7 Benefits of Opening a Seafarer Bank Account

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For seafarers, management of their finances in India is one of the many challenges they face. With being in the sea for months or even years at a stretch, they only dock at ports for a few days or weeks. Thus, they need a bank account that can cater to their specific needs. Mentioned in this post are 7 benefits of opening a seafarer NRE account. Keep reading.

Seafarers are those who work on ships and vessels. While they travel the seas around the globe, most of them have families back home relying on them financially. Being an NRI (if they spend more than 182 days outside India), they cannot operate regular savings account. Thus, they need an NRE account. However, their banking needs are slightly more complex than a regular NRI.

Banks provide a seafarer bank account to help these NRIs manage and run their bank accounts better. Let’s look at top 7 benefits of opening such a bank account.

  1. Tax Benefits: A seafarer bank account is essentially an NRE (Non-Resident External) bank account. Thus, it attracts no tax on the interest earned in India.
  2. Preferential Transfer Rates: Most banks offer preferential transfer rates to seafarer bank account holders. Using their transfer service, you can easily transfer your foreign earnings into INR in your bank account. Moreover, you can also send funds from abroad using their remittance service.
  3. Operation of Your Account by a Mandate Holder: While you are away in the sea, you might want your close relative in India to operate your account. A seafarer account allows you to nominate a mandate holder that can do transactions on your behalf, such as issue cheques or even make ATM withdrawals.
  4. Invest in India: Seafarer bank account allows you to invest in India. From investing in mutual funds or equities or even real-estate, you can make payments in INR from your bank account.
  5. Repatriability of Funds: Since it is an NRE account, the funds are 100% repatriable. This means both the interest and the principal amount can be repatriated without any restrictions.
  6. Hassle-free operation: Even while you’re away from India, you can conveniently manage the account without any difficulty. You get round-the-clock assistance from the bank staff and open access to their ATMs around the world. Moreover, you can avail the benefits of net banking, phone banking, and chequebook facility as and when required. The ease of accessibility is high, and so is the safety aspect.
  7. Exclusive Offers: Banks usually provide exclusive benefits to seafarer bank account holders. Some of these are;
    1. Preferential rate for inward remittances
    2. Discount on home loan processing fee
    3. Lower personal loan interest rate.
    4. High-interest rates on the account balance.

Opening a Seafarer Account

To open a Seafarer’s account, you require the following mandatory documents*

  1. Valid passport copy
  2. Valid visa copy
  3. Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC)
  4. Self-declaration by the seafarer
  5. Valid work contract or appointment letter indicating current employment

* All of the documents mentioned above should be authorized by the applicant’s signature to ensure KYC compliance.

After a closer look at all of the advantages, you can rest assured about your savings and open a seafarer account accordingly. Once you’re aware of the basket of benefits offered by a particular bank, you can choose from a wide array of options based on your preference and needs.