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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Seafarers' Earnings Deduction: location of duties performed on a ship

Section 382 ITEPA 2003

For the purposes of the seafarers’ deduction only, treat dutiesperformed on a ship as performed outside the United Kingdom in the followingcircumstances:

  • any voyage or part voyage that begins or ends outside the United Kingdom but
  • excluding any part that both begins and ends in the United Kingdom.

The effect of these rules is to enable seafarers to obtain the deduction for earningsfrom employments that include voyages that begin or end outside the boundaries of theUnited Kingdom. Voyages that do not involve a call at an overseas port do not qualify. Forthis purpose, the designated areas of the continental shelf are treated as part of theUnited Kingdom, see EIM33032.

This is reinforced by Section 382(2), which treats duties performed on a vessel engaged ona voyage not extending to a port outside the United Kingdom as performed in the UnitedKingdom.


Deep-sea fishermen who set out from the United Kingdom, sail to fishing grounds near toIceland and return to the same home port are not entitled to the deduction. The reason forthis is that for the purposes of the deduction they do not perform duties outside theUnited Kingdom. There is a single voyage that begins and ends in the United Kingdom.Section 382(2) deems all of the duties on the trawler to have been performed in the UnitedKingdom.

However, if the trawler docks at a port in Iceland to unload the catch, duties performedon the voyage from the United Kingdom to the Icelandic port and from the Icelandic port tothe United Kingdom are regarded as having being performed outside the United Kingdom.Subject to the other rules and conditions the trawler-men may be entitled to thededuction.

Different approach when identifying days of absence

The guidance set out above only applies when considering where the duties of anemployment are performed.

Days of absence from the United Kingdom for the purposes of establishing an eligibleperiod are decided according to the location of the employee at midnight. If at midnightthe employee is outside of the United Kingdom (see EIM33032)then the day that ended at midnight counts as a day of absence. The special rules inSection 382 do not apply.