of RTCM 11000. 406.0-406.1 
MHz EPIRBs that do not meet the requirements of RTCM 11000 shall not be 
manufactured, imported, or sold in the United States beginning January 
17, 2020. Operation of 406.0-406.1 MHz EPIRBs that do not meet the 
requirements of RTCM 11000 shall be prohibited on vessels subject to 47 
CFR subparts R, S, or W beginning January 17, 2023. Existing 406.0-
406.1 MHz EPIRBs that do not meet the requirements of RTCM 11000 must 
be operated as certified.
* * * * *
    (c) Prior to submitting a certification application for a 406.0-
406.1 MHz radiobeacon, the radiobeacon must be certified by a test 
facility recognized by one of the COSPAS-SARSAT Partners that the 
equipment satisfies the design characteristics associated with the 
measurement methods incorporated in RTCM Standard 11000 (incorporated 
by reference, see Sec.  80.7). Additionally, the radiobeacon must be 
subjected to the environmental and operational tests associated with 
the test procedures described in Appendix A of RTCM Standard 11000, by 
a test facility accepted by the U.S. Coast Guard for this purpose. 
Information regarding accepted test facilities may be obtained from 
Commandant (CG-ENG-4), U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509, 2703 Martin Luther 
King Jr. Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20593-7126, http://cgmix.uscg.mil/EQLabs/EQLabsSearch.aspx.
    (1) After a 406.0-406.1 MHz EPIRB has been certified by the 
recognized test facilities the following information must be submitted 
in duplicate to [email protected] or the Commandant (CG-ENF-4), 
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE., 
Washington, DC 20593-7509:
    (i) The name of the manufacturer or grantee and model number of the 
EPIRB;
    (ii) Copies of the certificate and test data obtained from the test 
facility recognized by a COSPAS/SARSAT Partner showing that the 
radiobeacon complies with the COSPAS-SARSAT design characteristics 
associated with the measurement methods incorporated in RTCM 11000;
    (iii) Copies of the test report and test data obtained from the 
test facility recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard showing that the 
radiobeacon complies with the U.S. Coast Guard environmental and 
operational characteristics associated with the measurement methods 
described in Appendix A of the RTCM Recommended Standards; and
    (iv) Instruction manuals associated with the radiobeacon, 
description of the test characteristics of the readiobeacon including 
assembly drawings, electrical schematics, description of parts list, 
specifications of materials and the manufacturer's quality assurance 
program.
* * * * *
    (d) A certification application for a 406.0-406.1 MHz EPIRB must 
also contain a copy of the U.S. Coast Guard letter that states the 
radiobeacon satisfies all RTCM Recommended Standards, a copy of the 
technical test data, and the instruction manual(s).
    (e) An identification code, recognized by the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States Program Manager 
for the 406.0-406.1 MHz COSPAS/SARSAT satellite system, must be 
programmed in each EPIRB unit to establish a unique identification for 
each EPIRB station. With each marketable EPIRB unit, the manufacturer 
or grantee must include a postage pre-paid registration card printed 
with the EPIRB identification code addressed to: NOAA/SARSAT Beacon 
Registration, NSOF, E/SPO53, 1315 East West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 
20910-9684. The registration card must request the owner's name, 
address, telephone number, type of ship, alternate emergency contact 
and other information as required by NOAA. The registration card must 
also contain information regarding the availability to register the 
EPIRB at NOAA's online web-based registration database at: http://www/
beaconregistration.noaa.gov. In addition, the following statement must 
be included: ``WARNING--failure to register this EPIRB with NOAA before 
installation could result in a monetary forfeiture being issued to the 
owner.''
* * * * *

0
23. Section 80.1085 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  80.1085  Ship radio equipment--General.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (3) A radar transponder capable of operating in the 9 GHz band or 
an AIS-SART, which must be stowed so that it is easily utilized (this 
device may be one of those required by Sec.  80.1095(b) for a survival 
craft);
* * * * *

0
24. Section 80.1095 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  80.1095  Survival craft equipment.

