An example of an International Certificate of Competence

Skipper Licensing

International Certificate of Competence (ICC)

As leisure boaters sail their own boats abroad or charter boats in other countries, they need to show evidence of ability to operate safely and responsibly.

The de facto standard license for skippers is the ICC. The scheme is defined by United Nations resolution 40, which specifies required knowledge and skills. Countries that adopt the resolution examine and certify local candidates, and in return accept certificates issued by other countries.

European Skipper's License

The European Union wants to harmonise regulations across the union, and is considering introducing a new license that could be issued by any member state and recognised by every member state.

Before adopting a policy they are seeking the opinions of leisure boaters who might be affected.

European Boating Association (EBA)

Irish Sailing, the Royal Yachting Association and the corresponding bodies in other countries are members of the EBA. It considers matters of common interest, develops policies and supports campaigns at European and international level.

EBA has published policy documents that are relevant to this issue. They provide useful background information and give a consensus view on behalf of boat users like you and me.


To express your opinion, complete the online survey form. It took me about ten minutes to do, after reading the EBA documents.

If you’re interested in discussing the survey or this issue in general, members can join the CAI Regulations WhatsApp group (discussion forums page).