Until recently the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) could only issue the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) to British nationals and residents, and to countries with special permission such as the Netherlands.
However, since 30 December 2014, the organisation can now assign the coveted Certificate to citizens of all countries yet to adopt Resolution 40 – and this includes Spain.
Linda Revill, Principal of recognised RYA Training Centre, Aigua Sea School, says, “Unlike the European driving license for example, boating qualifications are neither harmonised nor accepted across the EU, and can be the cause of great confusion. The ICC however is the most recognised document to have on your person while boating in Europe and reassures the local government of your competence. As a Spain-based RYA Training Centre, it’s fantastic news we can now issue this very handy Certificate to non-British citizens including Spanish, Portuguese and Russians – despite them not having signed up to Resolution 40. It will make all our boating lives much easier.”
Although not an actual qualification itself, the ICC provides documented evidence that the person in charge of the yacht officially has the necessary skills.
The Certificate covers three categories – sail, power (subdivided into under and over ten metres) and personal watercraft (PWC). It can be issued for coastal waters and for inland should the applicant have passed a European Code for Navigation on Inland Waterways (CEVNI) test.
Lorenzo Vila, Director of easyboats, who partners Aigua Sea School for training purposes, said, “Clients who purchase and charter yachts from us are often asking about skipper training and refresher courses. We make it very clear that their certificates must be shipshape so as not to fall foul of the law, with minimum requirements being a one-day proficiency certificate to pilot a PWC, a two-day Level 2 certificate for a powerboat, a four-day Day Skipper course for a motor cruiser and a five-day Day Skipper course for sailing. With Aigua now able to secure an ICC on all of the above, whether you’re a British or Spanish citizen, the authorities will be more than satisfied that you’re capable and competent.”
Dating back to 1979, the ICC was originally conceived by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to ensure safety of navigation along the Rhine and Danube as boaters passed from country to country.
It was updated in 1998 with the revisions documented as Resolution 40. Not all countries adopted this Resolution creating a divide between the likes of Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland who did sign up and France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain who didn’t. Therefore the ICC is only valid in countries where they have chosen to accept it, and boaters should always check in advance.