L’Extension Grande Plaisance (EGP)

If the UK ICC does not suit your requirements because you have a larger barge then you will need additional accreditation such as the ‘Grande Plaisance’ licence, more commonly referred to as the ‘EGP’ (Extension Grande Plaisance).  This gives you the freedom to skipper vessels of unlimited length across Europe.

Bargecraft works in collaboration with Benoit and Eve of ENAM (a French boat school) to provide the EGP course aboard ‘Somewhere’.  Benoit and Eve are qualified EGP instructors and speak excellent English.  The Grande Plaisance course must be undertaken by and owned by a French 'Bateau Ecole', i.e. ENAM.

EGP Pre-Requisite

The essential starting point if you are looking to obtain the EGP is you must already have the French Permis Plaisance option Eaux Intérieures (i.e. small boat licence).

If you do not have the French Permis Plaisance EI, the UK ICC endorsed for inland waterways with VHF licence is usually an acceptable equivalent without any further practical assessment for EU nationals.

For non-EU nationals you will likely be required to retake the CEVNI examination in French.

This table Driving conditions and Equivalence table - in French or Table of licences and rights english pdf may help identify the route you need for the appropriate licence.

You are strongly advised to check with the central office for Foreign inland waterways boating licences in Douai as to which licences are required for the equivalence application.  The address is:

Pôle Navigation Intérieure
123, rue de Roubaix
Centre Tertiaire de l'Arsenal
CS 20839
59508 Douai cedex
Tél 03.27.93.56.88

From the experience of our clients, any non-EU national has been required to retake the CEVNI examination in French, even when they had already successfully taken the CEVNI in English.  This is perfectly achievable and requires ‘parrot fashion’ learning the correct French sentences because the CEVNI is already known.   For those booked on the EGP with ENAM who need to take the CEVNI in French, Eve and Benoit will be happy to provide guidance and study access including online mock examinations to practice.

How to Prepare for the EGP and Timeline

The steps needed to take your EGP have a defined timeline which cannot be rushed or shortened (unless stated below).  These assume that you prefer to take your licences in English wherever possible and there is mutual availability of ENAM and Bargecraft.

  1. British novice boater with no licence at all
Action Notes and duration
RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman’s course 2 days
CEVNI examination Study time* then 30 mins test
Apply for ICC to the RYA 21 days (2 days fast track)
VHF licence 1 day RYA course
Medical declaration by a French GP Normal appointment, max 30 mins, less than 6 months old
‘Equivalence’ application for the French Permis Plaisance along with €70 tax stamps 4 – 6 weeks processing
Pre-registration of EGP course 21 days
EGP training achievable in 8 - 13 weeks PLUS study time*
  1. Non-british national with no licence at all
Action Notes and duration
RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman’s course 2 days
CEVNI examination Study time* then 30 mins test
Apply for ICC to the RYA 21 days (2 days fast track)
VHF licence 1 day RYA course
Retake CEVNI examination in French 21 days pre-registration PLUS study time*
Medical declaration by a French GP Normal appointment, max 30 mins, less than 6 months old
‘Equivalence’ application for the French Permis Plaisance along with €70 tax stamp 4 – 6 weeks processing
Pre-registration of EGP course 21 days
EGP training achievable in 11 -  16 weeks PLUS study time*

Equivalence Application Forms

  • Equivalence application form; Cerfa No. 14683*01.
  • Medical declaration form Cerfa No. 14673*01(in French) dated within the last six months.
  • Timbre Fiscal (tax stamp) €70 (available as an online purchase from the Service Public website)

EGP Pre-registration

Once you have received your French Permis Plaisance you are ready to book onto the EGP training course.  This is done directly with Eve and Benoit at info@enam.fr.  EGP application form Cerfa Form no. 14680*01 must be filled in and posted to ENAM for pre-registration along with the required supporting documents, tax stamps and photocopies.  This must be received by ENAM at least 21 days before the EGP training dates.

The EGP Training Course

The EGP training is all practical, no written examination is required.  The practical training includes a full observation and assessment of your boat handling skills whilst carrying out a series of defined manoeuvres.

The EGP course is run over two consecutive days aboard Somewhere, we – Steve and Jo will remain onboard as crew only.

The route will typically be on the Canal de La Garonne around Moissac, Castelsarrasin, Montech area.  This will be confirmed at the time of booking.

The fee paid to ENAM is for a non-residential course only.  Barge hire and refreshments are included.  If you wish to stay onboard Somewhere with us, this can be arranged separately.

A maximum of two students per course is permissible.

The EGP course programme syllabus is available through this link to the Service Public website (if you open this in ‘Google Chrome’ it will be translated into English)