Wrong about need for ICC - Apologies

Swagman

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A few weeks back someone asked about any need for ICC or some form of certification when sailing in the Med. I don't have any, never been asked for it abroad, and know its not needed, etc. I argued then in that thread, not to bother.

I was wrong.

Just attempted to exit Turkey at Dacha and met the mother of all harbour masters. As the Turkish Transit doc has a space for 'certification ref number' he insisted I produce such or he would not stamp us out. Mattered nix we've never been asked for it before in Turkey anywhere - in fact never in all other Med countries.

In other circumstances I would have just slid out of Turkey and forgotton about it - but we needed to get a purchase invoice stamped by Turkish Customs (to reclaim some VAT) and could not do this without the exit formalities being completed correctly.

So had to change plans and slide along to Bodrum - where the officials were happy enoough to stamp us out.

Not too much of an inconvenience, but wanted to apologise and say I was wrong when i suggested before not to bother getting an ICC.

You may not technically need one, but I can say now it could prove useful one day...................

Cheers
JOHN
 

alandee

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Hi. Interesting to read your post. We are not experienced sailors but have been asked for ICC evidence a number of times in the Med and even in the French Canals. Others we've met have never been asked for it. Luck of the draw I guess.
 
G

Guest

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Re: Interesting . . .

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Coastal waters or offshore - not required legally.

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Just to clarify - that's just for France, as you say. Other countries, even in the EU, may require British yachts using coastal/offshore waters (as well of course, as inland waterways) to have a skipper with an ICC. Depends on the country. Theoretically an ICC may not be enough in some countries for that matter.
 

Oliveoyl

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Re: Coastal and offshore

I'd always been told that it was the rules of the vessel's country that dictated the required level of certification, so if you're sailing a Brit boat, you have to abide by Brit law, even when abroad, thus no permit necessary. Or have I been told porkies?
 

jerryat

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Re: Interesting . . .

[ QUOTE ]
where in the French canals?

[/ QUOTE ]

Hi Grehan,

Ours was checked in Rouen last year when we bought the vignette (licence) for our trip.

Having said that, SWMBO actually handed it over with the SSR etc, so I suppose they MIGHT not have asked for separately if you see what I mean. They definitely checked its details though!
We first went through the canals back in 1997 and there is no doubt that the VNF are getting more 'document conscious' than they used to be.

For example, our vinette details were checked on at least five occasions on last years trip compared with none at all the first time. The monitoring of yachts locations are now much more precise than even 5 years ago and, as you've no doubt discovered, some canals now group vessels together and 'lead' them through some sections to minimise the use of water.

That's ok in general (locks are ready when you arrive, they can advise on stopping places etc) but we found it extremely restricting in that you couldn't just stop where you liked 'cos it threw the 'mobiles' (I think that's what the French summer students who were allocated to each group were called) into confusion and of course, broke up the 'convoy', which didn't endear one to them.

I still think the canals/rivers trip is fabulous notwithstanding these sort of problems though.
 
G

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Re: Coastal and offshore

I think it depends on the laws of the country you're visiting. In sensible countries the law says that home rules apply. In other countries you may come across rules that say that skippers should be certified (some skippers I know definitely ought to be certified), without discriminating in favour of foreign vessels.
 

TonyBri

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I think its one of those bits of paper you need to have like insurance - you only need it if things go wrong and then if you don't have it you are in deep trouble. I got mine for the canals just in case but never had to show it.
 

snowleopard

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You'll always find officials who ask for more than the law requires. One French official, I think showing off his command of English, pointed to the statement on the SSR certificate that says 'this does not constitute proof of ownership and demanded that I produce proof. When I said 'it's on board, shall I fetch it?' he backed off.
 

MASH

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A British flagged yacht does not, repeat NOT need an ICC in Britain or anywhere else except as mentioned elsewhere inland waterways.

