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Offshore Yacht Crew Employment & Payroll - A Guide

10 June 2013

The purpose of this guide is to provide background on the employment and payroll of yacht crew from an offshore location as a method of simplifying a complicated situation for yacht owners and to introduce the services of Oceanskies Crew Limited which is our own dedicated provider of offshore crew employment and payroll.

Background

The employment and payment of permanent crew working and living onboard yachts is complicated. The jurisdiction of a yacht’s ownership, registration and homeport will often differ.

The personal circumstances of each crew member in terms of where they are domiciled, where they might be resident, (if they have an 'onshore' residence), and where they might be liable to pay tax and/or account for social security will be different.

Throw in the often perpetual movement of many yachts between different countries and continents and suddenly a yacht owner is faced with a variety of complex jurisdictional issues in terms of employment law and the payment of tax and national insurance on behalf of the crew who work onboard their vessel.

In an effort to help simplify arrangements Oceanskies has developed a unique dedicated offshore crew employment vehicle based on the Channel Island of Guernsey.

The vehicle is known as 'Oceanskies Crew Limited' ("OCL"), a Guernsey based limited liability company.

OCL has been established on a clean sheet basis to operate from its inception within the requirements of the Marine Labour Convention 2006 (“MLC”) environment which applies to all commercial yachts and is recommended best practice for all private yachts. OCL will become fully certified and audited to MLC standards prior to the convention coming into force during 2013.

The yacht owner will usually enter into a contract with OCL for the provision of crew employment and payroll services for their yacht.

In cases where a third party yacht manager is involved it is possible to have a tripartite agreement clearly apportioning responsibility between the manager and OCL so that the employment and payroll services can easily be dovetailed into the vessel’s existing management structure.

The yacht owner and/or yacht manager funds OCL on a monthly standing order to cover each crew member’s salary plus costs.

Advantages

The key advantages of our crew employment service are as follows:

  • Crew are employed by OCL separately from the underlying client and/or the vessel owner. The structure removes the client completely from the liabilities associated with the employment of crew and the onshore reporting requirements linked to the owning of an offshore company.
  • OCL is owned by Oceanskies Limited and is not only fully based on the Channel Island of Guernsey but it is also run by Guernsey residents.
  • All crew can be employed offshore even when the yacht itself is owned by an onshore company located in a jurisdiction that might not be favourable for the employment of seafarers.
  • All crew are employed through a Seafarers Employment Agreement (SEA) in line with Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) best practice requirements.
  • All crew are employed from Guernsey by a Guernsey based company (i.e. non-EU) without any deductions being made at source in Guernsey for tax or national insurance/social security.
  • Oceanskies charges on a fixed fee basis rather than as a percentage of the crewmember’s salary.

Fees

As with all of Oceanskies’s services, crew recruitment, placement and employment is offered on a fixed fee basis and not linked to the value of the yacht or a crewmember’s salary.

Next Steps

Please do not hesitate to contact us to request a free no obligation quotation from Oceanskies to provide a complete non-EU offshore crew employment and payroll service.

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@oceanskiesltd

25 March 2020 at 07:58

Here is a batch of Tonnage Plates for yachts we are registering with @RedEnsignGroup under British flag here @oceanskiesltd HQ awaiting courier despatch. These plastic strips are an important part of the yacht registration process #yachtregistration #yachtregistry pic.twitter.com/5xGR7f0Xo3

@oceanskiesltd

17 March 2020 at 07:43

A beautiful start to the day again here @Oceanskies in St. Peter Port Guernsey were we are pleased to welcome the latest @sunseeker_int Sunseeker 50 Predator #Guernsey @guernseyharbours @locateguernsey @vistguernsey #PositiveVibes pic.twitter.com/rajLtbGriM

@oceanskiesltd

16 March 2020 at 13:42

On this sunny Monday we are pleased to welcome this beautiful @Sunseeker_Intl 76 Yacht to @gsyharbours which is undergoing @RedEnsignGroup registration with Oceanskies - Anyone would think its Summer! #yachtregistration #yachtlife #Guernsey @LocateGuernsey #PositiveVibes pic.twitter.com/gy0sguWV5S

@oceanskiesltd

11 March 2020 at 16:55

Today we have been Northern France visiting an incredibly busy @Lagooncats factory near La Roche sur Yon for the tonnage survey of a newbuild Lagoon 46 sailing catamaran undergoing @RedEnsignGroup registration by Oceanskies #lagooncatamaran #yachtregistration #tonnagesurvey pic.twitter.com/rwmKAuzOvX

@oceanskiesltd

10 March 2020 at 17:21

Today Duncan has been in a sunny and warm Monaco for the tonnage survey of an @PrincessYachts Princess 82 undergoing red ensign registration by Oceanskies - we are a leading yacht registration agency working with the world’s best yacht registries #yachtregistration #tonnagesurvepic.twitter.com/PUl9Sy4L9a9a

@oceanskiesltd

04 March 2020 at 06:53

Very pleased to act as agents for the visit to @gsyharbours of a @Sunseeker_Intl 76 Yacht @PrincessYachts Y78 #Sunseeker #SunseekerYachts #SunseekerFamily #Princess #princessaroundtheworld #Princessyachts #Guernsey @VisitGuernsey pic.twitter.com/Y3Tk7X8paE