International Certificate of Competence (ICC)

Turkey Datcha DSC 4643What is the ICC?

The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) was introduced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Inland Transport Committee to provide boat owners and charterers with a document issued in their own country and recognised throughout Europe.

Who needs an ICC?

The rules on where, and for what type of boat, you might need to have a certificate as a visitor, vary from country to country. In some you will need a certificate on inland but not in coastal waters and you may need a certificate only for motorboats, or for boats over a particular length, capable of a speed in excess of a certain number of knots or with engines over a certain power.

Individual countries change their rules from time to time and the actual practice of local maritime officials has been reported as being at variance with national regulations. In some countries, whose laws require certificates for all boat users, the local harbour masters and marine police are not in the least interested, while in others, whose laws do not require visitors to have certificates, harbour masters ask to see them and there is much tut-tutting if one cannot be produced.

As a general rule, the further inland and the further south you go, the more likely it is that you will need to carry a Certificate of Competence.

Many certificate holders take the view that, even though they may not strictly have to have one, it is easier to take the test in English than to waste a day's holiday on a multilingual argument with a harbour master who is insisting that a certificate must be produced before the entry or exit formalities can be completed.

Cruising Marmaris SCV0323What about CEVNI?

CEVNI is the code of signs, rules and procedures governing navigation on all the interconnected European inland waterways.

A CEVNI qualification is a legal requirement for all users of the Inland Waterways of Europe.

An ICC valid for inland waters is supplemented by a written test on the CEVNI rules. This is a multiple choice question paper based on the rules laid out in the RYA publication 'European Waterways Regulations'.

Is there a minimum age?

Yes. The minimum age for the issue of ICC's is 16.

Who Issues ICCs?

ICCs are issued in the UK, to British Nationals, by the RYA, following satisfactory completion of an ICC test.

Where can I take an ICC test?

RYA Affiliated Clubs who have applied to the RYA to carry out ICC tests, and at RYA Recognised Training Centres.

Sussex Yacht Club is authorised by the RYA to carry out ICC Tests. If you wish to take an ICC Test at SYC, you need to complete the SYC ICC Application Form. You can read about taking your ICC at SYC and download the form here ››

Where can I obtain a CEVNI qualification?

Affiliated Clubs and Recognised Training Centres can run the CEVNI multiple choice tests (these have been online since 2011). If you are interested please contact the office.

Sussex Yacht Club is authorised by the RYA to run the CEVNI multiple choice test. You can read about taking your ICC & CEVNI at SYC and download the form here ››

What categories of ICC are there?

  • ICCs can be issued for:
  • Power up to 10m
  • Power up to 24m
  • Sail up to 24m (includes power up to 10m)
  • Inland *
  • Coastal

* requires a CEVNI test for the ICC to be issued

Are there any exemptions from the ICC test?

You do not have to take a test for the ICC if you already hold a Certificate of Competence, or an RYA practical course completion certificate for skippering the type of boat in the category of water for which you want an ICC. Full details of the exemptions are contained in the RYA ICC Application form.

If you fall into this category, you should apply directly to the RYA for an ICC, without the need to take an ICC test.

What will I be asked to do during the ICC test?

Candidates are required to have a working knowledge of the following:

  • International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
  • Safety at Sea
  • Traffic Separation Schemes (Coastal Candidates only)
  • Lights & Shapes (Coastal Candidates only)
  • Sound Signals (Coastal Candidates only)
  • Pilotage (Coastal Candidates only)
  • Navigation (Coastal Candidates only)
  • CEVNI (Inland Candidates only)

These elements are tested by oral/written examination on the day of the ICC Test, except that the CEVNI test, which is a written, multi-choice type test, will be undertaken on a separate occasion.

Candidates are also required to demonstrate their practical boat-handling skills in a practical test.

The full details of the oral/written and practical tests are contained in the RYA ICC Application form; you can read about taking your ICC at SYC and download the forms here ››


Back to the RYA Yacht Training Homepage where you can also find out how to book ››