Originally Posted by TonyC
You don't need to have a licence to buy a VHF, however you can only use if for emergencies in that case.
Be very very careful here, this statement is NOT 100% correct and IMHO could be very confusing.
You have to have a ships radio licence to legally fit a VHF radio to your vessel. You also need the SRC (Short Range Cert) to use the radio.
Whilst no one has ever fallen foul of the law using a radio in an emergency you ARE breaking the law if you have a VHF fitted to your boat and you do not have a ships radio licence.
There would be two offences here:-
1, having the equipment available for use with no licence.
2, using the equipment with no licence.
The Ships Radio Licence is free when you apply on line and really no reason not to have one. You will not get an MMSI number without a licence.
Both the Ships Radio Licence and the SRC are requirements under international maritime law.
If I can be of any further help please PM or mail me.