Accountant Moore Stephens says changes to National
Insurance rules for UK companies employing British seafarers announced
last week may threaten British jobs.
Shipping tax partner, Philip Parr
, says, "From October 6, 2003, shipping
companies using British resident seafarers and which operate mainly in UK
waters face a payroll cost increase of 13 per cent, and increased costs of
On April 23, 2003 the Paymaster General announced that with effect from
October 6, 2003 shipping companies that use offshore manning companies to
provide UK resident mariners for their ships operating mainly within UK
waters will have to pay employers' National Insurance Contributions. Until
now, such mariners had been specifically excluded, giving a boost to both
the employment of UK seafarers and the use of offshore companies to employ
them. "These changes add very significantly to the costs of UK shipping,"
warns Parr. "They also increase the administrative burden of employment, and
so may tempt owners to seek alternatives."