Mexican Amateur Radio Law and Reciprocal Permit Procedure
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The author is a United States ham operating near Guadalajara, Mexico. That region reputedly houses the largest population of visitors and expatriates from the U.S. and Canada. Some hold non Mexican ham radio licenses, and many of those might like to pursue the avocation in Mexico. It is assumed here they would want to do so legally. Lack of information due to limited Spanish language facility, however, could hinder their understanding of Mexican radio law and practice. This paper offers two items for assistance. One is a Guadalajara area procedure for obtaining a reciprocal permit. Another is an English language translation of Mexican amateur radio regulations. The procedure for acquiring a reciprocal permit was drafted from personal experience and was valid through the date of this writing, March 1, 2000. Readers should view it as no more than a guide to what may be applicable in the future or other areas. Some information on procedure requirements is included. The law translation was from documents provided by an office of the Mexican Secretary of Communication and Transportation in early 1996. They included the 1988 printing of the law and several directives dated between then and 1995. Materials and revisions subsequently released were obtained through several Internet sites. To the best of the authorís belief, applicability of the source information is current. Translation is more than substituting dictionary words from one language to another. It also involves switching between cultures with familiarity for the manner in which words are organized and understood in particular contexts. The writer enjoys neither fluency in the Spanish language nor special legal expertise and accepts full responsibility for errors. Parenthesized explanatory notations have been added. These materials may be reproduced and distributed in entirety to amateur radio operators by any individual, group, or enterprise only if this is done without financial consideration and associated with no other function than to provide service to amateur radio operators. They may not be reproduced or distributed in any other manner without consent of the author. George Warren XE1/N9VIU Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico March 1, 2000 E-mail: .
OBTAINING A RECIPROCAL PERMIT IN THE GUADALAJARA AREA
Non Mexicans who possess valid amateur radio licenses issued elsewhere are required to obtain a provisional permit before transmitting on the ham bands in Mexico or its waters. These are valid for the remaining time of the Mexican visa and are renewable if the visa is extended. One needs to present an application and pay a tax, as is charged Mexican hams. National telecommunication concerns are administered by the Federal Commission of Telecommunication (COFETEL). They accept permit applications submitted from anywhere b mail or fax at least 60 days before the date of intended operation. Several ham related Internet web sites contain the necessary forms and directions. A faster approach for those in the Guadalajara area is to apply in person at an office of the State of Jalisco Secretary of Communication y Transportation (SCT). The SCT office of interest is at Avenida Tesistan #477 at the corner with Constitucion in Zapopan. Parking is available inside the grounds. Speak to the department head, Inginero (Engineer) Gilberto Soto, having first secured an appointment by phoning 013-633-2977 or 013-633-0345. From the compoundís entrance, the receptionist will be in the building on the right. Ing. Sotoís office is in the left-hand building. The offices open at 8 A.M. and close at 3 P.M. Arrive no later than mid morning. Provide copies of your passport, visa containing the expiration date of any current renewal, amateur radio license, and local residence proof such as a rent receipt. Also, furnish three passport type photographs. Complete an application form provided by the SCT. Two Spanish language letters could be required. One would be your permit request, the other a recommendation from a sponsoring Mexican ham. Law requires maintenance of a logbook stamped as approved. Its cover must show your name, signature, call sign (prefix "XE1/"), license class, date, and maximum power. The pages must be sequentially numbered. Each contact must have space for date, time on, call sign, RST received, RST sent, frequency, and notes. Request your logbook, new or otherwise, be officially stamped. A four-copy deposit form will be prepared. It will contain your name, address, and the amount of the tax. That was 711 pesos in March 2000. The amount will vary over time. Drive or hail a cab outside the SCT, and take the form and money to the Banamex bank at Plaza Patria in Zapopan. Banamex is on Plaza Patriaís north outside ground level. When paying the tax, the teller will return three of the forms with bank stamps. Request that they be placed on the receiptsí face sides. The SCT needs another receipt copy than those provided. A copy shop is located a few stores east of the bank. Have one copy made showing a stamped face.
