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If you want to travel abroad to navigate the waterways of Europe you will need to be qualified to at least the International Certificate of Competence level and will need to pass the CEVNI test to demonstrate that you understand the rules governing the use of the Inland Waterways in Europe.


In order to obtain an ICC you will need to be able to demonstrate that you are a UK citizen with a UK address.


The ICC and CEVNI course starts with us sending you two books published by the Royal Yachting Association: “European Waterways Regulations (the Cevni Rules Explained)” and “The RYA book of the International Certificate of Competence”.  We will also send you  “The Boaters Handbook” published by British Waterways.  


You should study these books before attending your one day course which will coach you through the practical aspects of the ICC requirements.  During the day, you will sit the CEVNI test paper which is a short multiple-choice exam.

The ICC syllabus includes the following:




Responsibility for keeping a proper look-out

Determining a safe speed

Recognizing potential collision situations

Identifying the give-way vessel in a collision situation

Actions to be taken by “give way” and “stand on” vessels

The responsibilities of a small vessel in a narrow channel

Manoeuvering sound signals

Making and recognizing visual distress signals


Ability to use and instruct the crew on the use of Lifejackets, distress flares, fire extinguishers and kill cords (if fitted).

Preparing the boat for use and taking sensible precautions including engine checks,  fuel requirements, obtaining weather forecasts, avoiding overloading.

Practical Skills:

Safety briefing

Checking, starting and stopping the engine  

Checking engine cooling

Depart from the pontoon

Understanding use of springs in lee pontoon situations

Communication with crew

Use of fenders

360 degree turn in confined space

Securing to Buoys

Man overboard

Coming alongside windward pontoon.

Preparing Warps and Fenders, securing to the pontoon

The CEVNI (Code Europeen des Voies de la Navigation Interieure) regulations include the general conduct of vessels on the Inland Waterways of countries signed up to the code, markings, light and sound signals, buoyage, signs and rules of the 'road'.


International Certificate of Competence and CEVNI