It may be prudent to have one, as the original poster found out, because some (many) foreign officials don't know either maritime or British law and can't comprehend how anyone can go to sea without a licence.

And Tonibri, there is no legal requirement for insurance either. You won't get into many marinas, but they are private property, not open sea.

We are British, comprendo, we invented the sea! It is ours! Bloody furriners...
 
G

Guest

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[ QUOTE ]
A British flagged yacht does not, repeat NOT need an ICC in Britain or anywhere else except as mentioned elsewhere inland waterways.

...

And Tonibri, there is no legal requirement for insurance either. You won't get into many marinas, but they are private property, not open sea.

[/ QUOTE ]
This is simply wrong. As I mentioned, it depends on the laws of the country that you are visiting.

There is no widely accepted international convention that says that certification and insurance is only governed by the laws of the country of registration of the boat concerned. If the local laws of the country that you are visiting say you must be insured and certified, then that's what applies. National laws do tend to have provisions that allow foreign certificates to be recognised, because otherwise they'd never have any visiting ships/yachts. But you can't rely on local laws saying that no certificate is required for foreign yachts or that rules of home country apply.

There is an international agreement about acceptance of ICC internationally, but few countries have signed up to it.

See for example the RYA website - and note eg.: "The requirements for certificates of competence vary from country to country. Sometimes they are required for coastal waters, sometimes for inland waters, sometimes for neither and sometimes for both. As the skipper of a vessel, you must ensure that you area aware of any requirement for qualifications before venturing into another country's jurisdiction.

In very general terms an ICC is required for the inland waterways of Europe and for inland and coastal waters of Mediterranean countries . For the coastal waters of Northern Europe the ICC is generally not required, however to all of these generalisations there are exceptions."
 
A

Anonymous

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This is simply wrong. As I mentioned, it depends on the laws of the country that you are visiting.

[/ QUOTE ] Well, now I am puzzled as you go on to say....

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National laws do tend to have provisions that allow foreign certificates to be recognised, because otherwise they'd never have any visiting ships/yachts.

[/ QUOTE ]
Exactly, that's the whole point. All countries accept the qualifications of foreign crew when in command of their own flagged vessels. Not to do so would be utter and complete madness - it simply cannot possibly be so.

[ QUOTE ]
the RYA website

[/ QUOTE ] That is such a badly written article it has no right being there. Who ever wrote it does not understand how to write unambiguously and does one detect a strong whiff of politics in the statement that the ICC is not a 'qualification'. Which is rubbish, of course, by anyone's definition of 'qualification' the ICC is one.
 
G

Guest

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[ QUOTE ]
Well, now I am puzzled as you go on to say....

Quote:
National laws do tend to have provisions that allow foreign certificates to be recognised, because otherwise they'd never have any visiting ships/yachts.

Exactly, that's the whole point. All countries accept the qualifications of foreign crew when in command of their own flagged vessels. Not to do so would be utter and complete madness - it simply cannot possibly be so

[/ QUOTE ]
There's no contradiction. Some countries accept what home laws say. Many (I suspect most beyond the most friendly/closest bits of the EU) will just say you need a certificate of competence issued by your home country. You may get the occasional country (it sounds like Portugal is one) that say you need a local certificate of competence - at least if you're staying in the country for an extended period.

It depends on local law. Whether or not other countries actually enforce their laws against foreign yachts is another matter – I’ve never been asked for mine. But the original statement that “A British flagged yacht does not, repeat NOT need an ICC in Britain or anywhere else except as mentioned elsewhere inland waterways” was just totally wrong, legally at least.

I hope that helps.
 
A

Anonymous

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But the original statement that “A British flagged yacht does not, repeat NOT need an ICC in Britain or anywhere else except as mentioned elsewhere inland waterways” was just totally wrong, legally at least.

[/ QUOTE ] So you are saying that legally there are some countries where, in tidal waters and outside special rules areas, the law requires the British master of a British registered vessel to be qualified beyond the level required under British law and regulations? I find this very hard to believe - indeed incredible - but if so surely it should be possible to show at least one actual example with supporting evidence?
 
