The French Decree n°2017-307 of 9 March 2017 is now in force, applying to all yachts both private and commercially registered. Bruce Maltwood, Sarnia Yachts Director explains what this means for yacht owners.
What Does this Mean for Employers?
Any employers of seafarers who are either French residents or who are deemed French residents as a result of the yacht they work on being located in France for more than 183 days a year, now have an obligation to pay social security contributions.
Timeframe for Action
The law came into effect on 9th March 2017, however employers do have until 1 July 2017 to put the arrangements in place. However, this is a significant change and the work required to comply with this law should not be underestimated.
What is this New Legislation?
Social security legislation 883/2004 allows for reciprocal arrangements between primarily EU member states for accrual of credits for contributions paid in another member state. Consequently, if the yacht is EU flagged, contributions can be made to the jurisdiction of said flag state instead of France. Only a percentage of salaries will be subject to social security, due to countries having different salary limitations for contribution calculations with varying levels and caps.
Provide Longterm Protection
Understandably, the actual application is still unclear, as with all new legislation and there are a large number of questions yet to be answered. In the meantime perhaps this should be considered as a way to regularise the position of seafarers and provide them with some protection, both now and also for the future when they do eventually exchange their life on the sea for a land-based job.
Sarnia Yachts is currently exploring all the options and permutations in order to deliver a solution for our existing and potential clients in time for the July deadline. If you have questions about this new social security legislation and how it might affect your crew, please get in touch with Bruce Maltwood via firstname.lastname@example.org