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Old 28-08-2013, 08:07   #1
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International Certificate of Competency

I'm in the process of getting back into the sailing world for the first time since the 80's. I'm getting a boat here in Sweden and plan to cruise down to Greece. As an American I did not need any kind of license to skipper my own boat, nor is it now required in Sweden, but I read that an International Certificate of Competency may be asked for in certain EU countries. For those who cruise France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, have you found this to be true?
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Old 28-08-2013, 08:25   #2
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Re: International Certificate of Competency

Not yet. I went through the ASA courses to get one and have not been asked for in in all the countries you list. In Croatia, where they specifically state you need one, I asked several port police if they needed it and they gave me a blank stare. It seems that the charter companies require it more than the actual authorities.
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Old 28-08-2013, 09:30   #3
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Re: International Certificate of Competency

I looked over the Web site selling the competency certs. There is enough equivocal language on the site to indicate it's not an official, government-recognized or government-required document. While it may soothe a cruiser's worries, to me it represents and outflow of cash for an indeterminate benefit.

There are enough cruisers out there who have the sea miles without any certificates, and they are happily cruising. If you want a cert, take courses from US Sailing, ASA, or your local US Power Squadron. They all offer hands-on courses with boats and you can get documentation establishing your course level and competence.

People have successfully used these to charter boats in Europe without requiring another cert, costing more money, from one of the many European authorities. It's like the reciprocity with your US driver's license -- you can use it to rent a car and drive it; you don't need to get an EU-issued one.

Are there exceptions? Probably. Check with a cruising guide for destination-specific requirements.

You can also fabricate your own beribboned, fancy-bordered certificate, official-looking enough to impress even the most jaded harbor master.
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Old 28-08-2013, 09:52   #4
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Re: International Certificate of Competency

Are you planning to go thru the french canals? We are in a similar position and have come across 2 blogs where people were held up on entering the canals.
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:36   #5
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Re: International Certificate of Competency

OK lets clear up a few misconceptions

In europe only one country legally requires competency certs to sail any leisure boat in its territorial waters and thats Croatia. They accept a huge range of certs from across the globe as well as the ICC.

IN several countries , Portugal and Greece , you nay be asked to show proof of competency. Thats not the same as 'required'. Its useful to have something in those countries waters.

If you intend to cruise the canals of Europe you MUST have an ICC ( or a national cert from one of the canal countries) that ICC must be endorsed with the CEVNI extension , which is a written exam.

SO the ICC is a 'nice to have' in most cases

but if you are keen to do some form of competency cert, the ICCs one of the better around
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Old 29-08-2013, 03:06   #6
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Re: International Certificate of Competency

Thanks everyone for the input. Much appreciated!
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