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The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or to give it its correct title International Certificate for Operator of Pleasure Craft is a product of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Inland Transport Committee Working Party on Inland Water Transport.

The Background

Although it originated through the UNECE Inland Transport Committee Working Party on Inland Water Transport the International Certificate for Operator of Pleasure Craft, more commonly known as the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) is useful for both coastal and inland boating.

The rules surrounding the ICC and its issue were originally detailed in resolution No. 14. This resolution was revised over time by the documents TRANS/SC.3/96 and TRANS/SC.3/13. In 1998 resolution 14 was replaced by resolution 40. The text of resolution 40 has also been revised a number of times and often as a result of requests from the EBA. The latest text of Resolution 40 is Rev. 4 which was adopted in October 2014.

UNECE member countries can accept the resolution. The UNECE Working Party on Inland Water Transport publishes an annual report on the acceptance of its resolutions. The EBA has been advised that Resolution 40 is under consideration in Spain, however this is not confirmed by the latest report.

Using the ICC

The ICC allows the holder to voyage internationally where the country the holder is visiting has chosen to accept it and subject to any prescriptions made by the visited country.

As the ICC’s validity is determined by the visited country it is not a truly international qualification. However, the ICC is the only international evidence of competence that exists for pleasure boaters in Europe. Through attendance at the UNECE the EBA continues to work to get the ICC more widely accepted in Europe.

EBA Position Statement

The European Boating Association (“EBA”) considers the standards set out in Resolution 40 to provide a reasonable and appropriate level of competence for the Certificate’s intended use and urges Governments to accept this resolution.

The EBA urges the Commission to encourage Governments to accept the resolution rather than seek to introduce its own licensing regime.