Crew members in France working on vessels for more than three months must now be enrolled under the French Social Security regime. The ‘Décret was introduced from 1st July 2017 and has been met with great concerns from the superyacht industry.
Hill Robinson, a yacht management firm based in the South of France has taken action to express their concerns and that of yacht owners and crew. The decree will affect a large number of yacht crew working part of the year in the South of France, but actually resident elsewhere. When this enforced enlistment starts to take place, all crew and their employers will be liable to pay social security contributions into the French system if a crew member cannot substantiate registration elsewhere.
Nick Hill commented: “This legislation is being brought in to broaden the social security (medical and pension) coverage for mariners from France, which we applaud. However, the serious concern is that it could lead to a large-scale enrollment of all other nationality crew members, particularly on commercial yachts, into the French system with severe penalties possible for employers, owners and crew who do not comply.”
Foreign employers will be required to provide a bank guarantee or deposit funds with the French authorities to cover potential liability. At six months of the anticipated employer’s liability in the case of a deposit and twelve months of the expected liability as a guarantee, this would be a significant amount for a 50-metre yacht with a crew of twelve or more at industry average salaries.
“The reaction and outcome of this poorly conceived legislation is that 99% of the superyacht fleet (non French flagged yachts) will be deterred from visiting French waters for any significant time, and certainly not more than three months. So this will result in less private cruising and commercial chartering in the South of France, and no long winter refits in French shipyards. This not only affects the yachts themselves, but also the whole infrastructure built around the superyacht industry, suppliers, contractors, shipyards, brokers, agencies etc.”
“A detrimental outcome that nobody wants to see, including we assume, the new Macron French Government.”
At the recent seminar organised by the Monaco Yacht Club to further clarify the matter, Mr Jean-Philippe Maslin advised, “With very little appetite shown by the authorities for any suspension of the decree before the 1st July enforcement date, Ince & Co has been instructed by Hill Robinson to lodge a legal action in the French Supreme Court against the French authorities in order to postpone, review and amend the decree.”
Considering the connection with international yacht crew and superyachts cruising the South of France, AYC Superyacht Recruitment commends and supports the actions from Hill Robinson to support the industry and seek sensible solutions.
For more information, contact Hill Robinson directly.
T: +377 93 10 29 29