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This comment raises the idea that PLBs may not be allowed inland in the UK. A later comment refuted this, but I never even considered they would be disallowed anywhere, but simply rented one and took it with me on a hike in Norway and Sweden (fortunately I didn't use it).

  • Are Personal Locator Beacons banned anywhere in the world?
  • Are Personal Locator Beacons useless in some countries, e.g. because nobody will come anyway? Where could I find information about this?
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According to this article on Walk Highlands, from December 2011:

Hillwalkers and climbers will be able to legally carry Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) from 12 January following a change in UK regulations. Previously the devices, which send out a distress signal identifying the user’s exact location when activated, could only be licensed for use on boats and planes.

After a bit of further rummaging, the relevant OFCOM document is here

But to specifically answer the question, certainly within the EU, you should be OK (given the OFCOM change came about from an EU directive) and there is an EU-wide SAR system.

Further afield, you'll have to check if you go there...

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