A Beginners Guide To a Career In Yachting - French Social Security

  • Patrick Maflin
    Patrick Maflin

This article was updated 4th December 2018: Following the response to our previous article “A Beginners Guide to a Career in Yachting” we have decided to follow on with more information for those starting out in the industry, on some of the most important and topical issues being discussed today. In this edition, we will give a basic overview of French Social Security law, and what you need to do to comply.

French Social Security

As discussed in previous articles, most recently on 11th April 2018, one of the most challenging issues facing many yacht owners and management companies is that of French Social Security liability. As it stands, your employers are liable to make French Social Security payments if you satisfy the following conditions:

    ·If your yacht spends more than 181 days in French waters is any calendar year

    ·If you as a crew member are French resident/citizen/domicile. If you are unsure of your personal residency status, you can try our free residency test below:


If either of the above stated rules apply to you, your employer must be able to demonstrate that they are making social security payments on your behalf. Whilst there has been much discussion around how the new rules will be enforced since their introduction in 2017; at this stage there is only one course of action which we can recommend to you – compliance!

Whilst there may be whispers on the dock that the regulators won’t be able to enforce these rules and you can get away with not paying your dues, this is most certainly not an advisable course of action. Instead you can ensure you retain your peace of mind and comply with legislation as it stands, by taking any of the following steps:

    1. You can approach ENIM to declare your residence in France and request to pay social security contributions. You need to be aware that they will not accept any contributions unless the employer makes the declaration and submits the required information.

    2.If you are working on a yacht flagged in a country with which France has a Bilateral agreement, the UK for example, and you are making contributions to that country you will be exempted from paying contributions. Your employer will also have an exemption.

    3.Another route is to contribute to private social protection policies that comply with Article L111.1 of the French Social Security Code.

For more detailed information with regard to your obligations and options, visit our previous article here:


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