Taxi or drive back to the SCT. Enter the building on the right and present the bank forms and copy to the person behind the glass window If this is not all completed within the same day, one must start over and pay the tax again. One of the bank receipts and a form authorizing establishment of your station(s) will be returned. Keep them together as both are required for authentication. Reciprocal permits expressly prohibit operating in contests, DX expeditions, or from the islands of Mexico. Otherwise, privileges are similar to those of the home country license. Station identification will be "XE1/" prefixed to the foreign call sign. Law requires it be given at least every fifteen minutes. This must be in either code, Spanish, or International Telecommunications Union (ITU) phonetics, for which no substitutions are allowed. It must also be followed by the location. The Spanish alphabet sounds much different from English, so non Spanish speakers should use ITU phonetics. During the January following each calendar year the permit has been in force, one must file a report by registered mail that summarizes the past yearís operation. Forms and directions are available from the SCT, the Internet, and packet radio stations.
PUBLISHED IN THE OFFICIAL DIARY OF THE FEDERATION ON NOVEMBER 28, 1988.
REGULATIONS TO INSTALL AND OPERATE RADIO STATIONS IN THE AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE.
ARTICLE 1 - This regulation is of public interest and is for the purpose of regulating the installation and operation of stations dedicated to the amateur radio service.
ARTICLE 2 - For the purpose of this regulation the following definitions are adopted.
Secretary - The Secretary of Communication and Transportation
Law - Law of General Means of Communication
Amateur - Person Licensed to install and operate an amateur radio station according to classification.
Telecommunication - All transmission, emission or reception of signals, signs, writing, images, sounds, or information of any nature by electromagnetic wave, electrical, optical media, or other electromagnetic systems.
Radio Communication - All telecommunication transmitted by means of electromagnetic radio waves.
Amateur Radio Service - Radio communication service that has for its object individual instruction, intercommunication, and technical study, carried out by amateurs, that is, by properly authorized persons who are interested in radio technicalities for exclusively personal reasons and without monetary gain. by Satellite - special earth satellite stations dedicated to the Amateur Radio Service.
Station - One or more transmitters or receivers or a combination of transmitters or receivers, including accessory installations, necessary to ensure a radio communication service, or a radio astronomy service, in a specific location.
Amateur Station - Station for Amateur Radio Service.
License - Document which entitles a person to install and operate an amateur station.
Peak Power (of transmitter)- Maximum wattage applied to the antenna feedline during one cycle of normal operation.
Average Power (of transmitter)- Average wattage applied to the antenna feedline during normal operation taken over a sufficient period of repetition of the lowest modulation frequency.
Mobil Station - Station intended to be used in motion or while stationary in a variable undetermined location.
Fixed Station - Station intended to be used in a known permanent location.
Portable Station - Station intended to be personally carried and used in an undetermined location.
Repeater Station - Fixed station intended to receive and automatically retransmit signals of another station.
Installation Permit - Document by means of which the Secretary authorizes a physically and morally fit person to install and operate amateur stations.
Radio Club - A group of amateur radio operators properly licensed and registered with the Secretary who intend to practice amateur radio while organized together and without monetary gain.
The terminology not included in this article has the meaning of that in the Regulations of the International Union of Telecommunication. 1
ARTICLE 3. - In order to practice in the Amateur Radio Service one is required to posses a license granted by the Secretary.
The rights and obligations germane to the licence are personal and not transferable.
The holder of the license must comply with the rules derived from the law and of international treaties and agreements that this country has acknowledged or in the future will adopt, with these regulations, and with other administrative orders, appendages, and technical rules as determined by the Secretary.
In what is referred to as amateur satellite service, the Secretary will create appendices to control that service, without reducing the effect of these regulations.
ARTICLE 4. - Licenses are classified as follows: (Translator note: Parenthesized titles are added)
a). - AFICIONADO CLASE I (Class I)
ARTICLE 5. - One must meet the following requirements in order to initiate the procedure to obtain a license.
a). - Be of Mexican nationality.
ARTICLE 6. - On acceptance of the request, the applicant will be notified of the date, time, and place of the examination of familiarity with and understanding of theories and practices.
ARTICLE 7. - The questions on the examination will be determined by the Secretary, will cover information pertinent to the class of license sought, and will include the following categories:
a). - Technical. - Generally familiarity with electrodynamics and radio communication.
