International Certificate of Competence (ICC) – Australia

International Certificate of Competence (ICC) – Australia

The ICC is a certificate which is intended to provide evidence of competence when requested by officials in foreign countries.

Many European countries require the skipper of a pleasure craft to provide evidence of competence in the form of an ICC (or to give it its full title International Certificate for operators of Pleasure Craft).

While the requirements vary from country to country, the ICC is recognised to a greater or lesser extent throughout the European Union.  It is of particular importance if you are chartering a vessel in a foreign country, or using the European inland waterways.  However, there are variations meaning that you should always check what is acceptable in foreign states before you go.

Who can and cannot obtain an ICC?

Australian Sailing’s partnership with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) provides access to obtaining ICC’s issued in the UK.  All Citizens and Residents of Australia are eligible to apply for an ICC, plus visitors from most overseas  countries.  The exception is a visitor who is a resident of the following countries (unless resident in Australia):

Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia,
Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary,
Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway,
Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland

The above Countries have adopted Resolution 40 and issue ICC’s to their own Citizens & Residents

How to Gain an ICC within Australia

An ICC can be achieved in one of two ways:

1.   Completing an ICC test on the water comprising practical and theory components
2.   Completing a practical course from the RYA Sail or Motor cruising schemes at Day Skipper level or higher

Both options can be completed at an accredited ICC Test Centre and it may be possible to complete a test in your own boat.  If you take this option the boat owner or candidate being is responsible for the vessel at all times and ‘testers’ are only permitted to conduct tests that begin and end at their Training Centre.

If you wish to go boating on the Inland Waterways or Canal systems you will also need another endorsement commonly known as CEVNI.  This is a theory test to ensure you understand the inland waterway rules and signage.
For both options you will also need to complete an application form and make a payment to the RYA

Categories and Endorsements for ICC’s

The category of ICC is relevant to the type of boat you plan to use and the type of waters you intend  to enter.  An ICC can be issued or endorsed for:

  1. Coastal Waters
  2. Inland Waterways Endorsement (Click here for more information) – known as CEVNI
  3. Powerboats up to 10 metres LOA
  4. Powerboats of 10m LOa and over
  5. Sailing boats
  6. Personal Watercraft

It should also be noted that the ICC does not replace the need to comply with any manning requirements imposed by the country in which the boat is registered, wherever in the world the boat may be.  Where evidence of competence is required by the country of registration, pleasure boaters must comply with the regulations of both the country of registration (the Flag State) and the requirements of the visited country (the Coastal State).

Booking your test and applying for an ICC

Step 1:  Download and complete the Application Form
Step 2:  Find an RYA Training Centre and book a test

Fees for ICC tests are set by Recognised Training Centres (RTCs) and include fees for use of a training vessel (unless own boat).  Application fees to the RYA are in GBP and are provided on the application form.

Once you have booked a test you will need to ensure you turn up on the day with  your application form, proof of residency, payment details, and a passport photograph.

The Tester will sign the completed form and send it with a copy of your residency and photograph for processing to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) in the UK.  Your ICC Certificate will be sent directly to the address on the form.  Processing times vary according to the season so you should allow up to six weeks for normal post and if opting of the fast track service allow approximately 2 weeks (this will enable you to receive an electronic copy of the certificate in a matter of days prior to receiving the hard copy by mail).

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