Buying a beacon

Which beacon should I buy?

There are three different beacon types. Use our guide to find out which beacon is right for you.

Choosing a beacon

Purchase your beacon

Beacons can be purchased through fishing, boat, aviation, bushwalking and camping stores across Australia. Although we do not endorse any particular beacon model or brand, we have provided a list of beacon manufacturers and beacon models that comply with Australian Standards.

Register your beacon

Once you've purchased your beacon, you must register it with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).


Buying and selling a second-hand beacon

The seller or purchaser of a second-hand beacon must contact AMSA to update their registration details.

The seller needs to update their registration account to indicate the beacon has been sold and provide the purchaser’s contact details if available. This can be done through the following options.

  • Log in to your online beacon account
    Click on 'Change beacon ownership', sign in, select the new status as 'Sold' and follow the steps as prompted.
  • Phone AMSA on 1800 406 406
    Please have your HEX ID / UIN code on hand, purchasers name, address and phone number.
  • Email AMSA at
    Please include your HEX ID / UIN, purchasers name, address and phone number.
  • Download the 'Change in ownership' form (Word 70Kb) (also available in PDF 226Kb)
    Complete the form and return it to AMSA as described on the form.

The purchaser also needs to contact AMSA to register the beacon under their name. To do this you will be asked for the seller's contact details if available and your own contact details to complete the registration. This must be done by phone only (1800 406 406).

Once registration is complete, AMSA will send you a beacon registration confirmation via SMS, email or letter so that you can prove registration when inspected by authorities. Beacon registration is valid for two years.

Purchasing a beacon overseas

If purchasing a distress beacon overseas for use in Australia; make sure that it will meet Australian Standards and Class Licence requirements. Information on the Class Licence that authorises the use of distress beacons can be accessed from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Handy hint: If you buy a distress beacon overseas, it will be programmed to that country and cannot be registered in Australia unless it is re-programmed by the manufacturer with the Australian country code.

Buyer beware: Do not buy a distress beacon from Canada or the USA as they do not meet the Australian Standard and cannot be registered in Australia.

Beacons from Canada and the USA