CEPT and European Amateur Operations

Joseph Bento joseph at kirtland.com
Sat May 24 22:15:36 CDT 2008

Hey all,

During my past years at Hamvention, I never considered what rulings  
are in place that allow our European visitors to operate legally, or  
rules that allow us to legally talk to them via radio whilst  
visiting.  I haven't been the most active ham over the past several  
years, so I was completely unaware of a European program known as  
CEPT  (Conference of European Postal & Telecommunications)  The USA  
has no voice or authority with CEPT, though it recognizes the  
participating countries, and CEPT recognizes the USA.  Member nations  
may operate their amateur stations when on holiday in the USA.

There is a caveat for American amateurs visiting Europe, however.   
CEPT member nations used to honor all American license classes.  
Unfortunately, due to our dumbing down of the written test,  
elimination of morse code, etc, this is no longer the case.  American  
Advanced and Extra class licenses maintain full operating privileges  
whilst visiting CEPT member European nations.  American Novice and  
General class licenses are no longer recognized.   USA hams visiting  
Europe (and I believe European hams visiting the USA) must carry their  
original issued license as well as a CEPT document (available for  
download, and printed in English, French, and German) stating their  
authority to operate in the country they are visiting in accordance  
with CEPT.

I was still thinking along the lines of the old reciprocal licensing  
program.  CEPT seems much easier.  Reading through the CEPT  
documentation also makes one think that the USA is in essence a  
European nation, geography and voting rights notwithstanding.  Perhaps  
the world is becoming a friendlier place after all.

Joe, N6DGY
Pleasant Grove, UT

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