FAQ's: French Social Security

Following the announcement on the 9th March on the upcoming changes to French Social Security Laws in France, Marine Accounts has received many questions from concerned seafarers about how the changes affect them. We have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions and provided answers to them in order to provide a quick reference guide for the changes.

1. When does this law come into effect?

1st July 2017

2. What actions should EU Citizens take?

We would advise that you determine which country you are tax resident in and if you spend over 181 days in French waters and ports. If you are paying social security within your resident country, then you are exempt from the changes to French Social Security Charges.

3. How will this affect Monaco?

As long as you are tax resident in Monaco you will not need to pay French Social Security

4. Will days spent in Monaco count?

No, they are treated as separate countries for social security.

5. Who is criminally liable if required contributions are not paid?

The Employer would be criminally liable in the case of failing to pay required French Contributions.

6. How does this effect non-EU resident crew?

Where the yacht spends more than 181 days in French waters, providing they are paying contributions to a country that has a bi-lateral agreement with France, they will be exempt from paying social security in France.

7. If I am paying contributions in another EU State but am also a resident in France, where do I receive the benefits of contribution?

You will receive your benefits in the country you are contributing to. For example, if you pay class 2 contributions to the UK you will gain the appropriate benefits in the UK.

8. If I am a French resident paying UK National Insurance, can I continue under the new law?

If you are paying National Insurance in the UK you are exempt from paying French social security.

9. What do I have to provide to France to prove I pay contribute to another country?

This has not yet been confirmed, however we anticipate a receipt from the foreign agency of some kind will be required

10. Will France accept SEA’s in English or will they need to be translated?

Under maritime law all SEA for seafarers working on vessels that are on an International voyage, must be in English.

11. Once the decree comes into effect will previous years be investigated?

This has yet to be confirmed, but since the decrees application date is 1st January 2017, we hope it will be applied from then.

12. Who do we submit contributions to?

This is yet to be confirmed.

13. If I am making voluntary contributions to the UK (class 2 or 3), will my employer have any liability to pay social security in either the UK or France after these changes?

No, the employer will not be liable to pay any social security in either country if the employee is making voluntary contributions.

For further advice regarding your personal circumstances please contact a member of the Marine Accounts team.

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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.

All answers provided have been verified by John Cook of Lesia Group to ensure accuracy.

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