AFICIONADO CLASE I 10 words per minute (Class I)
ARTICLE 8. - Applicants who hold officially recognized diplomas of study of communication and electronics of equivalent or superior level will be able to be exempted from the technical examination indicated in Article 7.
In case the certificates of study presented are not officially recognized, the Secretary will determine the matter of exemption.
ARTICLE 9. - The Secretary will determine the examinations results and issue a certificate of aptitude if satisfied.
ARTICLE 11. - The Secretary will grant recognition of Radio Clubs to moral persons constituted as Civil Associations for the Practice of Amateur Radio. Requests must be presented to the Secretary with a properly certified constitution as well as the names and responsibilities of the members of the Board of Directors and its relationship to the members. This documentation must be accompanied with proof of payment of the tax.
ARTICLE 12. - The licenses of Class I and Class II amateurs will have a duration of validity of 5 years after the date of issue. Novice certificates will be valid for 2 years, and Restricted certificates for 1 year. These last two categories are not renewable.
ARTICLE 13. - The registration and permits for radio clubs will be valid for a period of 5 years after the date of issue.
ARTICLE 14. - The licenses, registrations, and permits mentioned in Articles 12 and 13 may be renewed for periods of 5 years, except as in Article 12.
ARTICLE 15. - The Secretary will always award renewals when there have been no incidents of infringements of legal or administrative directives relative to the Amateur Radio Service.
ARTICLE 16. - An applicant receiving denial of a license renewal may appeal either personally or through an attorney within 15 days of being notified of the denial. A written brief must be addressed to the Director General of Judicial Matters. It must contain and be limited to proof in defense germane to the cause of denial. The Director General will notify the contestant of the disposition of the appeal within 30 days of the appeal.
The resolution of the matter will be sent to the interested party or legal representative by receipted certified mail.
ARTICLE 17. - Those interested in obtaining a license, or registration, or permit to install and operate a station, will pay to the Federal Government through the respective authority the fee for expediting the matter, the amount of the tax that is stated in the Federal Law of Taxes, as well as the amount for the various requirements that cover the Amateur Radio Service established in said law.
CLASSIFICATION OF STATIONS AND OPERATIONAL PERMISSION
ARTICLE 18. -Radio stations under the Amateur Radio Service must conform in their operations according to their classification as FIXED, REPEATER, MOBIL, AND PORTABLE.
ARTICLE 19. - The Secretary will authorize the installation or operation of radio stations of the Amateur Radio Service according to the following conditions:
a). - A person entitled with license of Class I or II will be able to install and operate a fixed, mobil, and portable station under the requirements covered previously in these regulations.
b). - When it is estimated the service requires more stations than indicated in these regulations, the Secretary may authorize their establishment
c). - A person with a Novice or Restricted class license is authorized only to install a fixed station and operate under the terms detailed in part B.2 of appendix B of these regulations.
d). - A radio club registered with the Secretary to practice in the Amateur Radio Service may be granted, in the judgement of the Secretary, permission to install and operate a fixed station.
The station will function under the sole responsibility of an amateur who possesses a license of the same or greater class than is required to operate the station.
The radio clubs which are so authorized to install and operate a fixed station must establish a controlling body of amateurs which provides instructions in radio law, technology, and telegraphy. They must inform the Secretary of the results of those activities..
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e). - Permits to install and operate a repeater may be granted to registered radio clubs. The operation and function of the repeater must be the sole responsibility of an amateur of Class I or Class II.
Radio access to the repeater station must be totally free at all times, and without restriction, to all properly licensed amateurs.
ARTICLE 20. - To obtain permits to install and operate a station, amateurs must comply with requirements as directed by the Secretary, which will include documentation of the technical characteristics of the station they intend to install. This requirement is not pertinent to amateurs referred to in paragraph c) of ARTICLE 19. These are not authorized to install accessories that modify the stations function without previous authorization of the Secretary.
In granting a license, the Secretary will assign a call sign which characterizes each station.