G

Guest

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Yes. And that is what the RYA website is saying. And apparently it even applies for some countries within the EU.

In fact its just common sense - if a country requires its yachts to carry insurance for example, would you expect it to exempt foreign yachts - why should it? The same goes for certificates of competence. Think of cars - would you consider it normal if a driver from a small third world country turned up and drove on the roads without a driving licence or insurance, arguing that his home rules should apply? He wouldn't get very far, even in Britain. In many countries sailing a yacht is regulated in a similar way, and the thought of sailing a yacht without a licence is inconcieveable.

I don't have copies of the local licensing regulations for foreign countries with me (do you?), and my googling skills in foreign languages are limited. But having worked for many years as a lawyer in Russia, and dealt with licensing issues on many subjects, I can assure you that it would be absolutely normal to have a general statement in licensing regulations with a list of documents that all yachts must carry, followed by a sweeping up statement that in the case of foreign yachts such documents may be in the form authorised by the home country.

In Russia you often have to get written permission to make individual voyages unless they are along certain specified and approved routes. If you want to go into the inland waterway system, you have to apply in writing months in advance, and last time I asked, the authorities said that permission would be impossible to obtain. In a country with this mentality, if they were to find out that a yacht's skipper didn't have a certificate of competence then the yacht would be impounded faster than you could blink.

In Poland where I am now, I have a friend who has sailied since he was born, has circumnavigated, and works semi-professionally as first mate on well-known racing yachts. He wasn't allowed to hire a dinghy on the local lake because his skipper's certificate wasn't deemed adequate...
 

Lizzie_B

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That's why so many countries have 'compulsory pilotage' for foriegn flagged vessels. Flying a courtesy flag is in part an aknowledgement that you are prepared to submit to the jurisdiction of the laws of that country.

The USA is renowned for unilaterally imposing conditions on visiting foriegn flagged vessels. They find to do it unilaterally is often a quicker way to get something changed than by rounds of international meetings to formulate an agreement.

They have sufficient economic clout that they know shipping lines will comply rather than go bust.
 

duncan

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[ QUOTE ]
Think of cars - would you consider it normal if a driver from a small third world country turned up and drove on the roads without a driving licence or insurance, arguing that his home rules should apply? He wouldn't get very far, even in Britain.

[/ QUOTE ]
bad example - basically this is exactly what people do where they do have a licence ; and often where they don't!
I expect to be able to drive anywhere in the world with my driving licence...........equally your dingy hire comment potentially confuses legally with interpretation ; back to cars I hired a car from Hertz in SA and drove a few thousand miles, friend tried to get me insured on his car in J'burg but they refused as I didn't have a photo licence only a pink one plus passaport. Hertz provided another hire car confirming that thier interpretation was that as long as the liceence was valid and photoID was kept with it that complied with the 'legal' requirments - back to the insurers out of interest and they came back a day later to reconfirm that their interpretation was that it had to be a 'photolicence'.

Personally I think Edmund Whelan should be approached to clarify the UK flagged vessel (pleasure) issue given his responsibility for legal advice and presumably that article.
 
A

Anonymous

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[ QUOTE ]
Personally I think Edmund Whelan should be approached to clarify the UK flagged vessel (pleasure) issue given his responsibility for legal advice and presumably that article.

[/ QUOTE ]I think that's an excellent idea. Who is Edmund Whelan, BTW? /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif The pilotage example given above is a bad example because they are required in, effectively, 'special rules zones'. In the UK, yachties are restricted in certain places, for example, the approaches to Portsmouth Harbour, which is another example of a special rules zone. The other example given above was for lakes - again a bad example, we are talking about tidal waterways.

I think we need an example, if the point is to be proven. If Edmund Whelan is a lawyer with experience in this field, then let's get him in!
 
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