In 1998, the “United Nations adopted Resolution No. 40.    known as the “International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft”.  It is more commonly known as the International Certificate of Competency => the ICC.

The ICC provides evidence of competence in an internationally recognizable format that can be presented to officials in foreign countries.  It’s like a driver’s licence for boaters that is recognized globally.  

National One Design Sailing Academy is one of a number of Canadian Recreational Boating Schools (RBS) that have partnered with International Yacht Training - Worldwide (IYT-World) to make ICC certification available to Canadians in Canada.  IYT-World has been authorized by the government of Ireland to provide the ICC certification under the Irish Flag in countries that have not adopted Resolution 40.  Canada is one of a few countries that have not adopted UN Resolution 40. 

Although Resolution 40 has not been adopted universally, it is gradually becoming the sole acceptable evidence of one’s ability to pilot a Pleasure Craft in many countries.   Long having been the required document when chartering a boat throughout Europe, the ICC is quickly becoming a required document in the Caribbean and because charter boat companies are now global companies, it makes sense that they will standardize their requirements to charter their vessels wherever they are located in the world.

The Canadian Government and it’s recreational boating industry as a whole has been slow to adopt small commercial vessel standards that have been commonplace throughout the rest of the industrialized world for decades.     The biggest drawback for Canadians is not that the ICC is not an accepted boating licence in Canada.   Rather, the problem is that since Canada has not adopted the resolution, there has been no ability for Canadians wishing to charter a vessel outside of Canada to obtain this certification.  As such, Canadians without an ICC may no longer have access to their favourite charter destinations.  It is already not unusual for Canadians to show up at a European charter location, ready to set out on their planned vacation,  only to be turned away.      

In recent years, Transport Canada has been designing new small commercial vessel standards and marine regulations.   There is no way to know whether Canada will adopt Resolution 40, but it is clear that the Government of Canada intends to strengthen its regulation of smaller commercial boating businesses and we should expect that these efforts will continue to grow over time and change the way the small commercial boaters operate forever.   As an IYT-World partner school, National One Design Sailing Academy has a stand alone ICC course curriculum  as well as a curriculum add on to the Sail Canada Intermediate Cruising Certification.  We also have a winter Caribbean program that provides successful participants their ICC all well vacationing aboard a luxury charter boat.  If a charter vacation is in your future, you should consider updating your certification with an ICC.