Cruising Regulations: Obtaining an International Certificate of Competence (ICC)

Even if a skipper’s home country does not require any evidence of competency, officials in many countries expect one. Having an ICC will satisfy this requirement.

Published 5 years ago, updated 4 years ago

In many countries, especially in Europe, officials expect skippers to be in possession of an official certificate documenting their level of competence, even though their home country has no such requirement.

Countries which have signed up to the UN Resolution 40 are able to authorize certain organizations in their country to issue an International Certificate of Competency to sailors who have demonstrated the basic level of skill required. The principal restriction is that such certificates can only be issued to their own nationals and any others who are not nationals of another UN Resolution 40 signatory country.

The countries which are signatories of UN Resolution 40 are:-

Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, U.k., USA.

Two organizations which are known to offer ICC courses to their residents and others who are not residents in any of the above list of countries are:-

The IYT (International Yacht Training Worldwide) organization can offer courses that will enable a successful candidate to receive an ICC.

The U.K.’s RYA  also offers certified training courses throughout the world.

See for a list of recognized centres worldwide.

It is worth noting that some bare-boat charter companies require evidence of more competence than that required to obtain an ICC. Also, if wishing to sail (or motor) on the Inland waters of Europe, a CEVNI endorsement is also required. This can be obtained online.

The RYA has confirmed that its International Certificates of Competence (ICC) and several of its course completion certificates and other Certificates of Competence remain valid for skippering Spanish flagged boats. The RYA raised concerns once it became clear that the UK’s status as a third country from 1 January 2021 meant that, in accordance with Spanish regulations, RYA certificates would no longer be recognised by the Spanish Government for use on Spanish flagged boats.

See the Noonsite/European Union page for more information.

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  1. March 8, 2020 at 1:45 PM
    roscheetham says:

    In the USA the American Sailing Association will issue a Certificate of Competency if you have passed their 104 course Bareboat Cruising.