LIMITED CERTIFICATES AND PERMITS
ARTICLE 21. - The Secretary may grant limited duration permits to install and operate amateur stations to foreign amateurs who prove their legal status in the country and demonstrate moral character to the Department in the following cases.
a). - Citizens of countries with which the Federal Government has signed a reciprocal treaty. The permit will be issued according to the terms of the treaty. (Translator note: Mexico has reciprocal treaties with the United States and Canada In practice, and apparently under provisions of part a) above, Mexican reciprocal permits have been issued for terms of up to 5 years for those with FM2 , 1 year for FM3, and 6 months for FMT, or tourist, visas . In short, the permits are valid for the remaining time left on the applicantís current visa. The permits expressly prohibit operating in contests, DX expeditions, or from the islands of Mexico. To obtain a permit, one must submit a request including copies of visa, passport, amateur license, and photos, provide other personal information, and pay the required tax.)
c). - For those amateurs whose immigration status is that of Visitante in the terms of ARTICLE 42, Part III of the General Law of Population, the duration of the permit will be for 6 months renewable depending on the case. The operation of the station will be under the sole responsibility of an amateur of equal or higher class.
ARTICLE 22. - In case of an emergency or natural disaster, the Secretary may grant permits of limited duration to install and operate amateur stations to anyone who is familiar with the necessary operational technology.
ARTICLE 23. - When there is a need to provide communication help for special occasions such as social, cultural, and sports events without monetary reward, interested parties may request corresponding permits of the Secretary, and those will be limited to the duration of the event.
At the termination of the event, the permit holders must file a report with the Secretary which details the communications engaged in during the event.
INSTALLATION AND OPERATION
ARTICLE 24. - Installation of an amateur radio station must exhibit the current state of radio communication technology to insure correct operation and avoid interference to other established radio services respecting the directives of the Secretary. Installations must be constructed, manned, and serviced as necessary to provide protection to life and property. ARTICLE 25.- Antenna structures must comply with conditions described in the Regulations for Airbases and Civil Airports which refer to obstruction to air navigation.
ARTICLE 26. - The stations referred to in the Regulations must operate exclusively in the frequencies assigned by the Secretary for the Amateur Radio Service as indicated in appendix A of this Regulation.
ARTICLE 27. - Modes of operation according to license class must be as indicated in appendix B of this Regulation.
ARTICLE 28.- Fixed and Repeater stations may change location only with authorization of the Secretary.
ARTICLE 29 - During the month of January of each year, an amateur must file a statistical report of the stationís operations by registered mail with the Secretary which contains data determined by the department.
The statistics must note communications made during the previous year as noted in the registered logbook referred to in ARTICLE 30.
The Secretary may request that amateurs also submit QSL cards confirming communications in the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands which are mentioned in the statistical report.
ARTICLE 30.- The amateur must keep a logbook of communications as described in appendix C.
ARTICLE 31. - Communication between amateur radio stations must:
a).- Be exclusively of a personal character and neither for nor promoting monetary gain.
f). - Operate using clear language, which may include internationally recognized codes,
abbreviations, and identifications accepted by the Secretary, but which must not employ slang, nicknames, or words which substitute for the International Phonetic Alphabet.
ARTICLE 32 - Expressly prohibited are communications mentioned in ARTICLES 42 and 43 and all that substitute or tend to substitute for use of telephone services.
ARTICLE 33 - Use of amateur stations for international communications, as source or destination, with third persons, are only permitted in cases where there exists a special treaty with the other country and under the terms of that treaty.
ARTICLE 34 - Licensees or others responsible for an amateur station must observe agreements in the International Treaties made or ratified by Mexico in regard to radio communications.
ARTICLE 35 - Prohibited are communications with amateur radio operators of any other country when either of the countries do not permit their citizens that type of communication.
ARTICLE 36 - During normal transmissions, tests, and adjustments, each amateur station must transmit using Spanish or the International Phonetic Alphabet their call signs at short intervals which in no case exceed 15 minutes and followed by the name of the location in which the station is installed.
ARTICLE 37 - Licensees and permitees of amateur radio stations must transmit freely and with priority:
a).- Bulletins of authorities relating to defense of national territory, maintenance of public order, or questions or instructions to report or remedy any public calamity.
b).- Messages of any nature relating to ships, airplanes, or highway vehicles seeking help.
