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Proof of Competency for European Countries

By Val Ellis last modified Jan 16, 2015 09:53 AM

Published: 2011-11-04 10:05:00
Topics: Documents required & other considerations when cruising abroad , European Union
Countries: Albania , Australia , Belgium , Bosnia , Bulgaria , Canada , Channel Islands , Croatia , Cyprus , Denmark , Estonia , Finland , France , Germany , Gibraltar , Greece , Iceland , Ireland , Italy , Latvia , Lithuania , Malta , Monaco , Montenegro , Netherlands , New Zealand , Norway , Poland , Portugal , Romania , Slovenia , Spain , Sweden , Turkey , USA , Ukraine , United Kingdom

Report updated January 2015.

What is "Proof of Competency" and What Does it Cover?

The International Certificate of Competency (ICC) is a set of standards drawn up by a committee of The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. It is designed to be recognised throughout Europe and has various categories covering sail boats, power boats (up to 10m or up to 24m), inland and coastal waters.

Who Issues It and How Do I Get One?

Each country issues it for its own citizens and residents. This is usually done by the national yachting or boating association. It is granted by a) passing the appropriate theory and practical exam, or b) by holding a similar or higher recognised qualification.

What if I am Not a Citizen or Resident of Europe?

See this Noonsite/European page for information on how non-Europeans can obtain an ICC.

Does It Cover the Canals and Rivers in Europe?

For using the inland waterways of Europe, you MUST have the additional endorsement, based on the Code Européen des Voies de la Navigation Interieure, commonly known by it initials, CEVNI.

The good news is that the CEVNI exam can now be taken online. One such site is at Skysail Training

For the Dutch canals and waterways there are some additional requirements. See The Netherlands/Documents and Restrictions for more details.

Where Can I Discover What I Need to Know?

This exam is fairly basic seamanship and is straightforward if you study the appropriate booklet first.

A good general booklet is published by Adard Coles. See the Noonsite Book Review.

If you would like a useful CEVNI primer, in English, then you can get one from the U.K.'s Royal Yachting Association (Inland Waterways section) website.

A very useful self-test can be found on-line at and also at Skysail Training

Is Anyone Likely to Check?

Not all European countries have signed up to this Resolution 40 (as it is known) but Spain, Greece and Portugal, for example, have not adopted Resolution 40 but are still most likely to ask visitors for an ICC!

We have also been advised that the further south and the further inland you go, the more likely it is that your papers will be checked.

Note that while some of the countries listed below do not currently issue ICCs, these contacts may be able to advise on which qualifications available are most likely to be internationally acceptable.

Some Useful Addresses fo non-Europeans


National Boating Federation, NBF
NBF Director International Relations
Robert P. David
70 Garfield Lane
West Dennis
MA 02670-2321
Telephone: +1 508 394 5670
Fax: +1 508 394 7236


Yachting Australia
ICC Certification
Locked Bag 806, Milsons Point, NSW 2061
Telephone: +61 (0)2 8424 7400 
Fax: +61 (0)2 9906 2366

New Zealand

Yachting New Zealand
PO Box 91 209
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142
New Zealand
Telephone: +64 9 361 1471
Fax: +64 9 360 2246


The International Sail and Power Acadamy
PO Box 185 Parksville
BC, Canada
V9P 2G4
Telephone: 001 250-954-0832
Fax: 001 250-954-0872