ICC – International Certificate of Competence

The ICC (or to give it its full title; International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft) is a certificate which is intended to provide evidence of competence when requested by officials in foreign countries. It is sometimes known as the International Certificate of Competence.

It is issued under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Inland Transport Committee Working Party on Inland Water Transport Resolution 40. It is this resolution which details how and to whom the ICC may be issued, the syllabus requirements, the layout of the certificate and it also lists the countries which have notified the UNECE Secretariat that they have accepted the resolution.

Demonstrating the necessary knowledge and skills

Applicants must prove that they have sufficient knowledge and ability to safely operate a pleasure craft. Through the RYA, Sail Nelson are approved to carry out a one day assessment for eligeabile users of sailing vessels on coastal waters. Alternatively eligible holders of the practical Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster certificates can apply for the ICC certificate, because they have already proved their competence to or beyond this level.

Evidence of nationality or residency

The RYA is authorised by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to issue a UK ICC to the nationals of any country EXCEPT individuals who are a national of another UNECE member state which has accepted Resolution 40 and who are also resident in another UNECE member state which has accepted Resolution 40, unless the RYA has been given written permission to do so by the Government of the relevant country.

The list of UNECE member states that have accepted Resolution 40 is subject to change without notice (i.e. whenever the government of a country adopts Resolution 40).

The current list is available on the RYA web-site at http://www.rya.org.uk/infoadvice/boatingabroad/icc/Pages/icc-no.aspx


The certificate is available to a person who fulfils the following eligibility criteria:

  • has reached the age of 16;
  • is physically and mentally fit to operate a pleasure craft, and in particular, has sufficient powers of vision and hearing;
  • presents one of the specified UK certificates or has successfully passed an examination to prove the necessary competence for pleasure craft operation, and;
  • who demonstrates their nationality or residency to show that their nationality does not preclude them from being issued with an ICC by the RYA.

More information about the ICC can be found at: