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Working on a Maltese yacht?

27 December 2023

Some Nautilus members working onboard yachts registered in Malta – one of the most popular European flags – are missing out on entitlements because their employers have not registered them for the country’s social security scheme. Make sure you don't lose out!

All European Union (EU), UK, and European Economic Area (EEA) national and resident seafarers working on a Maltese-flagged yacht must be registered to pay with the Department of Social Security in Malta. This applies even if you are employed via a non-EU crewing agency.

It is up to your employer to register you for the scheme.

Both you – and, importantly, your employer – are required to pay in to the Maltese system. The amount paid in is just over 50 euros per week from your own salary, and the same amount paid in by your employer.

If you are not sure whether your employer has registered you, it is worth checking as there are several useful entitlements you can access via contributions to the Maltese social security scheme:

  • unemployment benefits in your country of residence, if this is within the EU, EEA or Switzerland
  • European Health Insurance Card or S1 form in the UK
  • pension (transferrable within the areas mentioned above)
  • an EU social security number, if you are a citizen of a non-EU country

If you are already contributing to another EU social security scheme, you can choose to opt out, but you will need to inform Maltese authorities. Those who are both residents and citizens of non-EU, UK or EEA countries are expected to contribute to their own country's scheme as required by that country's law.

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