Rip off UK (Ltd)

Stingo

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I have been looking into purchasing myself an SSB Radio for my planned circumnavigation. The price of an Icom 710 from a dealer in the USA is £ 400 cheaper including shipping than the best price I can find in the UK. This only difference between a set bought in the UK and one bought in the USA is that the UK model has a CE (European Approval) stamp on it. WHOOOPIE!!!

If I decide to purchase the 710 from the USA dealer and should my boat ever be inspected (difficult for the RCA to do because I am heading across the big pond soon) and should they discover that my 710 is missing a CE stamp, I am liable for a £2000 fine.

The US model is also doctored to communicate with amateur HAM bands which to me has fantastic advantages e.g. S&R

Can anyone give me any other reasons not to purchase the US model?

Thanks
 

Roberto

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I am pretty much in the same situation...
Although not UK based, my best option would be to buy the M710 in the UK as you have the cheapest prices in Europe.

But as you point out, it is still far more expensive than in the US, I reckon too it is due to the CE mark.

The radio itself is the same, but most of its features can be modified by a software (tx frequencies, power -yes-, LSB availability, etc). Most ICOM dealers in Europe would modify the radio to suit your needs if you buy it from them... So technically there would be no difference between an european or us set.

As for UK maritime radio regulations, which I do not know as my boat is not uk registered, let us see. I cannot register a marine radio station without ce mark, ok. On the other side I have got an amateur radio licence in the UK, and as you may know there is no need for amateur equipment to be CE marked. I suppose you can buy your 710 from the US, set up a /MM maritime mobile station on your boat and use that radio on amateur frequencies. It would not be a marine radio station but an amateur radio station, so no particular problem with RCA controls, just subject to the few amateur radio regulations.

Of course, you cannot use it on marine bands, but you have £400+ in your pockets.

I would be glad to hear any thoughts/comments...

Roberto, M0ITA
 

billmacfarlane

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Am I missing something here ? If a US citizen sails his boat to the UK with an ICOM SSB bought in the States can he use it ? If so why can't a UK citizen use the exact same piece of kit ?
 

Roberto

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Sure the US boat can!

Arbitrage of different regulations brings funny things: you may find French nationals sailing in Belgian registered boats as the latter have very "loose" safety and tax requirements, contrary to France; you may find Italian nationals in Greece sailing French flag boats as these have no requirements for a "sailing licence" whereas Italy does, etc.

One of the first effects of European law arbitrage, like it or not...

Compared to other European countries the boating UK can call itself happy I dare to say. Was it not for the "you must be resident" constraint (which by the way not many countries have) I would well fly a red ensign on my boat!

Roberto
 

Stingo

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I have now spoken to Icom and they cannot tell me the difference technically or visually between the US & European model except for the supposed CE mark.

So I phoned the MCA and asked them. They don't even have the Icom 710 listed as a CE appoved SSB radio despite them having one in their office (which has no visible CE mark apparently). Hmmm.

So could they actually impose a fine if I were inspected? I doubt it because I could ask Icom UK (or a local dealer) to fax me proof of the 710 CE approval and I'd flash that at the MCA inspector with a £400 grin above my chin.
 

Roberto

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Technically there is no difference.
In Europe you may usually find only the "marine bands only' model, whereas in the US you have the 710-21 and 710-22, the first being only marine, the second having both marine and ham bands access. The price is different, but with the little software you may easily switch on whatever features you like. Buy the marine only and then modify it, it means 100ish usd less...

As for the CE mark, it has been given only to the GMDSS ready version, which is the one you find in Europe but not necessarily in the us (again, they have more models...). You do not have to buy all the gmdss additional machine, just a 710 gmdss ready radio.

I woulkd think that a CE mark is valid in every European country. 710 gmdss ready sold in Germany, France, Spain and Italy are definitely CE marked. Again, I see your point, they all cost more than the identical US model!
 

Stingo

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Thanks for that. You seem quite clued up on the subject, so if you don't mind me asking,
1 - how difficult is it to get hold of the software to make the changes?
2 - how difficult is it to use the software?
3 - would the 710 have to be linked to a PC?
 

robp

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It's true that the wording in a 1994 guidance document to the implementation of the CE directives, refers to "Placing an apparatus on the market".

Unless anyone knows anything later (or different) than this, it could answer your question.
 

Roberto

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The software is a Icom propietory one, all Icom branches have it and often they do not charge for modifications. Contrary to some older radios, the 710 does not need any diode stripping or mech/electronic modifications, just the software.

I have not got the radio myself but I have seen the software being used and could not be easier: you need a pc with a connection cable to the radio, hook it up and in less than five minutes you are done.

I send you some schematics for the cable.
 

Roberto

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...by the way...

there are rumours that ICOM will put out a new model of marine/ham ssb radio in the coming months. I do not know anything about it, nor do I think I would buy a brand new radio model for beta testing...
 

brianrunyard

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I understand that it's down to the country of registration of the boat. So a US boat arriving here with the equipment has no problem.
The other thing to remember is, if you purchase a set by mail order from the US, it might be confiscated by the customs for not meeting type approval, this has happened in the past to persons bringing cars back with CB radios fitted, the customs remove the CB.
If they allow it in you will have to pay duty and VAT.
 

robp

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Allow for about 5%. Should be no more. Obviously VAT at 17.5%. Duty is payable on product, insurance and freight charges.

Do check that point about not importing for re-sale.

Local HM Customs & Excise have advice lines I'm sure
 

Boatman

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Two items that you should be aware of, type approval for import the C&E could very well confiscate re Ham &
Marine bands together but you should try and check, the other much more important issue is the ATU nearly
all the UK prices include this and if the radio is Gmdss ready the ATU has a different spec (seperate backup tuning unit). When I purchased
mine I bought it in the UK after serious investigation in the US and exported out of UK I found the prices to
be similar since I wasn't paying VAT.

One thing I am sure about is that where ever you get the radio you will find that it is one of the best bits of kit on the boat.

Have fun
 
G

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Re: Other Possibilities

In Jersey we are outside the EU zone and the rate of VAT is zero.
Depending where in the UK(?) you are leaving from, have you investigated the possibilities about buying a set here? There are several excellent Marine Electricians and chandlers. Certainly you would have to sail here first before setting out into bluer waters, but that is not a hardship.
 

Stingo

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Re: Other Possibilities

Now that makes sense. Can you give me contact details for these Jersey Chandlers please (web address or phone numbers)?

Think I'll have to nip across to Jersey to stock up on cheap electronics via a quick stop in Cherbourg to top up on cheap booze next week.

Thanks.
 
G

Guest

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Re: Other Possibilities

Before you come across, I think you need to check out the legalities - I am sure the chandlers could advise. I am in the middle of the North Sea at the moment and I do not have all the numbers onboard but try South Pier Shipyard - look their number up by going to www.bt.com then directory enquiries. Their marine electrician was very helpful to me. If you care to contact me through the forum I can help further when I return in about ten days.
Jersey has some faults but it remains, for the moment, a bastion against many of the zealots in Brussels.
 
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