The leisure marine industry has won a key concession following the imposition in July 2017 of a compulsory registration with ENIM (French special social security regime for seafarers) for seamen employed on a ship flying a foreign flag and making port calls in France for more than 3 months.

For over a year, La Ciotat Shipyards and its president Patrick Boré, mayor of La Ciotat, and the French Nautical Industries Federation (FIN),  have been lobbying against the measure that has heavily penalized the superyacht refit sector. Thanks to their joint efforts, a statement released by La Ciotat Shipyards claims, the legislation has been reformed to take into account the specifics requirments of the SY refit sector. It means that individuals working on superyachts during work periods at shipyards will now be exempt from mandatory registration with ENIM, regardless of the duration of the technical stop, as long as they do not reside on French territory.

As early as July 2017, Patrick Boré had warned in writing, the office of Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy and Finance, and by early 2018 that of Elizabeth Borne, Minister of Transport, about the disastrous economic consequences of the compulsory registration measures.

"The situation was particularly worrying for La Ciotat Shipyards, which is investing heavily to establish itself as the world leader for refit of megayachts," said Patrick Boré. "Indeed, the refit of megayachts imposes long stopovers for crews of several dozen people. They were therefore particularly concerned by this measure. During the 2017-2018 season we experienced a 20% decrease of our activity, which affected all operators of the shipyard! And of course, this decrease in activity has also had serious consequences on the employment of local labour since, for the record, nearly 2,000 people work on site in high season."