International Boat Licenses - ICC, Radio License, CEVNI

ICC - Boat Licensing

Boat Licensing

It is common for hire companies all over the world to assess your competence and experience by looking at your boating resume, and conducting a practical examination when no official documentation is required or supplied.

However, in most European and Mediterranean countries for inland and coastal waters you will need an ICC (International Certificate of Competence) for bareboat charter.


To charter a boat The International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft, or ICC (International Certificate of Competence), is accepted as evidence of competence in most EU and Mediterranean waters. It proves that the holder has undergone formal training and has the necessary boating skills to manage a vessel in international waters.


ICC training includes first aid and VHF radio operator qualifications.

The ICC is formally accepted in the following UNECE countries that have adopted Resolution 14 & 40:

Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland and United Kingdom.


The following UNECE member states have not accepted the Resolution 40 nor the Resolution 14:

Greece, Moldova, Portugal, Spain, Russian Federation, Serbia, Sweden, Ukraine and United States.


Despite the fact that some countries do not formally accept the ICC, it is very often sufficient documentation to rent or charter a boat, as it meets EU standards and can be seen as an equivalent to national licenses. The ICC can be obtained from the Royal Yachting Association or International Yacht Training Worldwide who have schools all over the globe.

VHF Radio License

You are required to have a VHF radio licence to operate the on-board radio. If you are chartering a boat and responsible for using the radio, this will have been covered in your competency training. For more informations about VHR Licenses or Permits check Federal Communications Commission Website

Inland Waterways

To navigate European inland waterways it may be necessary complete the The International Certificate of Competence test CEVNI to prove your knowledge of inland rules and regulations.

Outside the EU

When sailing in certain areas of the USA, it may be obligatory to hire a Captain who has a Captains License issued by the United States Coast Guard.

The Caribbean
Charter companies in the Caribbean normally require an ICC or a qualification from the IYT Worldwide for the bareboat chartering of a yacht.

The Seychelles
Charter companies in the Seychelles normally require an ICC or a qualification from the IYT Worldwide for the bareboat chartering of a yacht.

South East Asia
Charter companies in South East Asia normally require an ICC or a qualification from the IYT Worldwide for the bareboat chartering of a yacht. Depending on the charter agency you may need to translate these documents.


Which license is required when chartering a boat in Germany?

In general, a boating license of some kind is usually required for boats with an engine capacity of more than 5 hp.  Here are some more information about boating license in Germany.

In some european countries for houseboat rental , you do not need any licences. Hier you can find some more information about houseboat-licenses.


Yacht Charter Guide