The International Certificate For Operator of Pleasure Craft (ICC)

The ICC is in common use throughout Mediterranean and we’ve been asked many times if Brexit (oh, how I’ve grown to dislike that term) will have any adverse effect on acceptance of the licence. It shouldn’t do! Read on.

The ICC itself is a product of the United Nations, not the European Union which is a common misconception, although it is the UN economic commission for European Inland Water committee (UN ECE IWC). Resolution 40 states that the ICC may be issued by a government of one state to its nationals and residents who may be on the waters of a foreign state, on condition that both countries governments accept the requirements and conditions that are set out in the resolution.

In ordinary speak, an ICC is a certificate that may be issued to anyone who has either successfully completed certain boating licences or has passed an examination to prove necessary competence for pleasure craft operation.

Worth of note is that the ICC is the only boating licence approved by the United Nations as a legitimate recreational sailing licence. I stress again, this is United Nations not European Union, (Spain joined the UN in December 1955 at the same time as Italy; UK and France both joined in October 1945 … the EU wasn’t formed until 1993), so even if the United Kingdom does eventually make a decision to leave the EU it will not leave the UN and the ICC is a UN certificate.

The United Kingdom government appointed the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to issue certificates on its behalf, and the certificate itself provides documentary assurance, from one government to another, that the holder meets the levels of competence that were set in Resolution 40. It is the professional opinion of the UNECE IWC “that the standards set out in Resolution 40 provide a reasonable and appropriate level of competence for day sailing with due regard to the safety of navigation and crew and the protection of the environment”.

Interestingly Spain has not adopted Resolution 40 but widely accept the ICC, and the ICC is clearly stated in Real Decreto 875/2014 (Agencia Estatal Boletín Oficial del Estado). If you are worried about your ICC being valid after Brexit, we have received assurances, albeit not in writing, that the acceptance of the ICC will continue as is.

The ICC can be endorsed for ‘power up to 10m’, ‘personal watercraft’, ‘power’ and/or ‘sail’. Completion of the CEVNI course online will add the ‘inland’ endorsement.


Please direct your enquires to

Aigua Sea School, Carrer d’Espartero 8. 07014 Palma

Tel 871 230 373

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