ARTICLE 38 - In emergency situations, amateur operators are obligated to organize and work together to operate aid nets as directed by the Secretary. Permanently established aid nets must periodically practice coordination, try to develop the best means for these functions, and maintain communication with the Secretary of these activities.
ARTICLE 39 - Amateurs must connect their stations with those of the Federal Government or with those it states in situations of emergency as the judgement of the Secretary requires.
ARTICLE 40 - Amateurs must give preferential priority to messages concerning emergencies and may not retain them without fully justifiable cause.
ARTICLE 41 - Communication between stations are to have a social function to contribute to and strengthen national integration, community improvement, and maintain propriety of the language.
ARTICLE 42 - Amateurs are prohibited from transmitting messages contrary to the security of the State, public order, international concord, or expressions contrary to morals, accepted customs, or those contributing to corruption of the language.
ARTICLE 43 - Messages, news, and information heard by an amateur and not intended to be in the public domain may not be divulged nor made use of in any form or manner and the content must be kept absolutely secret.
ARTICLE 44 - In case of international war or altercation of public order, the Secretary may order suspension of the amateur radio service and direct the means to effect the suspension.
ARTICLE 45 - Amateurs must allow access at any time to all station facilities by inspectors of the Secretary. The inspector must show identification and present and leave a copy of an official order of inspection. If the licensee is not present, a notice of future day and time for the inspection will be left and the inspection will be carried out then with either the licensee or any other person present..
REVOCATION AND CANCELLATION
ARTICLE 46 - Without diminishing the effect of sanctions in Article 38 of the Law, the following are causes for revocation of amateur licenses or permits to install and operate stations in the Amateur Radio Service.
a).- Using an amateur station to give aid and service to the enemy in case of war.
The Secretary will suspend the operation of stations in cases of repeated incidents, for engaging in unauthorized communication, or for changing station location without prior approval.
In cases of suspension, the Secretary will grant a hearing to the presumed violator and consider defensive arguments or lack thereof, and the Secretary will determine the resolution. h).- When conditions causing a violation are permitted to continue.
ARTICLE 47. - Amateur Licenses and permits may be canceled for submitting purposely false statements, failing to submit required information or thwarting requirements of the Law and these Regulations, and such is without detracting from pertinent penalties incurred in those infractions.
ARTICLE 48.- Anyone who installs, operates, or causes an amateur station to function without a license or permit as referred to in Articles 3 and 19 of these regulations, or violates an order of suspension of communication received from the Secretary, in accord with Article 44 of these Regulations, will be subject to the procedures and sanctions of Articles 523 and 524 of the Law.
ARTICLE 49.- In conformity with Article 590 of the Law, consideration will be given to gravity of the infraction, date of its commission, and the economic status of the violator.
ARTICLE 50.- For not transmitting with priority messages indicated in Article 37 of these Regulations or retaining emergency information, the procedure will be according to Article 571 of the Law.
ARTICLE 51.- A fine between 5 and 50 times of the current daily established minimum salary in the Metropolitan Area of the Federal District as determined by the Secretary will apply to the following:
a).- For not keeping a logbook, omitting information, improperly maintaining it, or not keeping it at the stationís location, as stated in Article 30 of these Regulations.
ARTICLE 52.- In cases of recurrent infractions, the Secretary may double the fines that have been previously stated above as applicable to particular infractions, without exceeding the maximum fine as established in the Law.
ARTICLE 53.- For a first instance of failing to submit the required annual report within the time period stated in Article 29, the fine will be 20 times the current minimum daily salary in the Metropolitan Area of the Federal District. For subsequent instances, the fine will be doubled.
ARTICLE 54.- For any infractions not herein specified in these Regulations, fines will be according to Book Seven of Sanctions of the Law.
ARTICLE 55.- Before determining a violation, if it is deemed convenient, the Secretary will notify the presumed violator in writing in order that proofs and defenses may be presented within 15 days of the notification. The Department will judge the final resolution depending on the presentation or lack thereof of by the accused.
The international telecommunications Union (ITU) was founded in 1865 and is the oldest inter-governmental body. In 1947 it reorganized under the United Nations Organization. Currently it covers 166 countries. It is the international organization in charge of regulation and planning for telecommunication coordination for the entire world, of rules for the functioning of equipment and systems, of the coordination and dispersing of information necessary for planning and exploitation of telecommunication services, and promotion and contribution to development of telecommunications and pertinent infrastructures..
