Three ways to get your ICC qualifications for Mediterranean sailing

How to evidence sailing competence internationally

8th Jun 2018

If you want to sail internationally, you will need to prove your sailing qualifications and take with you evidence of competence for your charter company and local officials. What constitutes as evidence varies hugely depending on the country you want to sail. In this blog, we’ve looked at the International Certificate of For Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICC) and how to get qualified so you can sail the Mediterranean and Adriatic with ease.

What is the ICC?

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea gives a framework for ocean users and you only have a right of passage through a country’s territorial waters if you have continuous passage. A yacht charter is unlikely to be a continuous passage, as most charters involve anchoring or mooring to visit port towns, beaches and islands. This is why if you want to sail abroad, you need to abide by local maritime laws and regulations and prove that you are competent enough to command a vessel.


Some countries accept RYA qualifications, while others require you to have an ICC. The ICC is essential and recommended if you want to sail Croatia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey, for example. However, obtaining your ICC doesn’t mean you don’t have to do any homework before you head off for your sailing destination. You can’t rely on the ICC as internationally accepted evidence of competence, as it hasn’t been accepted by all countries. You still need to research which documents you need to prove your competence in the country you want to sail in. Talk to us if you need advice.

1 Apply through the RYA

If you have your RYA Day Skipper/Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster Coastal/Offshore, you may be able to apply to the RYA and get an ICC issued for free. The RYA is authorised to issue the ICC on behalf of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

You will only be issued an ICC for the competence that has been demonstrated within the following categories: Coastal waters, inland waters, power, sail (including auxiliary engine) and personal watercraft.


To apply, you need to:

  • Be over 16 years of age
  • Be physically and mentally fit to operate a pleasure craft with sufficient vision and hearing
  • Present one of the specified UK certificates or has successfully passed an examination to prove the necessary competence for pleasure craft operation
  • Demonstrate nationality or residency to show that nationality does not preclude from being issued with an ICC by the RYA

2 Take an assessment

If you do not have a RYA or MCA certificate, but already have the required level of competence through logged hours, you can take the ICC Assessment to demonstrate your competence.

Sailing Logic has an RYA sea school at Port Hamble Marina and offers a one-day ICC assessment course for £249. Starting at 9am, this is a day of continuous assessment of the required manoeuvres unassisted. On successful completion your assessment is submitted to the RYA for ICC certification.


3 Get your RYA qualifications

Alternatively, if you have enough logged hours, you can take the RYA course:

  • Five-day practical RYA Day Skipper course for £599 (you need five days and four hours logged sailing)
  • RYA Yachtmaster course for £699 (you need 30 logged days, including 2 days as skipper)

You can also learn to sail or gain your qualification somewhere hotter than the Solent with an RYA recognised sailing school in Greece, Croatia or Turkey. If you are interested in getting even more out of your next sailing adventure then contact one our team for more details.

Talk to our team

If you are unsure what is evidence of competence in the destination you want to sail in, give us a call on 01227 479 900 and we’ll advise.

Speak to a member of our team

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