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Acceptance of the ICC

Whether evidence of competence is required or the ICC is recommended.

Many European countries require the skipper of a pleasure craft to be able to provide evidence of his or her competence. In practice documentary evidence may seldom be inspected, but it is generally useful and in some countries essential to carry an ICC. 

Acceptance of the ICC by the visited country should be because the visited country itself has accepted the Resolution 40. However, as the UK is one of only a few countries which have fully accepted Resolution 40 this is quite often not the case. The ICC may also be recognised as acceptable evidence of competence in the visited country’s national legislation or it may be accepted on a purely informal basis.

Acceptance of the ICC is determined in accordance with both the vessel’s Flag State legislation and that of the visited country. It is essential that holders of the ICC check that no further evidence of competence is required either by the Flag State or by the country in which the boat is being used (the Coastal State).

The size of boat your ICC is acceptable for also varies from country to country and this is again determined by the authorities of the visited country.

The onus is on ICC holders to determine its acceptability.

RYA Advice

The RYA's advice (intended for British recreational boaters) on where evidence of competence is necessary is based both on what we understand the law to say and boaters' experiences in the country. The RYA recommends carrying the ICC as evidence of competence in other European countries, but you may find that other certificates are also acceptable in these countries.

In very general terms an ICC is recommended for the inland waterways of Europe and for inland and coastal waters of Mediterranean countries. For the coastal waters of Northern Europe the ICC is generally not required, however to all of these generalisations there are exceptions. 

The information in the table applies to UK flagged Pleasure Vessels which arrive in the waters of another country by water. Additional requirements may apply to boats that are being launched from foreign shores - check the local regulations before launching as site specific rules may apply. Different rules apply when chartering abroad.



Resolution 40

Evidence of competence?

Austria  Applied  Required. ICC recommended
Belgium Applied

Coastal: not required

Inland: ICC required for vessels over 15m in length or capable of more than 20km/h (approx. 11 knots), otherwise not required

Croatia Applied Essential. ICC recommended
Denmark  The skipper should have the relevant UK national certificate
Finland   Applied Not required

Visitors to France on foreign flagged boats are required to have the licence required by the vessel’s flag state. Further information for RYA members.

Coastal: It is recommended (particularly in the Mediterranean) that you carry any certificates you have with you. 

Inland: ICC recommended as it demonstrates knowledge of the CEVNI regulations

Germany  Applied 

Coastal Waters including Zone 1 and 2 waterways: there is no maximum length for which the German 'Sportbootführerschein' is valid for coastal waters therefore acceptance of the ICC should have no upper length limit. 

Inland Zone 3 and 4 waterways: required. ICC accepted for vessels of less than 20m in length except the River Rhine.

River Rhine: required. ICC accepted for vessels less than 15m in length. 

Greece    Yes. ICC recommended
Ireland  Applied  Not required

Coastal: Yes. ICC recommended

Inland: check locally

Malta    ICC recommended especially for motorised craft 
Netherlands  Applied 

Coastal: not required

Inland: ICC required for vessels over 15m in length or capable of more than 20km/h (approx. 11 knots), otherwise not required*

Norway  Applied  Not required             
Poland Applied  Required. ICC recommended
Portugal     Required. ICC recommended
Spain    Required. ICC recommended
Sweden    Not required
Switzerland   Applied Essential. The ICC is only sufficient for visitors - Swiss residents require a Swiss licence  
Turkey    Required. ICC recommended

Explanatory notes to the table (above)

*Certificates must have been issued prior to 2011 to be valid for vessels over 25m in length.

Note: where evidence of competence is required under the Merchant Shipping Regulations (i.e. UK pleasure vessels exceeding both 80 GT and 24m (load line) length (see Merchant Shipping Notice (MSN) 1858)) and for any vessel which is used for commercial purposes, the ICC is insufficient and it must be supported by the requisite certificate of competence.  

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.

Certificate Translations

As Yachtsmen travel further afield, the acceptance and knowledge of RYA certification by port officials is of greater importance. The ICC often assists, but the countries to which RYA certified skippers now venture far exceed its scope.

The RYA cannot make every country accept its qualifications, but the translations of the practical certificates provided on the RYA website and on the reverse side of some newly issued certificates should make it easier for port officials to understand them and make an informed decision.

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