Am I obliged to register and join the French system as a contractor?

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I currently work, salaried, for an Egyptian oil and gas company in Egypt on board survey ships. All my work is in Egypt. My company pays my income tax in Egypt and I also pay in France under the dual taxation system. I cannot join the French social security system as I am salaried in Egypt so I have a private pension and private healthcare.

I’m considering leaving my job in Egypt and starting work as a freelance offshore contractor. I would work through an offshore employment agency in Switzerland. They would find work for me on board survey boats around the world. I would send them a timesheet towards the end of a job and they would pay me gross within 28 days. All my work would done be through them and carried out entirely outside of France on board foreign registered ships.

My tax situation should not change, but can you tell me what options would I have regarding the French social security system? Can I continue with my private pension and private healthcare or would I be obliged to register and join the French system. If so what would I be expected to pay and to whom?

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