Who is authorised to service my beacon in Australia?

If the beacon battery was replaced or serviced by a non-certified service centre then the beacon is non-compliant for carriage requirements and there is a risk the beacon may not function correctly.

Periodic battery replacement is essential to maintaining the compliance of many beacons with applicable standards. Those standards are set in order to maximise the likelihood of the beacon working in the adverse environments in which distress and emergencies often arise.

Risks arise if batteries are replaced or repairs to beacons are carried out by someone other than the manufacturer (or its approved service centres).

Only the manufacturer has the necessary equipment and technical information to carry out battery replacement or repairs and then confirm that the beacon continues to meet all applicable standards. In this regard it is important to note that the in-built test function on many beacons is not conclusive of the beacon’s ongoing compliance with all applicable standards. For example, battery replacement and other dismantling often affects the physical integrity of the case and seals protecting sensitive electronic components from adverse environmental conditions. For this reason, manufacturers are likely to disclaim liability for the performance of beacons that have had maintenance or repairs carried out by someone other than the manufacturer.

Further, when a beacon must be carried to comply with Commonwealth, State or Territory law, the law usually requires that the beacon meet a specified standard, and that standard usually specifies that all maintenance and repairs must be carried out by the manufacturer. In these cases this means that if the battery is changed by someone other than the manufacturer, the beacon automatically ceases to meet the required standard and the carriage of that beacon will not result in compliance with the law.

A situation of genuine distress or emergency is not the time to discover that a beacon does not meet applicable standards and does not satisfy applicable carriage law. The risks of that happening will be substantially reduced if the beacon is maintained by the manufacturer.

Beacon standards

  • The Australian/New Zealand standard 4280.1 (EPIRB) and 4280.2 (PLB) states that beacons must be returned to the manufacturer or a manufacturer’s approved service centre when repairs or battery replacement are required. 
  • If a beacon is required to meet carriage requirements under Maritime regulations or CASA it states the beacon must be compliant with AS/NZ 4280.1 and/or 4280.2.

Who can service a beacon in Australia?

Your beacon can only be serviced by the manufacturer who is identified on the side of the beacon.

  • ACR – refer to beacon manufacturer website for servicing contact list
  • CETC - certified servicing agent in Australia is Great Circle Marine Pty Ltd in Queensland, Ph: 07 3343 8384
  • GME - can only be serviced by GME in Sydney, or Ph: 1300 463 463
  • Jotron – refer to beacon manufacturer website for servicing contact list
  • Kannad – certified servicing agent in Australia is RFD Australia/Survitec Group in Sydney, or Ph: 1800 646 086
  • Kinetic Technology International Pty Ltd – KTI has ceased operations. Battery replacement, re-coding and other services are no longer available. If required the instruction manuals are available online
  • McMurdo – certified servicing agent in Australia is AMI Sales in O’Connor WA, or Ph: 08 9331 0000
  • Ocean Signal – certified servicing agent in Australia is All Sat Communications in Melbourne, or Ph: 1300 747 587
  • Other Brands – refer to beacon manufacturer website for servicing contact list.