AML’s team of maritime specialists advise Owners and Managers to ensure that crew serving on board Malta Flagged vessels are fully compliant with EU Regulation 883/2004 relating to social security matters for seafarers servicing on board EU vessels.
There is no single social security law applicable in all EU Member States and each Member State has it own local rules on contributions, types of benefits and eligibility criteria. The coordination of the various EU Member States’ social security systems, including that of Malta, is done by EU Regulations (EC) Nos. 883/2004 and 987/2009 (the latter Regulations contains detailed rules for implementing the former Regulation), which came into force on the 1st May 2010, replacing the previous Regulations (EC) Nos. 1408/71 and 574/72 respectively. These new Regulations are the new point of reference for the coordination of Member States’ social security systems.
Social security relating to the employment of seafarers engaged on seagoing vessels which is regulated through EU Regulation 883/2004 states:
“An activity as an employed or self-employed person normally pursued on board a vessel at sea flying the flag of a Member State shall be deemed to be an activity pursued in the said Member State. However, a person employed on board a vessel flying the flag of a Member State and remunerated for such activity by an undertaking or a person whose registered office or place of business is in another Member State shall be subject to the legislation of the latter Member State if he/she resides in that State. The undertaking or person paying the remuneration shall be considered as the employer for the purposes of the said legislation.”
As per EU Regulation 883/2004, seafarers who are either EU/EEA or Swiss citizens or resident and are employed on board a vessel, flying the flag of Malta should be insured under Malta’s social security system. However, should the seafarer be remunerated from the country in which his employer is registered or has his place of business, and the seafarer also resides in that same Member State, then the seafarer shall be subject to the legislation of his country of residence, provided that the seafarer is affiliated in that latter State for social security. This is always subject to the main principle that seafarers can only be subject to a social security system of one Member State.
Benefits of Malta’s social security system
- Full compliance under EU Regulation 883/2004
- Seafarer entitlement to employment benefits and pensions in Malta
- Seafarer coverage in country of residence
- Seafarer entitlement to a European Health insurance card (EHIC) including dependents and wife (if not working)
- Lower social security contributions payable compared to other Member States
- Payroll services depending on Owner’s requirements
- Enrolling seafarer under Malta’s social security system
- Calculation and payment of monthly social security contributions for employer and seafarer
- Provision of A1 certificates, S1 certificates and EHIC cards
- Statement of seafarer’s yearly contributions paid for personal tax declarations
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