* * * * *
    (b) At least one radar transponder or AIS-SART (collectively, 
``search and rescue locating devices'') must be carried on each side of 
every passenger ship and every cargo ship of 500 tons gross tonnage and 
upwards. At least one search and rescue locating device must be carried 
on every cargo ship of 300 tons gross tonnage and upwards but less than 
500 tons gross tonnage. Such search and rescue locating devices must 
conform to performance standards as specified in Sec.  80.233 for AIS-
SARTs or Sec.  80.1101 for radar transponders. The search and rescue 
locating devices must be stowed in such locations that they can be 
rapidly placed in any survival craft other than liferafts required on 
cargo ships in forward and aft areas (see Regulation III/26.1.4 of the 
SOLAS Convention). Alternatively, one search and rescue locating device 
must be stowed in each survival craft other than those required by 
Regulation III/26.1.4 of the SOLAS Convention. One of these search and 
rescue locating devices may be the search and rescue locating device 
required by Sec.  80.1085(a)(3).
* * * * *

PART 95--PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES

0
25. The authority citation for part 95 continues to read as follows:


[[Page 90749]]


    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 301, 302(a), 303, and 307(e).

0
26. The heading of subpart K is revised to read as follows:

Subpart K--Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and Maritime Survivor 
Locating Devices (MSLDs)

0
27. Section 95.1400 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  95.1400  Basis and purpose.

    The rules in this subpart are intended to provide individuals in 
the water or in remote areas a means to alert others of an emergency 
situation and to aid search and rescue personnel in locating those in 
distress.

0
28. Section 95.1401 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  95.1401  Frequency.

    The frequency band 406.0-406.1 MHz is an emergency and distress 
frequency band available for use by Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs). 
Personal Locator Beacons that transmit on the frequency band 406.0-
406.1 MHz must use G1D emission. Use of these frequencies must be 
limited to transmission of distress and safety of life communications.

0
29. Section 95.1402 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) through (f) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  95.1402  Special requirements for 406 MHz PLBs.

    (a) All 406 MHz PLBs must meet all the technical and performance 
standards contained in RTCM 11010.2. RTMC 11010.2, ``406 MHz Satellite 
Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs),'' including Amendments 1 and 2, dated 
June 8, 2012 is incorporated by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 
552(a), and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of the document are available and may 
be obtained from the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services, 
1611 N. Kent Street, Suite 605, Arlington, Virginia 22209. The document 
is available for inspection at Commission headquarters at 445 12th 
Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Copies may also be inspected at the 
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on 
the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: 
http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.
    (b) Beginning January 17, 2018, all new applications for 
certification of 406 MHz PLBs must demonstrate compliance with the 
requirements of RTCM 11010. 406 MHz PLBs that do not meet the 
requirements of RTCM 11010 shall not be manufactured, imported, or sold 
in the United States beginning January 17, 2020.
    (c) Before a 406 MHz PLB certification application is submitted to 
the Commission, the applicant must have obtained certification from a 
test facility recognized by one of the COSPAS/SARSAT Partners that the 
PLB satisfies the standards incorporated in RTCM 11010. Additionally, 
an independent test must certify that the PLB complies with the 
electrical and environmental standards associated with the RTCM 
Recommended Standards.
    (d) The procedures of Notification by the equipment manufacturer 
and Certification from the designated Telecommunications Certification 
Body are contained in subpart J of part 2 of this chapter.
    (e) An identification code, recognized by the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States Program Manager 
for the 406 MHz COSPAS/SARSAT satellite system, must be programmed in 
each PLB unit to establish a unique identification for each PLB 
station. With each marketable PLB unit, the manufacturer or grantee 
must include a postage pre-paid registration card printed with the PLB 
identification code addressed to: NOAA/SARSAT Beacon Registration, 
NSOF, E/SPO53, 1315 East West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910-9684. The 
registration card must request the owner's name, address, telephone 
number, alternate emergency contact and include the following 
statement: ``WARNING'' failure to register this PLB with NOAA could 
result in a monetary forfeiture order being issued to the owner.''
    (f) To enhance protection of life and property, it is mandatory 
that each 406 MHz PLB be registered with NOAA and that information be 
kept up-to-date. In addition to the identification plate or label 
requirements contained in Sec. Sec.  2.925 and 2.926 of this chapter, 
each 406 MHz PLB must be provided on the outside with a clearly 
discernable permanent plate or label containing the following 
statement: ``The owner of this 406 MHz PLB must register the NOAA 
identification code contained on this label with the National 
Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) whose address is: 
NOAA/SARSAT Beacon Registration, NSOF, E/SPO53, 1315 East West Hwy, 
Silver Spring, MD 20910-9684.'' Owners shall advise NOAA in writing 
upon change of PLB ownership, or any other change in registration 
information. NOAA will provide registrants with proof of registration 
and change of registration postcards. In the alternative to 
registration by postcard, users may register 406 MHz PLBs online at 
www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov.
* * * * *

