Labour costs

The Belgian government has substantially reduced the labour costs for Belgian seafarers on board Belgium or EU registered ships.

Shipowners are exempted from the employer’s part of social security charges as well as from part of the employees’ social security charges.
If special conditions are met social security charges of non-EU residents may be paid in the country of origin.
For seafarers employed on board EU registered ships, shipowners are exempted from payment of the withholding tax on professional income, levied on seafarer wages, provided the seafarers are Belgian taxpayers.
For more detailed information, please contact the Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association at B-2000 Antwerp, Brouwersvliet 33 PB 9
(tel.+32/ (0)3/ 232 72 32; fax +32/ (0)3/ 231 39 97;
The “Relief and Provident Fund for seafarers” (Hulp- en voorzorgkas zeevarenden / Caisse de secours et de prévoyance en faveur des marins) at 2000 Antwerpen, Frankrijklei 81-83, bus 4, has published a brochure about the social security regime for seafarers who work aboard a Belgian flagged ship and live in another EU country.
This brochure can be downloaded from this site (see Downloads > Social security > General information about social security under Belgian flag).