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International Certificate of Competence - ICC

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International Certificate

International Certificate of Competence – ICC

If you want to cruise outside the UK you are likely to need certification, often in the form of the International Certificate of Competence ICC: 10 – 24m

There are two categories of ICC Motor – the RYA courses can help you achieve them. The following courses provide evidence of your competence to qualify you for the ICC:

  • RYA Powerboat Level 2 certificate (or above) for the ICC Motor for craft up to 10m in length
  • RYA Day Skipper course (4 days) (or above)  for the ICC Motor for craft 10m to 24m in length

Experienced skippers can take a 1 day Direct Assessment to qualify for the ICC rather than a full course. (£700 per day 1 : 1 )

In addition to the ICC, applicants should also be aware of the local requirements for skippers, boats and licences in the area they want to boat, or charter, and, if possible, take translations of the certificates that they hold.

How can I take this course?

  • On our school boat – dates negotiable. (£700 per day 1 : 1 )
  • On your own boat, we come to you.
  • On our boat, max 3 people, dates negotiable, minimum 2 days (£700 a day)

The vessels we use for ICC applications, via a course or direct assessment, are:

  • ICC up to 10m – 5.5m Ribcraft rib ‘Kake’ or 7m Ribcraft rib ‘Swiss T’
  • ICC 10 – 24m – Princess 368 with flybridge, Fenland Dancer, and 2 x 300Hp Cummins engines on shafts.

What you need to know:

The following countries residents are eligible for an ICC issued by the RYA, however any country on the list can change it’s decision so it is suggested that you visit here to check eligibility before booking.

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia,Herzegovina, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Portugal, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain,Sweden, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United States of America, Uzbekistan.

The requirement for the international certificate of competence varies from country to country. Sometimes an ICC is required for coastal waters, sometimes for inland waters, sometimes for neither and sometimes for both. As the skipper of a vessel, you must ensure that you are aware of any requirement for qualifications before venturing into another country’s jurisdiction.

Scope of the ICC

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Inland Transport Committee Resolution 40 (hereafter called Resolution 40) International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft (known in the UK as the International Certificate of Competence (ICC)) is documentary assurance from one government to another that the holder meets the levels of competence laid down in Resolution 40. It is NOT a qualification.

The resolution states that the ICC may be issued by a government to its nationals and residents who are operators of pleasure craft in the waters of other signatory countries, on condition that it accepts the requirements and conditions set out in Resolution 40. This means that an UK ICC should allow UK Citizens and bonafide UK residents to navigate pleasure craft to or in the waters of foreign states that participate in Resolution 40, without the need to comply with those states’ laws, particularly their national certification requirements which in many cases are compulsory.

The UK is one of only a few countries which have fully accepted Resolution 40. Many countries have not adopted Resolution 40, some still apply Resolution 14 which Resolution 40 was intended to replace. Others only apply Resolution 40 in part or with caveats attached. In reality, however, the ICC is more widely accepted as proof of the holder’s competence. Spain, Greece and Portugal for example, have not adopted Resolution 40 but are still most likely to ask visitors for an ICC.

Some states may accept UK (RYA) ICC as an alternative to their national qualification on their nationally flagged vessels, but this should NEVER be assumed. The onus is on ICC holders to determine its acceptability by foreign states.

The ICC was never intended to be an alternative to individual national qualification requirements. The advice to anyone planning to charter abroad is to obtain from the charter company (preferably in writing) details of the certification they require, what cruising area this is acceptable for and that this certification will also meet the requirements of the relevant authorities in the area concerned.

The RYA through the European Boating Association, is working towards wider acceptance of Resolution 40 and conformity in its application. Once Resolution 40 is universally adopted, the ICC may then become more like an international driving licence in application for visitors.

Boating Inland and CEVNI

CEVNI stands for Code Européen des Voies de Navigation Intérieure. It is the code governing navigation on the interconnected European inland waterways and is the basis of the various countries’ own regulations.

Signs, rules and procdures for navigating the European inland waterways are all included within the CEVNI code and in the same way as pleasure craft on coastal waters are expected to abide by the COLREGS, pleasure craft on the inland waterways of Europe, which in places are heavily utilised by commercial traffic are expected to know and follow the CEVNI code.

Knowing and abiding by the regulations is the best way to protect yourself and your boat.

If you require an ICC valid for use on inland waters, you must learn the CEVNI code and complete the CEVNI test which is now conducted online. The RYA book G17 “RYA European waterways regulations (the CEVNI rules explained)” provides the information you need to learn the code in a clear and concise way. The CEVNI test can be purchased here.

Upon successful completion of the online test you send the completion certificate to the RYA to be either added to an existing ICC or if a new issue with a qualifying RYA practical course completion certificate as detailed above.

How to apply for an ICC

The RYA is the UK issuing authority for the International Certificate of Competence (ICC).

To obtain an ICC you must prove your competence. If you have attended a RYA practical training course presenting your certificate with your ICC application form may be sufficient, otherwise you will need to take a practical test at a RYA recognised training centre.

The UK (RYA) ICC has several. When an ICC certificate is issued, only the categories for which competence has been proven will be validated.

For further information on how to apply for or renew an ICC Click Here.



Once you have established how to prove your competence to ensure you receive an ICC validated for the categories you require, you need to complete an ICC application form. This should be sent, together with a passport sized photograph, and payment (see the application form for the current charge) to the Certification Department of the RYA. Issue of the ICC is free of charge for RYA members.

Note: the skipper and crew of a pleasure craft which exceeds both 24m (load line) length and 80GT must comply with the Merchant Shipping Manning regulations as summarised in Merchant Shipping Notice (MSN) 1802. (A pleasure vessel less than 24m or 80GT need not comply with these manning regulations.)

If your vessel is registered in one of the Crown Dependencies, you will need to comply with the regulations applied by that Dependency’s administration, which may differ.

For more information on all our services, please call on 01489 588977 during office hours or 07841 659951 / 078096 19665 out of office hours, or complete the form below.