In this GMS Flash Alert we report on several social security agreements entered into by Albania, with a focus on the new agreement between Albania and Belgium.
A new Social Security Agreement (SSA) between the Republic of Albania and the Kingdom of Belgium became effective on 1 January 2016.1
This bilateral agreement between Albania and Belgium will allow posted workers to be exempt for a maximum of 24 months from the obligation to contribute to the social security system of the other state where they are temporarily working. In principle, the agreement aims to prevent double coverage of social security contributions for temporary assignments in the other country.
The execution of the SSA between Albania and Belgium should provide social security protection for international assignees, so that they do not lose their social security benefits entitlement in their home country when they go to work in the other country.
The ratification of the agreement should also simplify the administration of assignments from Albania to Belgium and vice versa, thereby making it easier for international companies to deploy their employees in the other country.
Under the SSA, employees seconded by their employers in one country to work in the other country on temporary assignments, but who remain covered by their home country’s social security system, should be exempt from contributing to the social security system of the host country. This exemption from contributions in the host country is available when the employee obtains a Certificate of Coverage (CoC) from the relevant authority in the home country.
If the assignment duration is more than 24 months, the employee may continue being part of the social security scheme of the home country provided that the approval of the relevant competent authorities is issued.
Other SSA Developments
Albania currently is party to two other SSAs, with Turkey and Bulgaria. The SSA entered into between Albania and Turkey, however, is not typically being applied currently, largely due to non-standardization of the procedures to be followed.
Albania and Bulgaria entered into an SSA that took effect in 1953. However, it has largely been inapplicable due to several regime changes and legislative provisions implemented in both countries in the intervening period that make the agreement’s application impossible in practice. The two governments are working to negotiate a new agreement
Currently, Albania has signed other SSAs, or is in the negotiation phase, with the following countries:
* Initialized or under negotiations
** Ratified, however not yet in force
*** Signed, however not yet ratified
1 For the Agreement entered into between the Republic of Albania and the Kingdom of Belgium on social security protection, which was ratified by the Albanian Parliament with Law no 35/2014 (as published in the Official Gazette (Fletorja Zyrtare) No. 57/2014, dated 24 April 2014), in Albanian, click here.
For additional information or assistance, please contact your local GMS or People Services professional or one of the following professionals with the KPMG International member firm in Albania:
Tel: +355 42274524
Tel: +355 42274524
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Albania.
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