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Some countries require proof of basic competence. The UNEC introduced a section 40 ICC which could be issued by one country certifying that the holder met basic standards of training and thus could be exempted from another nation's requirements.
The level is basically day skipper.
The difficulty is that essentially only a small number of countries have adopted this - primarily in Europe and the med. Others have not but still require it. Some require it for coastal and some only for internal waterways. A special certificate may be required for the latter eg the French canals if another qualification is used other than the ICC.
I suspect that a charterer in the med would probably accept another certificate, as would the authorities for an individual given that most countries do not issue ICCs.
As stated these are often privately administered. I have heard of a NZ yachtmaster ocean certificate which was internationally based not being accepted for a UK charter where the newer RYA certificate was required. That may have been just a shortsighted charter company bureaucrat rather than a legal thing.
In short it is a mess. You are probably best off to have whatever training and certification you can receive in your own country, because it is of value in its own right. This will likely suffice but individual places may vary. You can then do any internal waterways certificate you require on the spot. I don't think it is a major provided you know the regulations and can learn them and do the test in your language.
 
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