Foreign seafarers on Danish ships

​Foreign seafarers employed on Danish ships are generally covered by Danish social security rules.

This means that, as a seafarer on a Danish ship, you are entitled to receive social security benefits if you are taken ill or go on maternity/paternity leave. The Danish social security system also includes saving and payout of the pension called ATP.

To be eligible to receive the social security benefits, you must fulfil a number of special criteria. You can read more about social security benefits for seafarers here:

SeafarersRightsDuties2020.pdf (june 2020)

Social security and repatriation

Special rules may apply to social security for seafarers who are resident in an EU/EEA country or other countries. If you are not sure which country covers your social security entitlements, you can find out on

Below, we describe how to get in contact with the Danish authorities regarding social security benefits and how to receive the benefits. If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact the relevant Danish authorities. The contact details are shown in links below, and you can contact them either by phone or by e-mail.

In order to gain access to social security benefits, you must be registered in the Danish public system. You will be registered automatically when you are employed on a Danish ship. That way, the Danish authorities can register that you are covered by the social security system in Denmark. Your data is stored electronically in an encrypted system.

You can access your personal data and public self-service solutions via the Internet if you have a so-called NemID, which is the Danish national electronic ID (eID). 

Read more about NemID

Life in Denmark

Denmark recognises the national eID schemes of some EU/EEA countries for access to personal data and self-service solutions.
The eIDs of recognised countries may be used in Denmark no more than 12 months after it has been notified in the EU.

See the overview of notified eID schemes

If the national eID scheme of your home country is not recognised in Denmark, you must appear in person at a citizen service centre (in Danish: Borgerservicecenter) in Denmark to obtain a NemID.

If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA, you must appear in person at a citizen service centre (in Danish: Borgerservicecenter) in Denmark to obtain a NemID.

If you are employed as a seafarer on a Danish ship, but do not live in Denmark and cannot obtain a NemID, for example because you cannot appear in person at a citizen service centre in Denmark, you will receive the necessary information from the Danish authorities by letter.

For this reason, it is very important that the Danish authorities have your updated contact details so that any letters can reach you on time. If the authorities are unable to contact you, it could mean that you will not receive the social security benefits you are entitled to.

If pension payments (ATP) or other state benefits are owed to you, but you have not heard from the Danish authorities in that respect, it is likely that they do not have the right contact details. In that case, it is important that you request payment of the benefits directly from the relevant authorities.

Therefore, remember to state the correct address details where letters can reach you when you are employed on a Danish ship. Remember also to notify the Danish authorities if you change your address from the one originally stated when you were employed on the Danish ship.

If foreign seafarers are to receive public benefits from the Danish authorities, for example sickness or maternity/paternity benefits or ATP pension, it is recommended to open a NemKonto (Easy Account).

Also in this connection, it is important that the authorities have the correct contact details, because a NemKonto has to be activated. You activate it yourself on the basis of information written in an activation letter that will be sent to you.

If you cannot assign a NemKonto, the authorities may make the payment manually. In that case, you must contact the relevant authority, where you have money owing to you.

Foreign seafarers who receive public benefits from Denmark have reduced tax liability in respect of those benefits. The information will be reported automatically to the Danish tax authorities. Make sure that the tax authorities have the right information so that they set the correct tax rate. If not, there is a risk that you will not receive the right amount.
Read more about tax in Denmark here:

Tax in Denmark (English)

Tax in Denmark (German)

If you have any further questions about taxation of seafarers, please contact the Danish Tax Agency at the telephone number shown in the links above.  


Maritime Regulation and Legal Affairs