BANDS OF FREQUENCIES ALLOCATED TO THE AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE
1800 - 1850 Khz
In conformity with number 881 of the Regulations of Radio communications, the band of 24 to 24.25 GHZ is devoted to industrial, scientific, and medical (ICM equipment) applications, for which the amateurs in the band 24 to 25.05 must not cause and must accept interference resulting from said applications.
(Translator note: Other directives of the Secretary, not herein translated, have indicated there are several reasons some frequency bands are missing from this listing and that it should not be assumed that amateurs do not have access to the missing frequencies. For example, purposely omitted were some for which amateurs did not have exclusive use and others which were contested. Other bands were not available for amateur use at the time of regulation publication but have been add ed since. These are addressed and authorized in directives which were later issued but not translated. In general, the allowed frequencies and privileges are the same as U.S. amateurs are allowed while there. One exception relates to the U.S. practice of "incentive" licensing. Whereas the U.S. allows more HF space to those with progressively higher class licenses, Mexico, as most other countries, does not partition the bands in a similar manner with respect to Class I and II licenses. They differ only in allowed power. Other documents, not herein translated, provide for satellite stations and regulate telecommunications in general. ).
MODES AND POWER
B.1.- Amateur stations are authorized to operate with the following classes of emission in accord with the limitations indicated in point B.2 of this appendix.
EMISSION TYPES ITU SYMBOLS
Telegraphy by interruption of the carrier wave without audio frequency modulation A1A (Normal CW)
Telegraphy by interruption of one or more modulating audio frequencies by interruption of the modulation A2A (Audio Modulated CW)
Single channel double band audio modulation A3E (Double Band AM)
Reduced single carrier single side band phone R3E (Reduced Carrier SSB Phone)
Complete carrier single side band phone H3E (Full Carrier SSB Phone)
Single side band with no carrier phone J3E (Normal SSB Phone)
Frequency modulated phone F3E (FM Phone)
Black and white Analog facsimile single side band with reduced carrier REC (Reduced Carrier Fax)
Black and white frequency modulation of carrier F1C (FM B/W Fax)
Analog Facsimile F3C (Analog Fax)
Television images C3F (TV)
Direct printing telegraphy by single side band carrier modulation by frequency displacement with error correction J2B (Automatic SSB Data)
The use of other emission types than included above require express authorization of the Secretary.
(Translator note: The above parenthesized indications are added).
B.2.- Stations must operate within the following maximum power limits corresponding to the emission types used:
LICENSE CLASS EMISSION TYPE MAXIMUM POWER
CLASS I A1A,A2A,F3E 1250 W. AVERAGE R3E,H3E,J3E,J2B 1250 W. PEAK
IN THE BANDS ABOVE 144MHZ: A3E,F1C,F3C,C3F, 500 W. AVERAGE R3C, 500 W. PEAK
CLASS II A1A,A2A,F3E, 500 W. AVERAGE R3E,H3E,J3E,J2B, 500 W. PEAK
IN THE BAND ABOVE 144 MHZ. A3E,F1C,F3E,C3F, 200 W. AVERAGE R3C 200 W PEAK
*NOVICE A1A,A2A 150 W. AVERAGE
* These categories are authorized exclusively in the band of 7050 to 7100 Khz and in the band of 144 to 148 MHz with phone modes, and in the band of 7000 to 7050 with CW modes.
C.1- The amateur is responsible for keeping a permanent logbook at the station with pages sequentially numbered which must be certified by the Secretary by means of the department seal, date, name, and signature of the person certifying. The logbook must clearly note all communications made by the station. The cover must give the name of the operator, callsign, license class, number of the certificate, and the maximum transmitter power. The pages must contain the following date for each contact.
In case of contests, events, or mobil contacts, where it is impossible to immediately register the information, the entries must be estimated and entered before any further information about normal communications from the fixed station. When the operator discovers an error in the logbook content, a new entry must be made immediately following the erroneous one and a cancellation line drawn through the incorrect one leaving it intact in readable form, and the operatorís signature must be appended to the correction.
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