Law & Licences

ICC now available to foreigners

RYA changes entry criteria for International Certificate of Competence

The RYA has announced that changes will be made to the issuing criteria of the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) to make it available to boaters other than British nationals.


Previously, the RYA was only able to issue the ICC to British nationals and residents, which meant that anyone who completed an RYA course and was not a British national or resident wouldn’t be eligible to apply to the RYA for an ICC.  This new amendment to Resolution 40, which regulates the issue of ICC including to whom it can be issued, syllabus requirements and layout of the certificate, means the RYA will now be able to issue it to the nationals of non-United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) countries and to USA and Canadian nationals as well.

“Some restrictions do still apply and the eligibility criteria for issue of an RYA ICC will become a little more complex”, explains Richard Falk, RYA Training Manager.  “The RYA will continue to not be able to issue the ICC to nationals of most UNECE member countries, including the likes of Croatia, France, Norway and Portugal, unless they are British nationals.

There is no change to proof of competence needed to get an ICC or how it can be used.

An ICC allows the holder to voyage internationally but only where the country being visited has chosen to accept it and subject to any prescriptions made by the visited country, it does not work as the boating equivalent of the EU driving licence as is often the misconception.  Pleasure boaters must remember to comply with the regulations of both the country of registration (the Flag State) and the requirements of the visited country (the Coastal State).

More information about the ICC can be found on the RYA website at


About the author


Norberto Moreau is co-founder of the Allied Management Ltd Consulting Group (Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Spain). The group and his associates have activities in Yachting, Properties, Events and Online Services.
Activity with own Projects (70%) / Consulting (30%).

Norberto Moreau is available for Consulting worldwide at Fairs, Regattas etc.

Contact: EmailContact Form