The Agreement concerning the social security of Rhine boatmen is the first multilateral European social security instrument, and coordinates the legislation in the contracting states as regards people working on Rhine vessels.
Concluded on 30 November 1979 and in force since 1 December 1987, the revised Agreement concerning the social security of Rhine boatmen applies to a specific group of itinerant workers, who benefit from coordination between various social security branches, independently of their nationality. The agreement is supplemented by an administrative arrangement that provides further details on its application.
The agreement applies in the territory of the states concerned to all persons who, in their capacity as Rhine boat personnel, are or have been subject to the legislation of one or more of these states, irrespective of their nationality, as well as to their family members and survivors.
The terms "Rhine boatmen" and "Rhine boat personnel" refer to salaried or self-employed persons, as well as any equivalent persons in accordance with the applicable legislation, who exercise their professional activity aboard a craft used commercially for Rhine navigation.
Since Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 came into force, the Agreement concerning the social security of Rhine boatmen remains applicable only as regards the liability of boat personnel for social security contributions, including for third-country nationals.
The Agreement covers the following social security areas:
- old age,
- death (survivors' benefits),
- illness and maternity,
- occupational accidents and diseases,
- family allowances.
In particular, the Agreement contains provisions on equal treatment, applicable legislation, procedures for submitting a benefits application, pension exporting and cooperation between the contracting states.
Each state has its own social security system and defines the conditions (retirement age, minimum contribution period, disability assessment, etc.) and the calculation basis for allocating benefits in accordance with its legislation.
Last modification 09.03.2022