Basis on which contributions are calculated

1.1. Social security contributions

Basis: Legislative Order 07/02/1945, art. 3, Royal Decree 13/01/2014, Flemish Government Orders 13/11/2015, Flemish Government Order 23/09/2016

1.1.1. Employer contributions

The social security contributions shall be calculated on the basis of the seafarer's wage. The seafarer's wage is understood to refer to: the standard pay plus overtime and all allowances that are allocated to the person concerned.

1.1.2. Employee contributions for seafarers employed on sea-going ships registered in a Member State of the EEA

The contributions of seafarers who are employed on sea-going ships that are registered in a Member State of the EEA (see ‘Registers of Member States of the EEA’, below) shall be calculated on the seafarer's wage, with a ceiling of the amount that applies in the pension scheme and applied during the calendar year prior to the current year. The annual wage ceiling for the year 2021 is set at 63.944,74 euro.

The aforementioned ceiling applies to contributions for seafarers that are employed by an shipowner belonging to the maritime dredging sector, on sea-going dredging ships with their own propulsion which are equipped to transport a cargo on the sea, for which a certificate of registry is provided in a Member State of the EEA, and whereby at least 50% of operating time involves transport at sea.

The aforementioned ceiling also applies to contributions from seafarers who are employed on seaworthy dredgers, which are registered in a Member State of the European Economic Area, whereby at least 50% of operating time involves transport at sea. A proportionate share of the waiting time shall be eligible as sea transport for the calculation of the intended threshold of 50%.

The aforementioned ceiling also applies to the contributions of seafarers employed by a shipowner on vessels pursuing one of the following activities:

  • laying cables on the prepared seabed
  • laying pipes on the prepared seabed,
  • towing and lifting infrastructures in connection with installation and maintenance works at sea,
  • research of the seabed in connection with installation and maintenance works,
  • targeted discharge of rocks on the seabed in connection with installation and maintenance works at sea,
  • transport of parts at sea in connection with installation and maintenance works at sea,
  • transport and accommodation of persons in connection with installation and maintenance works at sea.

In relation to shipping companies in the merchant shipping sector, this regime shall only apply if the shipowner has an operating base in the Flemish Region or an operating base in an EEA Member State (outside Belgium).

Registers of the Member States of the EEA

Registers of Member States include:

  • all primary registers of Member States
  • the following registers that are localised in Member States and are subject to the law thereof:
    • DIS: the Danish International Register of Shipping,
    • ISR: the German International Register of Shipping,
    • MAR: the International Register of Shipping of Madeira,
    • the Italian International Register of Shipping,
    • the Register for the Canary Islands,
    • the Registers of the Kerguelen, the Dutch Antilles, the Isle of Man, Bermuda, Cayman (under conditions as set out in point 2.2, second paragraph of the Guidelines),
    • Register of Gibraltar.

1.1.3. Employee contributions for seafarers employed on sea-going ships not registered in a Member State of the EEA

The social security contributions shall be calculated on the basis of the seafarer's wage. The seafarer's wage is understood to refer to: the standard pay plus overtime and all allowances that are allocated to the person concerned.

1.2. Industrial accident premium

Basis: W. 10/04/1971

The industrial accident insurance premium and the surcharge for reintegration of disabled persons will be calculated on a fixed basic wage (see 1.4) depending on the rank of the seafarer.

1.3. Additional premium for time spent in a war zone or risk of piracy

Basis: Royal Decree 28/12/1971, art. 6bis

A) Premium for zone with increased risk of piracy

Since 15 June 2015, merchant shipowners have had to pay an additional premium to Fedris to cover the risk of piracy. The premium amounts to 0.164% of the basic wage per person per day spent in the ‘increased risk’ zone as set out in the decision by the Committee for Merchant Shipping of 21 April 2015 to activate the CLA for piracy, i.e. the Gulf of Aden + 400 nautical miles from the east coast of Somalia with the borders:

  • to the west: coastline on the border of Djibouti and Somalia to position 11 48 N, 45 E; from 12.00N, 45 E to Mayyun Island in the Bab El Mandeb Straits;
  • to the east: from Rhiy di-Irisal to Socotra Island to position 14 18 N, 53 E, from 14.30 E to the coastline on the border between Yemen and Oman, together with a zone of 400 miles from the east coast of Somalia, i.e. from Socotra Island downwards to the border with Kenya in the south.

An additional premium for remaining in a zone with an increased risk of piracy of 0.164% of the basic wage per person per day spent in the zone is owed from 7 July 2015 for remaining in the Gulf of Guinea and, more specifically, the territorial waters of Benin and Nigeria, including the ports and terminals, the delta area of the Niger river, the inland waterways and port facilities, except if the ship is safely moored in a monitored port area. The day of entering and the day of exiting the zone shall both be regarded as full days unless entry and exit occur on the same day.

B) Premium for zone with reduced risk of piracy

An additional piracy premium of 0.016% of the basic wage for remaining in the zone with a lower risk of piracy, in accordance with the area within which the Royal Decree of 11 February 2013 permits the use of private security, and this borders the area where an additional piracy premium is already provided at a rate of 0.164% of the basic wage.

