If you’re looking to operate a pleasure craft or hire a boat outside the UK and need to evidence your competence, then the UK International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft (the ICC) issued by the RYA, may be useful.
The ICC is intended to provide evidence of competence when requested by officials in a country you are visiting (i.e. a country you are not a citizen or a resident of).
It’s an assurance from one government to another that the certificate holder is sufficiently competent to be operating a pleasure craft, despite not holding the visited country’s certificate.
When you visit another country, in most circumstances (in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) you can be required to comply with the maritime legislation of the visited country (the Coastal State) in addition to that of your vessel’s country of registration.
To know whether the ICC is the right document for your circumstances you need to consider the applicable legislation.
Find out more about applicable legislation and flag and coastal states.
The ICC was developed under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Inland Transport Committee Working Party on Inland Water Transport Resolution No. 40, the UK Government has accepted Resolution No. 40 and has authorised the RYA to issue a UK ICC on its behalf.
Resolution No. 40 details how and to who the ICC may be issued, the syllabus requirements and the layout of the certificate. The Resolution also lists the countries which have notified the UNECE Secretariat that they have accepted the resolution.
Find out more about ICC Resolution No. 40
your ICC questions answered
Yes. You’ll need to provide a copy of a document or a combination of documents with your ICC application, which allow the RYA to verify your nationality. This will usually be a copy of your passport.
The RYA will only issue you with an ICC if you are resident in the UK.
The RYA can issue you with an ICC. However, if the country you are a national of accepts Resolution No. 40 in the future you will not be able to amend or renew your ICC. You must return the certificate to the RYA and you will not be entitled to any refund. You may wish to find out if the country you are citizen of intends to accept the ICC in the future.
Applicants for the UK ICC issued by the RYA, who do not hold an eligible certificate but already have the required level of competence can take ICC assessments to demonstrate their competence for each of the categories they would like to have validated on their ICC.
Read our detailed information on how to evidence your boating competence for the issue of a UK ICC.
To be issued with a UK ICC by the RYA you must provide evidence of your competence for both the type of vessel categories you would like to be validated on your certificate and the coastal waters and / or inland waters category.
An RYA Day Skipper Shorebased or higher Course Completion Certificate can be used to validate the coastal waters category only. A shorebased certificate on its own is not sufficient. You must also provide evidence of your competence for at least one of the type of vessel categories.
In general, non RYA certificates cannot be used to evidence your competence for the issue of a UK ICC by the RYA. Some certificates issued for or on behalf of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) can be used in an ICC application as evidence of competence.
Yes, a current passport sized head and shoulders photo of the certificate holder is printed on the ICC. A suitable photo must be submitted with your application.
Passport style photograph i.e. a photo of the head and shoulders in portrait orientation
You’ll be prompted to upload this digitally in a PDF format - we also accept jpg for photos. HEIC format will not be accepted. Documents must not exceed 5MB.
No, your ICC must be sent to the address you give on your application form which is the address printed on the certificate.
Please DO NOT send original documents.
You should send copies only of your passport, driving licence and any other certificates or documents you need in support of your application.
No, you are not required to be a member of the RYA. However, the ICC application is free for RYA members.
Please refer to our information on where might the ICC be accepted.
Yes, expired certificates, issued on or after 1 April 1999 can be renewed. Certificates issued prior to 1st April 1999 were not issued in accordance with Resolution No. 40 and cannot be renewed.
Your new certificate will be issued with the same categories validated as your existing certificate.
Should you require any further categories validated you will need to pass the appropriate ICC assessment or provide the necessary documentary evidence of competence.
Yes. If you renew your ICC no more than three months before the certificate expires, the new certificate will have a validity of 5 years from the date the previous ICC would have expired. You can renew your ICC earlier than that, but it will only be valid for 5 years from the date of issue.
If your ICC is still current and you require a replacement then you will be required to complete the ICC application form and submit as a replacement request.
The replacement is free of charge to current members or the cost for non-members can be found on the form. The expiry date will remain the same.
You will be required to complete the ICC application form and tick the box for updating details.
This update is free of charge to current members or the cost for non-members can be found on the form. The expiry date will remain the same.
Sometimes an ICC is issued with the validity for Power restricted to vessels up to 10m in length.
Where the applicant has demonstrated that they are competent to drive a larger powerboat, motor cruiser or barge, the 10m restriction is lifted and the ICC says Power - Yes.
What vessels that ICC is valid for is determined by the legislation of the flag and coastal states.
You can apply for a UK ICC issued by the RYA either online or by using a paper form (which you download from the website and print).
Learn more about the ICC, its history, what is does and doesn't do, and where it and other RYA certificates might be accepted.
Find out if you are eligible to apply and how to evidence your competence for the issue of a UK ICC by the RYA