International Certificate of Competence and CEVNI


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'.