Post updated on November 22, 2022
Here is some useful information about operating from Poland for foreigners. First and foremost, if you are a ham radio license holder, you can operate in Poland using your own callsign adding SP/ prefix, but no longer than for 90 days. If you are not a holder of such license or wish to get a Polish callsign based on your license, then see instructions here, on the website of the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE). Long story short, you file a form, attach a copy of your license and confirmation of payment of 82 PLN (around $22, €18). It may take up to six weeks to process your request.
When applying for a Polish call, you can specify up to three callsigns that are of interest to you. At the bottom of this page there’s a link to a database of all registered callsigns in SP-land, so check there first if your favourite is free. Also, while the number in the call does not have to correspond to a call region (there are 9 call regions in Poland) of residence, it is customary (again: there are exceptions to the rule) to use the number of your call region in your callsign.
The CEPT full license holders are allowed full legal power of 500 W on all amateur bands. CEPT novice license holders are limited in power to 100 W and frequencies: 1810-2000 kHz, 3500-3800 kHz, 7000-7200 kHz, 14000-14350 kHz, 21000-21450 kHz, 28000-29700 kHz, 144-146 MHz, 430-440 MHz and 10-10,5 GHz. There is no restriction on modes in either case. In all cases, operation on 4m band is restricted to 20W EIRP and on 6m – to 100W. If you’re planning to work on 134.7 kHz, then don’t go above 1W ;). Details (in Polish) can be found here.
As far as we know, there are no rf-free zones in the country where you cannot operate (except, of course, private land/property and things like military bases, hospitals, train stations etc. where usual restrictions apply). While figuring out that you’re at a millitary base is no hassle, deciding whether you’re on a private land can be sometimes problematic. What you might see in such case is a sign TEREN PRYWATNY (private property) or ZAKAZ WSTĘPU (no entry). While usually this is to take responsibility off the owner in case of an accident, sometimes the owners really enjoy their privacy and may take issue with trespassers. You don’t need any special permit to operate in national parks and similar, but stay on the the trails and keep the nature as you found it (or better) – you will get away with throwing antenna up a tree or driving spikes into ground, but don’t overdo it.
Operating mobile (in a vehicle on the move) is not an offense, but using a mobile phone without a hands-free equipment is. Note also that in Poland the CB (11 m) band is different than in the rest of Europe: we operate “in zeroes” (eg. channel 19 is 27180 kHz).
It may be extremely rare, but sometimes a person in a uniform may ask you for some explanations. The police or other law enforcement officers may or may not be familiar with HAM radio – so don’t just rely on your license to explain yourself. The keyword may be KRÓTKOFALOWIEC , since “radio amateur” or “HAM radio operator” may ring different bells than those expected. While many police officers speak English, it’s best to have a phone number to a local ham, who can explain things to them for you. As a first line of defense (sorry for military talk, HI HI), you can direct them to this UKE’s website and point them to the last paragraph of the first section.
Regular folk doesn’t get too nosy about what we do, and they don’t get spy-like suspicious either 😉 However portable operation is not that common a thing in Poland, so you will end up drawing some attention anyway.
If you’d like to figure out what’s going on in your area, there are two websites that can help you with it. qrz.pl provides a map of ham stations along with their QRV (it’s in Polish, but you’ll figure it out). przemienniki.net does the same thing, but for repeaters (it hasn’t been updated for a while, but information is still mostly valid).
UKE on its website also provides interesting databases for those who like to search, namely:
- registered private callsigns
- registered club stations/legal entities
- registered automatic private stations
- registered automatic club stations
You can always contact us if you need any help or more detailed information. See you around!