APPLICATION OF THE FRENCH DECREE WITH EFFECT FROM 1 JANUARY 2018 (No retroactive effect).

The amended version of the French social security obligations for seafarers

residing in France is now in force.

Owners, yachts managers and of course seafarers must comply with this law.

As a reminder, the purpose of this measure is to offer full coverage to the seafarers concerned, in accordance with the commitments made in the Maritime Labor Convention.

Crew Members concerned:
Seafarers residing in France (3 month of uninterrupted residence in France or in its overseas territories).
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Seafarers employed on commercial or private vessels.

The decree provides that all crew members employed on foreign-flagged vessels must be registered with the French social security schemes (ENIM) if

they reside in France.

Except if:
– Seafarers, embarked on a foreign-flagged vessel, who are subject to the social security legislation of another EU or EFTA country or other country with

which France (or the EU) has a bilateral agreement in respect of social system coverage.

  • –  Seafarers embarked on vessels engaged in national costal trade
  • –  Seafarers subject to a state and/or private welfare scheme at least equivalent to the French national welfare scheme for seafarers.

    >>> NEW PRODUCT: The ASCOMA team is able to provide an Insurance

product that meets the requirements of the Social Security. SOLUTIONS AVAILABLE and FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is criminally liable if the required contributions are not paid ?

The employer is obliged to report that seafarer to the ENIM and would be criminally liable if required French Social Security Contributions are not paid.

SOLUTION N°1: REGISTER WITH ENIM

Register with ENIM and make appropriate employer and employee social security contributions.

COST: Between 25 and 35% of the Total Annual Gross Salary of the crew member

SOLUTION N°2 :

JOIN A PRIVATE SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEME

With the recent amendment to Article L. 111-1 of the French Social Security Decree, a new possibility has been agreed by the French government, allowing crew to join a private social security scheme, as long the cover provided equal or exceed those afforded by ENIM.

The private social security product will have to include the below benefits:

  •   Medical Expenses in case of accident on and off duty
  •   Medical Expenses in case of any illness
  •   Employment Injury Benefits
  •   Daily Indemnity (Salary reimbursement in case of sick-leaves)
  •   Maternity and Paternity Benefits
  •   Pension Funds
  •   Familly Benefits
  •   Invalidity Benefits
  •   Loss of Life for Any causes

>>> Provide evidence, to the ENIM representing, of registration with a private welfare scheme allowing a coverage at least equivalent to the one prescribed by Art. L. 111-1 of the French social security code is in place.

>>> Seafarers registered with ENIM before January 1st 2018, in application of the previous provisions of article L. 5551-1, 2°of the French Code of Transports can request a change in social security scheme, on condition of providing evidence of coverage by a social protection scheme at least equivalent to that prescribed by article L. 111-1 and article L. 111-2-1 II of the French Social Security Code.

SOLUTION N°3 :

REGISTER THE SEAFARER WITH ANOTHER SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

If the seafarer is a national or resident in another EU or EEA member state, in Switzerland or a country that has a reciprocal social security agreement with France, the seafarer can elect to make social security contributions in that country rather than registering with ENIM.

List of flags affected by the decree include (non-exhaustive):

The British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Marshall Islands.

List of flags not affected by the decree include (non-exhaustive):

Malta, UK, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Luxembourg and the USA.

These flags have reciprocal social security agreements with France. If the seafarers are adequately covered by the reciprocal social security legislation in place, they are not affected by the decree.

CREW MEMBER ENGAGED ON BOARD MALTESE FLAG VESSEL:

Possibility to register the crew member to the Maltese Social Security. However, to register seafarers for social security contributions in another country there needs to be adequate justification to do so. If the seafarer is resident in that country or works on a yacht which flies that country’s flag, this would be sufficient justification.

It will not be mandatory but it will be very convenient to complete the low benefits of the Maltese Social Security by a private scheme in addition to the social system protection. Indeed, with a social security contributions of less than € 50 per week, per crew member, the Maltese Social Security scheme

offers very limited benefits:

Example n°1: Monthly Salary Reimbursement Limit of € 800 per month in case of Sick-leave.

Example n°2: No Benefits if the vessel sails outside Europe

>>> NEW PRODUCT: PRIVATE SCHEME IN ADDITION TO SOCIAL SECURITY PROTECTION IN PLACE: The ASCOMA Team is able to provide Taylor-made solutions which will complete the benefits of the social security in place.

CREW MEMBER ENGAGED ON BOARD LUXEMBOURG FLAG VESSEL:

Crew member engaged on board Luxembourg registered vessels have to register to the Luxembourg Social Security scheme.

TOMORROW ?

The French Authorities were the first to launch this measure probably because of the “Condor Ferries” case which has involved French crew members engaged with a Foreign Flag company. But we expect Italy, Spain and other EU countries to introduce similar legislation in the next few months. So while this information is focused on the current situation in France, it should be expected that the same may apply in other EU countries in a close future.

The information contained in this publication is for informational purposes only. We assume no obligation or liability for any error or omission in its content.

Nicolas MIOR

If you have any questions about the latest update of the French social security decree or if you would like to receive an insurance proposal, do not hesitate to contact the members of

our team:

ASCOMA MARITIME

Address : 24 Boulevard Princesse Charlotte 98000 MONACO Phone : 00377 97 97 44 20
Email : maritime@ascoma.comO

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