Is The Game Up For Baofeng In Europe?

For radio enthusiasts around the world, cheap Chinese handheld radios made by such as Baofeng and other brands are a welcome addition to their arsenal. They make an ideal first transceiver for a new licensee, convenient portable for any radio amateur and a cheap basis for UHF or VHF experiments. Unfortunately with the low price comes something like a reputation for not having the cleanest spectral output and that seems to be the case. this has attracted the attention of regulators in Germany and Poland. In Germany, this led to announcing a ban on sale (PDF in German), which seems likely to be repeated in the rest of the EU.

It seems that what has happened is that the quality of the Baofeng radio stations sold does not correspond to what is stated in their documents of conformity, which, frankly, should not come as a surprise to anyone. Interestingly, the documentation mentions the Baofeng UV-5R specifically, as it seems likely that an inevitable mole-hitting game will follow with the same radio stations appearing under more and more brands and parts numbers. The basic UV-5R already comes in a number of variants, for example the one in which this is written is almost identical, but a little more powerful BF-F8, so this should not be a surprise again.

If you live in Europe, should you panic about buying Baofeng while you still can? Probably not, unless you really need one. Something tells us that they will remain easily accessible from the usual overseas sources for years to come. In the meantime this is not the first time the regulator has raised questions about this type of radio.

thanks [2ftg] for the top.

Caption: Varvara Kaminskaya, CC BY-SA 4.0.