Cool. Thanks for the verification. I did all that "off the top of me head"!
Yeah, I didn't go into extreme detail on the type acceptance. That's a US and Canadian thing. I'm not sure honestly how other countries do things.
For everyone else, radios built in other countries are indeed, 'type accepted' in the US by FCC standards. And as Dave pointed out, they are done this way to PREVENT interference to services outside the bands they are designed to operate in.
This comes down specifically to prevent harmful interference especially to life-saving services, but also to prevent most kinds of interference.
The problem with modifying a ham radio into another service comes from the fact that amateur gear - when commercially produced may well be within all standards, FOR the Ham Bands, but when you push the envelop, so to speak, you can cause spurious emissions. Those emissions can cause signals in other bands to be over-ridden by your radio signal which could place others in jeopardy.
But for Dan... there's inexpensive, there's cheap and there's frugal.
While it might seem "cheaper" to modify a ham rig (and then use it) on marine frequencies - it won't be IF you get caught doing so. If I remember rightly the rules state something about the fines being up to $10,000 dollars and jail time.
If you're a foreign operator (Say from Canada) you have to have a reciprocal operating license (not difficult to obtain, if you're licensed already in your country).
I honestly don't know if the Coast Guard would check your license or not, but they don't actually have authority to fine you for not having one. The ONLY authority over US frequency allocation and usage is the Federal Communications Commission.
I know that the RCMP will confiscate radios that are "illegally modified" themselves, usually ham gear modified to hold commercial stuff. I don't know if they grab US radios for this, as I have several radios that are capable of holding many frequencies, and my main HT is capable of pretty much transmitting anywhere, not LEGALLY, but it can.
(That radio can, if necessary, broadcast on marine frequencies, but would not be used to do so except in emergencies. In the US ANY ONE and ANY RADIO system can be used to assist in emergencies where safety and preservation of life is a factor)
Rick Donaldson, NØNJY
It's better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for who you're not.
Let those winds of change blow over my head,
I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead - Jimmy Buffet