Following recent changes to French Social Security Laws, Patrick Maflin of Marine Accounts clarifies the options for seafarers in regards to UK National Insurance.
On the 9th March, France announced changes to their social security laws, which will come into effect on the 1st July 2017.
As a result, if you spend over 183 days in France within a period of 365 days, you and your employer will be liable to pay social security contributions to ENIM (the French Mariners’ social security agency). This is the case unless you are already paying social security to any state in the European Economic Area (EEA), or any state which has a bilateral social security treaty with France.
With regard to UK National Insurance, HMRC’s Mariners questionnaire is used to determine whether you are liable to pay class 1 NI or class 2 NI at the reduced rate.
If any of the following apply to your situation, you are liable to make UK National Insurance payments to HMRC:
You work for, or are paid by, a company based in the UK
You work on a vessel registered in the UK (including the Isle of Man) for an employer based in the EEA or in a country that has a reciprocal agreement with the UK.
If you are not liable to pay class 1 NI, there are two possible classes that you may be eligible to pay:
Class 2,Under Mariners contributions, which is £2.80 per week
Class 3, at the higher rate of £14.10 per week.
It is advisable to make these voluntary NI contributions in order to take advantage of certain benefits in the UK, such as access to the NHS and the state pension. You can also backdate payments for up to six years to avoid a gap in your NI contributions, which would otherwise lead to a restriction of these benefits.
For further advice regarding your individual circumstances, please contact a member of the Marine Accounts team.
Any advice in this publication is not intended or written by Marine Accounts to be used by a client or entity for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party matters herein.