The United Nations Economic
Commission for Europe Inland Water Committee
Resolution 40 (hereafter called Resolution
40) International Certificate for Operators
of Pleasure Craft (known in the UK as the
International Certificate of Competence (ICC))
is documentary assurance from one government
to another that the holder meets the levels
of competence laid down in Resolution 40.
It is NOT a qualification.
The resolution states that the ICC may be
issued by a government to its nationals and
residents who are bound for the waters of
foreign countries on vessels registered by
that government, on condition that it accepts
the requirements and conditions set out in
Resolution 40. This means that a UK ICC allows
UK Citizens and bonafide UK residents in
UK registered pleasure craft (up to 24m in
length) to visit the waters of foreign states
that participate in Resolution 40, without
the need to comply with those states’ Cabotage
laws, particularly their national certification
requirements which in many cases are compulsory.
The UK is one of only a few countries which
have fully accepted Resolution 40. Many countries
have not adopted Resolution 40; some still
apply Resolution 14 which Resolution 40 was
intended to replace. Others only apply Resolution
40 in part or with caveats attached. In reality,
however, the ICC is more widely accepted
as proof of the holder’s competence.
Spain, Greece and Portugal for example, have
not adopted Resolution 40 but are still likely
to ask visitors for an ICC.
Some states may accept UK (RYA) ICC as an
alternative to their national qualification
on their nationally flagged vessels, but
this should NEVER be assumed. The onus is
on ICC holders to determine its acceptability
by foreign states. The ICC was never intended
to be an alternative to individual national
The advice to anyone planning to charter
abroad is to obtain from the charter company
(preferably in writing) details of the certification
they require, what cruising area this is
acceptable for and that this certification
will also meet the requirements of the relevant
authorities in the area concerned.
The RYA is working towards wider acceptance
of Resolution 40 and conformity in its application.
Once Resolution 40 is universally adopted,
the ICC may then become more like an international
driving licence in application for visitors.