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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Special cases: Class 1 - mariners: introduction

Mariners, like overseas workers, are subject to territorial limitations. Where an insured person works outside the UK he may cease to be “gainfully employed in GB” for National Insurance contributions (NICs) purposes subject to special cases (see special cases menu). The result is that there may be no liability to pay Class 1 NICs. In the absence of special rules, persons employed in the shipping industry would cease to be compulsorily insured when they left UK territorial waters. They would have to rely upon voluntary Class 2 or 3 NICs to maintain entitlement to the basic state pension.

To provide such social protection for UK based workers special rules apply to mariners and can be split into three categories

EEA Members of the European Economic Area NIM29003 
RA Reciprocal Social Security Agreements NIM29006 
DL Domestic Legislation NIM29008 

Due to the complex nature of the legislation covering these workers, all work has been centralised. Where a mariner’s NIC liability needs to be determined, refer the case to

Marine NICs
HM Revenue and Customs
15th Floor North wing
Ty Glas Road
CF14 5FP

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)