Licensing Information

Although competence is one's greatest ally when cruising Europe's canals and rivers, skippers of boats over 15 meters are required to have a license in France and in the Netherlands. Germany, of course, has requirements for each river. However, the regulations also provide, generally, that each country will honor the licensing of the operator's country of origin. In the UK, residents may obtain training and licensing through the Royal Yachting Association (RYA). In France and in the Netherlands, the written and practical exams are given only in their national languages, the Dutch at prescribed intervals and the French according to the regional testing official.

Tam and Di Murrell offer licensing courses for the ICC - International Certificate of Competency (British residents only) or the French PP for 15-24 meter barges, available to anyone. Email:

For competence in actually handling a barge, please see the detail available under our Skipper Training Cruises.

Information on European waterway rules, abbreviated as CEVNI,is published in English in "European Waterway Regulations" by Tam Murrell, ISBN 0-9547301-0-0, available from us or from

A battery of the French exams for the 15-24 meter skipper license has been published, which is handy should a person who speaks French wish to take the French exam for licensing on 15-24 meter craft. We have recently translated three exams into English. Even for those not planning to take the French exam, this can be a helpful guide to safe barge handling and therefore we make this translation available for your use here. Just click " French test questions" (note: The file is very large and will take some time to open).