Like, for example, in Germany
and the Netherlands there are two types of registration.
- Unofficial, which is the ICP (International Certificate Pleasure Crafts
- Official, which is the formal ships registrar whereby the official Certificate of Registry
It is basically very simple. Strictly speaking, if you only want to sail the inland waters of the EU, then an ICP will do. As soon as you want to sail international waters a Certificate of Registry
is advisable, if you want to keep your mind at rest as not all countries may (no longer) accept the ICP.
As I mentioned before the ICP is in general internationally accepted and therefore there are many owners of pleasure crafts that sail the international waters without a single
problem, whereby strictly speaking it is only meant for inland waters.
As a pleasure craft owner who sails
international waters I would always advice you to register in a formal ships registrar, be it that of your own country or of a flag state with favourable conditions.
PS : Do keep in mind that ICP owners who have stated “Flag Dutch”, as issued before mid July 2018, may sail under the flag of the Netherlands, as the document states so.