The RD of 11 February 2013 expands the area in which there is permission to engage a maritime security company to protect the ship against piracy to the sea area in the Gulf of Guinea, from the border of the territorial waters of the relevant coastal states and borders the sea via connecting the coordinates:

  1. 17° 20’ 00 Z, 11° 50’ 00 O
  2. 17° 20’ 00 Z, 10° 00’ 00 O
  3. 10° 00’ 00 Z, 10° 00’ 00 O
  4. 0° 00’ 00 Z, 0° 00’ 00 O
  5. 0° 00’ 00 Z, 10°00’ 00 W
  6. 10° 00’ 00 N, 20° 00’ 00 W
  7. 20° 45’ 00 N, 20° 00’ 00 W
  8. 20° 45’ 00 N, 17° 00’ 00 W

The day of entering and the day of exiting the zone shall both be regarded as full days unless entry and exit occur on the same day.

C) War zone premium

An additional premium for remaining in a war zone of 0.328% of the basic wage per person per day spent in the zone is payable from 7 July 2015 for remaining in the ports of Yemen: a ship is considered to be in the war zone from the moment that is moors to the time at which it leaves its moorings. The day of entering and the day of exiting the war zone (...) shall both be regarded as full days unless entry and exit occur on the same day.

1.4. Fixed wages and industrial accident premiums

Officers In euro
Deck
Captain 48.048,06
First officer 48.048,06
Second officer 48.048,06
Third officer 48.048,06
Fourth officer 48.048,06
Junior officer 48.048,06
Junior seaman 48.048,06
First mate 48.048,06
Second mate 48.048,06
Machine
First (head) engineer 48.048,06
Second engineer 48.048,06
Third engineer 48.048,06
Fourth engineer 48.048,06
Fifth engineer 48.048,06
First electrician 48.048,06
Junior engineer 48.048,06
IT engineer 48.048,06
Junior IT engineer 48.048,06
Shipmate In euro
Pumpman 48.048,06
Boatswain 48.048,06
First cook 48.048,06
Cook and steward 48.048,06
Cook boatswain 48.048,06
Seaman 44.195,15
Able seaman 48.048,06
Able seaman/wiper 48.048,06
Wiper/seaman 48.048,06
Second cook/baker 48.048,06
Steward(ess) with over a year's service 48.048,06
Shoregang In euro
Officers (deck and machine room) 48.048,06
Dock supervisor (officer) 48.048,06
Boatswain 48.048,06
Carpenter 48.048,06
Donkeyman 48.048,06
Chief steward 48.048,06
First cook 48.048,06
Dock supervisor (category A) 48.048,06
Rigger 48.048,06
Sailmaker 48.048,06
Maintenance indoor/outdoor 48.048,06
Mooring man 48.048,06
Waiter 48.048,06
Steward 48.048,06
Dock supervisor (category B) 48.048,06
Shortsea: officers In euro
Deck
Captain 48.048,06
First officer 31.515,58
Officer of the watch 22.171,57
Junior officer 20.835,36
Machine
First engineer 48.048,06
Second engineer 31.515,58
Officer engineer of the watch 22.171,57
Junior engineer 20.835,36
Shortsea: shipmates In euro
Boatswain 20.835,36
Cook 20.835,36
Seaman 20.835,36
Steward 20.835,36
Shortsea: passenger ships In euro
Officer 26.037,07
First cook 22.182,18
Nanny (entertainer and head steward) 20.835,36
Kitchen assistant 20.835,36
Electrician 20.835,36
Waiter 20.835,36
Linen room assistant 20.835,36
Barman 20.835,36
Dish washer 20.835,36
Commercial passenger ships In euro
Captain 45.896,00
First officer 28.684,79
Officer of the watch 24.095,18
Junior officer 21.800,82
First engineer 36.716,80
Second engineer 28.688,66
Third engineer 24.095,18
Cook 27.537,60
Seaman 24.095,18
Steward 21.800,82

1.5. Special contribution for social security

Basis: act 30/03/1994

The act of 30 March 1994 implements a special contribution for social security for the account of the employees. This contribution varies according to the employee's wage rate and family circumstances (single or a family with two incomes). The amount of the contribution is proportionate to the annual taxable family income. The administration for direct taxes implements the annual, definitive tax settlement. The amounts paid to the NSSO are therefore advances for the annual contribution.

You can find detailed information in the section about special social security contributions of the Administrative instructions of the NSSO on the social security portal (in French).

1.6. Reduction of employee's contribution for employees with low wages (work bonus)

Basis: act 20/12/1999

The act of 20 December 1999 implements a system, as of 1 July 2000, of reducing employees' contributions. The intention is to guarantee employees with a low wage a higher net wage, without increasing the gross wage.

The work bonus comprises a fixed amount that is gradually reduced as the wage increases. Further information about the work bonus (in French) can be found in the NSSO's administrative instructions.

1.7. Non-statutory contributions

Non-statutory contributions for financing the 'Social Security Fund’ in the Belgian merchant shipping sector are owed either in the form of a contribution percentage levied on the social security wage, or in the form of a fixed amount per day for which statutory social security contributions are owed.

The NSSO informs the shipping companies about the non-statutory contributions owed, but is not responsible for collection.

Title Files
Calculation sheet Model B: Non-statutory contributions Belgian flag Download
Calculation sheet Model B: Non-statutory contributions EU register Download
Calculation sheet Model B: Non-statutory contributions NON-EU register Download