National Beacon Regulations for Serial-Coded PLBs

PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) are intended for use by an individual person (i.e., not necessary linked to a ship or an aircraft like EPIRBs and ELTs). They can be used in any environment (e.g., on land, at sea and in aircraft) and installed in a mobile unit (e.g., vessel, aircraft). Carriage of PLBs depends on national regulations. Generally, PLBs can only be activated manually, with the exception of certain PLBs specifically designed for military use.

Country / Territory

For terrestrial applications

In maritime
environment

On
aircraft

Comments

Country recognises PLB activations

Country recognises PLB activations

Country recognises PLB activations

Algeria

Y

 

Y

 TBD in a maritime environment.

Argentina

Y

Y

Y

 

Australia

Y

R

R

In a maritime environment, a PLB cannot be used as a substitute for an EPIRB that is required by regulation.

See Civil Aviation Regulation 252A for rules concerning PLBs on aircraft.

Brazil

Y

Y

Y

PLB activation is allowed. However, ony PLBs registered in the Brazilian database for ultralight airplanes or as part of an aircraft/ship survival kit will trigger the Brazilian SAR System. Activations other than mentioned above will be relayed to regional Civil Defense offices.

Canada

Y

R

R

Response to terrestrial PLB alerts is the responsibility of the Province or Territory.

A PLB may not be a substitute for the required carriage of an ELT or EPIRB. A PLB may only be used as a supplementary alerting device in that case.

Users are encouraged to make notes linking PLBs that are used in maritime and aviation environments to relevant vessel or aircraft data during the registration process.

Chile

Y

Y

Y

 

China (P.R. of)

Y

Y

Y

 

Chinese Taipei

Y

Y

Y

 

Croatia

Y

Y

Y

 

Cyprus

Y

Y

Y

 

Denmark

N

R

R

PLB must be coded as EPIRB (maritime) or ELT (aircraft).

Faroe Islands

N

R

R

PLB must be coded as EPIRB (maritime) or ELT (aircraft).

Finland

Y

Y

Y

 

France

Y

Y

Y

 

Germany

R

R

R

Serial-coded PLBs are not allowed in Germany. 

Greece

Y

Y

Y

 

Greenland

N

R

R

PLB must be coded as EPIRB (maritime) or ELT (aircraft).

Hong Kong, China

Y

Y

R

The carriage of PLBs on Hong Kong registered aircraft shall meet the Civil Aviation Department requirements on portable electronic devices that can be intentionally or unintentionally transmitting.

India

Y

Y

Y

PLBs are currently in use for land and aviation applications. For marine applications, there are no users yet, but there are no restrictions on their usage.

Israel

Y

Y

Y

 

Italy

Y

Y

Y

A PLB may not replace an EPIRB or ELT on-board vessels or aircraft when these are required by national or international rules.

Japan

N

N

R

The use of PLBs for private persons is not permitted in Japan except for PLBs on aircraft, which are optional, as specified in ELT regulations.

Kenya

Y

Y

Y

 

Korea (Rep. of)

N

N

N

 

Liechtenstein

R

Y

Y

Note: Terrestrial Alerts are relayed to Police. Appropriate SAR action cannot be guaranteed as no legislation and no formal responsibilities or procedures are available. A mobile telephone, emergency radio network access, emergency telephone or satellite telephone are more suitable for raising the alarm in an emergency for some circumstances.

Malta

N

N

N

 

Netherlands (The)

Y

Y

Y

 

New Zealand

Y

Y

Y

PLBs are only to be coded with serial number and not MMSI nor registration mark.

Nigeria

Y

Y

Y

 

Norway

Y

Y

Y

 

Pakistan

Y

Y

Y

 

Peru

Y

Y

Y

 

Poland

R

R

R

A radio licence issued by the Polish Office of Electronic Communication is required.

Philippines

Y

Y

Y

There are no regulations yet against the use of PLBs, so CAAP ORCC would accommodate the inclusion of PLBs in the IBRD. Steps are currently being taken to disseminate information on IBRD registration of PLBs.          

Serbia

Y

Y

Y

 

Singapore

Y

Y

N

 

South Africa

Y

Y

Y

PLB use as a replacement for mandatory ELT or EPIRB is not accepted. PLBs are only to be coded with a serial number and neither MMSI nor registration mark.

Beacon regulations are currently under review and any future departure from current provisions will be reported to the Secretariat. 

Spain

N

R

 

A PLB with a Spanish country code is only allowed by the Spanish Administration in a maritime environment provided that it is associated with a vessel on which it is not mandatory to install an EPIRB. It should be programmed with its MMSI and installed only for use on that vessel.

Sweden

Y

Y

Y

 

Switzerland

R

Y

Y

Note: Terrestrial Alerts are relayed to Police. Appropriate SAR action cannot be guaranteed as no legislation and no formal responsibilities or procedures are available. A mobile telephone, emergency radio network access, emergency telephone or satellite telephone are more suitable for raising the alarm in an emergency for some circumstances.

UK

Y

Y

Y

 

USA

Y

Y

Y

 

Vietnam

N

N

N

 


(Y = green, allowed / N = red, not allowed / R = amber, restrictions (see comments).

Note: National beacon regulations can be found on the Cospas-Sarsat Professional website in System document C/S S.007 (Pro/Documents/Beacon Regulations Handbook).