International Certificate of Competence and CEVNI

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Charter abroad with the ICC and CEVNI

What is an ICC?

The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) is a test of competence and provides the student with an internationally recognised qualification accepted in many but not all countries. The ICC is required for charterers and boat owners in Europe, where  recognised certificates are increasingly required to confirm the skipper reaches an internationally agreed level of competence. Sometimes a higher certification such as Day Skipper or Yachtmaster will be requested especially for larger boats.

How can I obtain an ICC?

You can be issued an ICC directly if you already hold one of the following RYA certificates:

  • RYA Day Skipper
  • RYA Coastal Skipper
  • RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal
  • RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore
  • RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean

Alternatively you can undertake an assessment by attending either a:

  • Solent sailing weekend
  • Private assessment

Your ICC Application

Once you have established how to prove your competence to ensure you receive an ICC validated for the categories you require, you need to complete an ICC application form.

This should be sent, together with a passport sized photograph, proof of eligibility,  photocopies of any certificates you are presenting as evidence of competence and payment (see the application form for the current charge) to the Certification Department. Issue of the ICC is free of charge for RYA members. The ICC is valid for 5 years.

The RYA issues ICCs in the UK in accordance UNECE eligibility criteria. Applicants should be aged over 16 and be one of the folllowing;

  • British National or Resident
  • National of a non-UNECE County
  • National of United States or Canada
  • National of Australia or New Zealand

A flow chart to help you ascertain if you are eligible for the ICC and have adequate evidence of competence is printed inside the ICC application form.

Evidence of residency is required for non-nationals this is usually a photocopy of a driving licence, utility bill, Council Tax bill, bank statement or similar. Further authenticated evidence of residency may be requested.

The RYA is not permitted to issue the ICC to the nationals of other UNECE countries unless they are British residents. This means that the RYA cannot issue the ICC to the nationals of: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy,  Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

Nationals of these countries should speak to their national maritime authority as you will only be able to obtain an ICC through their acceptance of Resolution 40.

Individuals with dual nationality may apply for the ICC if either nationality makes them eligible to do so.

It should however be noted that the nationality recorded on the ICC will be the one which made the individual eligible only.

Every ICC applicant is required to produce evidence of their eligibility to apply to the RYA for an ICC. This will usually be:

  • Evidence of your nationality: a copy of the photo page of your passport or a recognised national identity card.
  • Evidence of residency: a photocopy of a driving licence, utility bill, Council Tax bill, bank statement or similar. Further authenticated evidence of residency may be requested.

Resolution 40 requires that the issuing country has evidence that an ICC applicant is competent, either through them having a national certificate or by them demonstrating their competence in practice.

If you have already passed an RYA practical course, your course completion certificate or certificate of competence may help you to obtain an ICC. Competence certificates accepeted by the RYA include the Day Skipper practical course completion certificates (or those above them in the RYA training schemes) which can provide evidence of your competence for your ICC application.

Experienced skippers can also qualify for the ICC by successfully completing an assessment of their competence through a RYA recognised training centre or an affiliated club authorised to carry out the assessment, rather than having to attend a full RYA training course. The syllabus for the ICC assessment is detailed on the ICC application form.

ICC Assessment over a Weekend

If you are at the Day Skipper standard for both theory and practical sailing skills you can be assessed for an ICC over a weekend. We recommend booking a Solent Weekend for this assessment. Please be aware we will not be teaching you over the weekend but there will be some opportunities to brush up skills prior to taking the assessment.

You will be assessed during the weekend and if successful, signed off for your ICC.

Private ICC Assessment

You will need to be able to demonstrate skills at Day Skipper standard for both theory and practical elements. This is an assessment only, please be aware there will not be time to teach you skills. If you are doubtful as to whether you are at a sufficient standard please contact us before booking.

Minimum Age

The ICC cannot be issued to anyone under the age of 16. Therefore please only apply for the ICC if you are age 16 or over.


The RYA charge £46.00 to issue an ICC (free to RYA members)


An ICC is often required for cruising Europe’s inland waters. To validate your ICC (International Certificate of Competence) for inland waters you must take the CEVNI test, which checks your knowledge of the rules and signs that skippers of pleasure craft are expected to know and follow.

You will have the opportunity to take a practice test before being given two attempts to pass the CEVNI Test. When you have successfully passed the CEVNI Test you will be able to download your certificate.

Please note that RYA Interactive registration is not an automated process. We will do this as speedily as possible but there may be a delay if you make your booking out of office hours or over a weekend.

The “RYA European waterways regulations (the CEVNI rules explained)” publication G17 provides the information you need to learn the code in a clear and concise way – a sample paper can be found at the back of the book.