Marine radio and other onboard communication equipment

You will need a transmission license and an operating certificate if you want to use a marine radio or other maritime communication equipment on board of a vessel.

Ship authorisation / Ship Station License

You will need a transmission licence for your vessel, namely the so-called Ship Station License. The licence will feature the vessel details, the transmission equipment and the identification codes, which make it possible for other vessels and the supervisory bodies to recognise your vessel. It is important to programme the correct identification codes into your equipment. Read more

Operating certificate

Besides the Ship Station License, at least one of the persons on board, normally the responsible captain or skipper, must have an operating certificate. The holder of the operating certificate has successfully passed a radio exam. S/he must thus have demonstrated that s/he is sufficiently familiar with the rules associated with communication on the waterways. There are several types of operating certificates. Read more


The authorities responsible for supervising shipping traffic are the Coast Guard, the Shipping Inspectorate, the Port Authority and the Authority for Digital Infrastructure (formerly Agentschap Telecom).

They are competent to check whether you possess the required documentation (depending on whether your vessel is for professional or private use), the type of vessel, the number of passengers, etc. If these documents are not in order, a warning is the minimum that you will receive. If the breach is more serious, then a fine or a stricter penalty may be imposed.

Requesting Ship Station License

The Ship Station License application form can be downloaded here.