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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 19, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter DPart 95 → Subpart K


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 95—PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES


Subpart K—Personal Locator Beacons and Maritime Survivor Locating Devices


Contents
§95.2901   Scope.
§95.2903   Definitions, PLBs and MSLDs.
§95.2905   PLB registration.
§§95.2907-95.2929   [Reserved]
§95.2931   Permissible use of PLBs and MSLDs.
§95.2933   Prohibited use of PLBs and MSLDs.
§§95.2935-95.2959   [Reserved]
§95.2961   PLB and MSLD transmitter certification.
§95.2963   PLB and MSLD frequency bands.
§§95.2965-95.2969   [Reserved]
§95.2971   PLB emission type.
§§95.2973-95.2985   [Reserved]
§95.2987   Additional PLB and MSLD certification requirements.
§95.2989   PLB and MSLD technical standards.
§95.2991   PLB and MSLD marketing limitations.
§95.2993   PLB identification plate or label and registration card.
§§95.2995-95.3099   [Reserved]

§95.2901   Scope.

This subpart contains rules that apply only to Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and Maritime Survivor Locating Devices (MSLDs).

§95.2903   Definitions, PLBs and MSLDs.

Identification code. An identification code issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish a unique identification for each PLB.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The U.S. Government Agency that is the United States Program Manager for the 406 MHz COSPAS/SARSAT satellite system.

Maritime Survivor Locating Device (MSLD). A device intended to aid in the location of persons in the water.

Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). A small portable transmitter, compliant with all of the rules in this subpart, that is intended to provide individuals in remote areas a means to alert others of an emergency situation and to aid search and rescue personnel to locate those in distress.

§95.2905   PLB registration.

Each PLB owner must initially register their PLB with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and must advise NOAA of any subsequent change of ownership or other change in the registration information. Each PLB is registered by its identification code (see §95.2987(b)).

(a) PLB owners are encouraged to register their PLBs through the internet using the following Web site: http://www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov

(b) PLB owners may also register their PLBs by mailing a completed registration card to the following address: NOAA SARSAT Beacon Registration, NSOF, E/SPO53, 1315 East West Hwy., Silver Spring, MD 20910-9684.

§§95.2907-95.2929   [Reserved]

§95.2931   Permissible use of PLBs and MSLDs.

(a) PLBs may be used only for transmission of distress and safety of life communications.

(b) MSLDs may be used only to aid in the location of persons in the water.

§95.2933   Prohibited use of PLBs and MSLDs.

(a) PLBs must not be used for any purpose other than transmission of distress and safety of life communications.

(b) Use of MSLDs on land is not authorized.

§§95.2935-95.2959   [Reserved]

§95.2961   PLB and MSLD transmitter certification.

(a) Each PLB and MSLD transmitter must be certified in accordance with this subpart and part 2 of this chapter.

(b) A grant of equipment certification will not be issued for any PLB or MSLD transmitter type that fails to comply with all of the applicable rules in this subpart.

§95.2963   PLB and MSLD frequency bands.

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

(b) 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, or 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.

§§95.2965-95.2969   [Reserved]

§95.2971   PLB emission type.

PLB transmitter types must be designed to use emission type G1D on the frequency band 406.0-406.1 MHz.

§§95.2973-95.2985   [Reserved]

§95.2987   Additional PLB and MSLD certification requirements.

(a) To be certified for use under this subpart, 406 MHz PLB transmitter types must be designed to satisfy the following additional requirements.

(1) Certifications. Beginning January 17, 2018, before submitting an application for FCC certification of a 406 MHz PLB transmitter type, the applicant must obtain:

(i) Certification from a test facility recognized by one of the COSPAS/SARSAT Partners that the PLB transmitter type satisfies the standards in RTCM 11010; and,

(ii) Certification from an independent test facility that the PLB transmitter type complies with the electrical and environmental standards associated with RTCM 11010.

(2) Identification code. 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 into each PLB to establish a unique identification for that PLB.

(b) To be certified for use under this subpart, MSLD transmitter types must be designed to satisfy the following additional requirements.

(1) 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.

(2) After the MSLD has been certified by a test laboratory, 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:

(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.

(3) After reviewing the information described in paragraph (b)(2) 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.

(4) 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).

§95.2989   PLB and MSLD technical standards.

(a) PLB transmitter types must be designed to comply with technical standard RTCM 1010.2. MSLD transmitter types must be designed to comply with technical standard RTCM 11901.1.

(b) The standards required in this section are incorporated by reference into this section with the approval of the Director of the Federal Register under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. All approved material is available for inspection at FCC headquarters at 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, and is available from the sources indicated in this paragraph (b). It is also available for inspection 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.

(1) The following standards are available from the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services, 1611 N. Kent St., Suite 605, Arlington, Virginia 22209-2128.

(i) RTCM 11010.2, “406 MHz Satellite Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs),” including Amendments 1 and 2, dated June 8, 2012 (RTCM 11010).

(ii) RTCM 11901.1, “Maritime Survivor Locating Devices (MSLD),” dated June 4, 2012.

(2) [Reserved].

§95.2991   PLB and MSLD marketing limitations.

(a) No device may be marketed or sold in the United States as a “PLB” or “Personal Locator Beacon” unless it is compliant with all of the rules in this subpart. Previously approved 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.

(b) 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 subpart shall not be manufactured, imported, or sold in the United States beginning January 17, 2018.

§95.2993   PLB identification plate or label and registration card.

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.

(a) Identification plate or label. In addition to the identification plate or label requirements contained in §§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.

(1) The plate or label must contain the following statement:

The owner of this 406 MHz PLB must register the identification code on this label with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) whose address is: NOAA/SARSAT Beacon Registration, NSOF, E/SPO53, 1315 East West Hwy., Silver Spring, MD 20910-9684.

(2) For PLBs with identification codes that can be changed after manufacture, the identification code shown on the plate or label must be easily replaceable using commonly available tools.

(b) Registration card. With each marketable PLB unit, the manufacturer or equipment certification grantee must include a postage pre-paid registration card.

(1) The identification code of the PLB (see §95.2987(c)) must be printed on the registration card.

(2) The registration card must be addressed to: NOAA SARSAT Beacon Registration, NSOF, E/SPO53, 1315 East West Hwy., Silver Spring, MD 20910-9684.

(3) The registration card must request the owner's name, address, telephone number and alternate emergency contact.

(4) The registration card must include the following statement:

WARNING—failure to register this PLB with NOAA could result in a monetary forfeiture order being issued to the owner.

§§95.2995-95.3099   [Reserved]

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