0
30. Section 95.1403 is added to subpart K to read as follows:


Sec.  95.1403  Special requirements for Maritime Survivor Locating 
Devices.

    (a) Maritime Survivor Locating Devices (MSLDs) are devices intended 
to aid in the location of persons in the water. Use on land is not 
authorized.
    (b) MSLDs must meet all the technical and performance standards 
contained in RTCM 11901.1. RTCM 11901.1, ``Maritime Survivor Locating 
Devices (MSLD),'' dated June 4, 2012 is incorporated by reference in 
accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a), and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of the 
document are available and may be obtained from the Radio Technical 
Commission for Maritime Services, 1611 N. Kent Street, Suite 605, 
Arlington, Virginia 22209. The document is available for inspection at 
Commission headquarters at 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. 
Copies may also be inspected at the National Archives and Records 
Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this 
material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.
    (c) No device may be marketed or sold in the United States as a 
``MSLD'' or ``Maritime Survivor Locating Device'' unless it complies 
with the requirements of RTCM 11901. Previously approved devices 
intended to aid in the location of persons in the water that do not 
meet the requirements of this section shall not be manufactured, 
imported, or sold in the United States January 17, 2018.
    (d) All MSLDs must:
    (1) Transmit on at least one of the following frequencies: 121.5 
MHz, 156.525 MHz, 156.750 MHz, 156.800 MHz, 156.850 MHz, 161.975 MHz, 
162.025 MHz; or
    (2) Include a function intended to send a distress message directly 
to the U.S. Coast Guard or any other search and rescue organization.
    (e) Before an MSLD certification application is submitted, the 
applicant must obtain a test report from a test laboratory which shows 
that the MSLD complies with the electrical and environmental standards 
associated with RTCM 11901. The test laboratory must be accredited to 
ISO/IEC 17025 with a scope covering the applicable requirements and 
test procedures.
    (1) After the MSLD has been certified by a test laboratory, the 
following

[[Page 90750]]

information must be submitted in duplicate to the U.S. Coast Guard, 
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE., Stop 7126, Washington, DC 20593-
7126:
    (i) The name of the manufacturer or grantee and model number of the 
MSLD;
    (ii) Copies of the test report and test data showing that the MSLD 
complies with the electrical and environmental standards associated 
with RTCM 11901; and
    (iii) Instruction manuals associated with the MSLD, description of 
the test characteristics of the MSLD including assembly drawings, 
electrical schematics, description of parts list, specifications of 
materials and the manufacturer's quality assurance program.
    (2) After reviewing the information described in paragraph (e)(1) 
of this section, the U.S. Coast Guard will issue a letter stating 
whether the MSLD satisfies all RTCM Recommended Standards. In the case 
of an MSLD that includes a function intended to send a distress message 
directly to the U.S. Coast Guard or any other search and rescue 
organization, the letter will also state whether the U.S. Coast Guard 
endorses that function.
    (f) A certification application for an MSLD must contain a copy of 
the U.S. Coast Guard letter stating that the device satisfies all RTCM 
Recommended Standards, a copy of the technical test data, and the 
instruction manual(s).
[FR Doc. 2016-29612 Filed 12-14-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P