I currently do not live in the USA. I would like to find out if I still have to abide by FCC regulations.

  • $\begingroup$ Answers are discouraged in comments, but since the FCC is a United States regulatory agency, you can probably draw your own conclusion. $\endgroup$ – SDsolar May 8 '17 at 23:19

The FCC's jurisdiction is only within the United States. You'll need to comply with the regulations in the location where you are operating.

That said, especially in the context of amateur radio, and even more so on HF, many of the FCC's regulations mirror ITU regulations which are adopted pretty much everywhere. As such it's usually a safe assumption that if something is prohibited in the US, it's prohibited most other places too. For example, a spark gap transmitter is probably not allowed anywhere. Likewise, prohibitions on commercial use, broadcast of music, and so on are almost universal.

The converse is not necessarily true: something allowed in the US may not be allowed elsewhere. Band allocations in particular can vary, and local jurisdictions can and often do add regulations in addition to what's agreed by the ITU. Check local regulations.

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    $\begingroup$ The ITU does not issue regulations per se - it issues guidelines that countries may chose to codify or reference. The ITU has no enforcement capability. There are three regions in the ITU and the guidelines and band plans vary by region. The only safe answer is to follow the regulations of the country or territory in which you are operating. $\endgroup$ – Glenn W9IQ May 9 '17 at 12:56
  • $\begingroup$ @GlennW9IQ Yes, I think that's what "adopted pretty much everywhere" and "Check local regulations" mean? $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II May 9 '17 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ I guess the objection is to the word "regulations" in reference to the ITU? You might be interested to know the document the ITU publishes is titled "Radio Regulations": itu.int/pub/R-REG-RR-2012 $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II May 9 '17 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ It is not the use of the word "regulations". It is the logic of your answer. $\endgroup$ – Glenn W9IQ May 9 '17 at 13:33
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    $\begingroup$ There are dozens of examples of things that are prohibited in the US that are permitted elsewhere and vice versa. $\endgroup$ – Glenn W9IQ May 9 '17 at 13:42

If you are operating under your US callsign, you typically need to abide by both the rules of the country you're operating in, and the US rules. From http://www.arrl.org/us-amateurs-operating-overseas (about CEPT/IARU):

"Class 1 licensees... may operate with the same privileges they are authorized in their home country provided that they do not exceed those privileges granted to the highest class license available in the country."

So if the country you're in allows you to operate on 4m but the US does not, you're not allowed to operate on 4m - as long as you're using the US callsign. If you operate under a callsign issued by that country, you're free to do so.

All of this depends on the agreement that the US has with the country you're operating in. There's no general answer.

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    $\begingroup$ This is assuming you are operating with your US call? It doesn't apply if you are operating with a call sign from the country in which you are located. $\endgroup$ – Glenn W9IQ May 10 '17 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ Right. If no US call is involved then there's no jurisdiction for the FCC outside the US (and territories and US boats and planes, etc). $\endgroup$ – user3486184 May 11 '17 at 15:56

You need to abide the regulations of the country you reside in.

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    $\begingroup$ One interesting side issue is that if you are on board a US flagged vessel in international waters and a US licensee, then you must follow the FCC regulations. $\endgroup$ – Glenn W9IQ May 10 '17 at 15:39

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