Netherlands / Dutch ICP Yacht Registration – A Warning!

It is the purpose of this guide is to caution against the use of the Dutch International Certificate of Pleasure Craft (ICP) issued in The Netherlands by the Watersport Verbond.

The Watersport Verbond is the national governing body for the sports of sailing, surfing and kayaking in The Netherlands.

The Watersport Verbond contains an online portal where the ICP registration can be obtained. Minimal documentary evidence has to be presented in comparison to a traditional register of title and also no pre-registration or tonnage survey is required to verify the physical existence of the vessel.

There has in recent years been a surge of interest in the ICP as a result of third-party agents marketing the ICP certificate as a low-cost easy to obtain Dutch flag registration.

For the avoidance of doubt the ICP has no validity as a navigational document and does not allow the Dutch flag to be flown.

The limitations of the ICP were brought to light in the summer of 2018 with the case of the M/V “Lifeline”. The vessel was a migrant rescue vessel operating in the Mediterranean with a Dutch ICP registration. The vessel was denied permission to dock in Italy to unload a group of rescued persons. The Italian government stated that as a Dutch registered vessel the rescued persons were the responsibility of the vessel’s flag state. The owners of the vessel published a copy of the vessel’s Dutch ICP registration online and requested the assistance of the Dutch authorities. The response of the Dutch authorities was to issue the following statement concerning the vessel and another rescue vessel known as “Seefuchs”:

“The Seefuchs and Lifeline are not sailing under Dutch flag as per UNCLOS flag state responsibility. These ships are owned by German NGOs and not entered into the NL ships register. So NL is not able to give instructions to these ships. Italy is aware of the Dutch position.”

As a result of this situation all newly issued ICP certificates no longer state “Flag Dutch” but state “Flag non-applicable” and contain the following wording:

“This document can not be interpreted as giving Dutch nationality to the craft, nor does it constitute the right to fly the flag of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as defined by Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Consequently the Kingdom of the Netherlands does not accept any of the responsibilities listed in article 94 of UNCLOS.”

The EU authorities are now actively controlling vessels operating in their waters under ICP registrations on the basis that they are effectively stateless and therefore operating in contravention of international maritime law.

We would counsel any yacht owner currently holding an ICP registration carefully consider their position.

We are able to provide alternative title registration options under EU and non-EU flags that are valid for international cruising purposes and confer the rights to fly the flag of the host state.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yacht Registration

Yacht Registration - An Introduction
The British Register of Ships & The Red Ensign Group
The UK Ship Register (Part I) v. UK Small Ships Register SSR (Part III)
Registration of Yacht Tenders
The Yacht Radio Licence – A Guide To Licensing, Call Signs, MMSI Numbers & More
The Carving & Marking of Yachts – A Guide
Delaware Yacht + Vessel Registration – A Warning!
Netherlands / Dutch ICP Yacht Registration – A Warning!

Yacht Registries

Cayman Islands Yacht Registration
Guernsey Yacht Registration
Isle of Man Yacht Registration
Jersey Yacht Registration
Malta Yacht Registration
United Kingdom (UK) Yacht Registration

Yacht Operation

EU VAT & Yachts – Frequently Asked Questions
Temporary Admission (Temporary Importation) for Yachts in Europe
The Charter of Yachts in the European Union
Cruising Licences for Yachts in the United States
Yacht Leasing In Malta

Yacht Survey & Certification

The Tonnage Measurement Survey
Rules for the operation of Private Pleasure Yachts under the British Flag
Rules for the Charter of Yachts Under 24 Metres under the British Flag
Rules for the Charter of Yachts Over 24 Metres under the British Flag
The Intended Pleasure Vessel Code (IPV Code)
Rules for the Charter of Yachts under the Malta Flag
Marshall Islands – Yacht Engaged In Trade (YET) Dual Private & Commercial Charter Yacht Registration

Yacht Agents

Guernsey & Jersey: Channel Islands Yacht Export & Delivery


24 January 2020 at 20:06

Join us for the final weekend of the 2020 edition of @nonstopboot BOOT Dusseldorf to discuss our yacht registration and crew payroll services… #Oceanskies #bootduesseldorf #duseldorf #boot2020 #bootdusseldorf #dusseldorfboatshow..pic.twitter.com/dMsmf8YeAUAU


21 January 2020 at 18:19

The first four days of the 2020 edition of @nonstopboot BOOT Dusseldorf have flown by.... Please do not hesitate to contact us to meet up to discuss our yacht registration and crew payrollinstagram.com/p/B7l2ydWlcLf/…y4xR


18 January 2020 at 15:44

The 2020 edition of @nonstopboot Dusseldorf Boat Show is open! Duncan is in Germany for the duration of the show and will be joined by Ryan later this week – please do not hesitate to contact us to meet up to discuss our yacht registration and crew payroll services… #boot2pic.twitter.com/n0DTuruHNTuHNT