last updated 13 Feb 2007

Travelling with PMR446

You should be able to take your PMR446 sets to most European countries without any problems. This ERO page shows which countries allow PMR446, and which have restrictions or no service. It has been mentioned that full licence-free tax-free use throughout Europe started at the start of 2003 but I haven't found anything official yet. The ERO page was updated Feb 2003 and now things are looking better.

In France channels 1 and 2 were used solely by another service (the SNCF - railways) until 07 Dec 2001.
All of the 446 service is free to use in France now.

In Ireland CTCSS or DCS Tone Control was required at all times, believed no longer the case.

In Monaco you can't legally use 446 at all, and not yet in Cyprus or Latvia. In Norway you will have to wait until July 2003.

In Turkey a licence is still needed, and is in Poland according to the ERO page, but this has changed according to Andrzej K.

In Romania the two lowest and highest channels are not allowed, but PMR446 is only for business purposes there anyway.

In Italy you may get interference from links until the end of 2004.

PMR446 is European, and not to be used in the USA or Canada. It is an offence to import a two-way radio into the US that hasn't been type approved and certified by the FCC, so they're within their rights to take away your PMR446 at the very least. Apart from that, over there the PMR446 frequencies are within the 420-450MHz amateur band. Channel 1 is close enough to the FM calling frequency of 446.0 for any use to be easily detected. Amateurs do not welcome intruders to their spectrum!
Simplex channels 446.0, 446.025, 446.050, 446.075, 446.1 could be affected - a PMR446 channel is always only 6.25kHz away from one of these. In Southern California however, a 20kHz repeater plan has recently been adopted (see with repeater outputs on 446.02, 446.04, (446.06 not yet), 446.08, 446.1 etc. PMR446 channel 5 is the least likely to cause problems until 446.06 starts to be used, otherwise channels 3 & 6 are furthest from amateur channels (11.25/8.75kHz).
In ski resorts you may get away with it though, seeing as such resorts are not hugely populated by amateurs - and are often in areas where this band is useless for them. If you're surrounded by mountains your signals are not going to be intercepted, it depends if there's a major urban center within line of sight (on a clear day!).

DaveT writes (2/3/02) : "I've just returned from Banff and can confirm (legal or not) that there are *a lot* of people out there using PMR446 ... I've heard groups of people on all 8 channels within 10-15 minutes out on the slopes at Lake Louise. The other mountains (Norquay and Sunshine Village) are more RF quiet. From their accents they're all British, no Europeans, and seem mostly oblivious to the legality of their transmissions."

PMR446 is now allowed in South Africa, according to and

Singapore has a 2004 proposal (TS115) to allow PMR446 on channels 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 :

Other Countries - allow low power comms on different frequencies...

There's the FRS/GMRS service in the USA, and the MURS Multi-Use Radio Service, European 433MHz low power (10mW) 69 channel handhelds (not UK), Australian 477MHz CB, German 149MHz LPD, Italian 43MHz LPD, Swedish 444MHz SRBR, Korean 448MHz FRS, Chinese 409MHz handhelds etc. It's amazing how many systems there are now, and there really should be a global standard to avoid interference when people take their radios into another country. One webpage that tries to list as many as possible is RF-man's Handheld Radios Page,   <<< more! which takes a look at the equipment available for systems in other countries (where far more channels and bands can be used of course!).