Plus ça change…

May 17, 2017 1:10 pm Published by
Social Security rules surrounding crew operating in the EU has long been an issue shrouded in confusion! France’s recent decree (2017-307) issued on the 9th March 2017 and coming into effect on July 1st, clarifies the position and obligations of crew and yacht owners/employers alike in respect to their Social Security responsibilities. We’ve highlighted the most salient points below:
  • All seafarers, irrespective of nationality, resident or otherwise domiciled in France, will be required to make social security contributions to, the French Mariners’ Social Security Agency (“ENIM”)
  • Seafarers already making social security contributions in another EU Member State (or a State which has a double taxation agreement with France) will not be asked to make further contributions
  • Non-resident Employers of seafarers who are brought into this payment regime will need to provide a bank guarantee or security deposit as per the published contribution rate
  • The penalty for late payment of contributions is 0.5% accumulated daily per day of delay
  • Failure to pay the contributions could constitute a criminal offence and ultimately lead to the arrest of the yacht
In return Seafarers contributing will be entitled to health, medical and retirement benefits in France including provisions to pay retirement benefits to key family members on the death of the Seafarer.
The key issue here and still one that may cause confusion revolves around the definition of being ‘domiciled in france’. Domiciliation tests vary from Member State to Member State so what constitutes French domicility? In an aim to clarify the detail, we’ll update what constitutes domicility in a further advisory notice accordingly.
What is certain though is throughout Europe there’s an obvious tightening on previous ‘loopholes’ with regard to Mariners ongoing social security obligations which will in turn, further impact the marine labour market and the costs to owners of crew employment.

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This post was written by Declan O'Sullivan