National Insurance in the UK & Changes to French Social Security Laws

  • Patrick Maflin
    Patrick Maflin

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On the 9th March 2017, France announced changes to their social security laws, which came into effect on the 1st July 2017.

These changes meant that if you spend over 183 days in France within a 365 day period, you and your employer will be liable to pay social security contributions to ENIM (the French Mariners’ social security agency).

That is, unless you are already paying social security to any EEA state, or any state which has a bilateral social security treaty with France.

In this article, we focus on the updated French Social Security laws as well as National Insurance in the UK and how they affect yacht crew.

Read on to find out more or click a jump menu below to skip to a desired chapter.


  1. Should You Pay National Insurance Contributions?
  2. Other National Insurance Classes
  3. Speak to Us or Comment!

Should You Pay National Insurance Contributions?

Regarding UK National Insurance, you will first need to identify whether you are liable to pay class 1 NI.

HMRC’s Mariners questionnaire is used to determine whether you should be paying class 1, or if you are entitled to pay class 2 NI (at the reduced rate).

If any of the below apply to you then you are liable to make NI 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 or the Isle of Man for an employer based in the European Economic Area (EEA) or in a country that has a reciprocal agreement with the UK.

Other National Insurance Classes

If you are not liable to pay Class 1 NI, then there are 2 possible classes that you may be eligible to pay:

  • Class 2 - Under Mariners contributions, which is £2.80 per week, or
  • Class 3 - at the higher rate of £14.10 per week.

It is advisable to make voluntary NI contributions in order to gain certain benefits in the UK (e.g access to the NHS and state pension).

You can also backdate your payments for up to 6 years, so that there is no limited gap in your NI contributions record, which would lead to a restriction on benefits available to you

Speak to Us or Comment!

If you have concerns about your national insurance class and contributions, come and speak to us. Get in touch with us today or let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Liked this article? Try reading:
National Insurance Contributions - What Yacht Crew Need To Do

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.

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