European Commission Published New Standard Contractual Clauses – Next Steps

On 4 June 2021, the European Commission published two sets of standard contractual clauses (SCC), one for use between controllers and processors and one for the transfer of personal data to third countries.

Key Points

The new SCCs will come into force 27 June 2021, from which time organisations currently using previous sets of SCCs will have 18 months to update their contractual arrangements. However, for new transfers, the current SCCs may only be used for 3 months following the date the new SCCs come into force.

Data importers and exporters should start preparing for the replacement of the current SCC and planning new transfers to ensure continued compliance with data protection regulation.

Next Steps

To our knowledge, the European Data Protection Board is also expected to issue a final version of its recommendations regarding the Schrems II judgment, the draft of which was published in November 2020. This will surely have implications on the practical implementation of international transfers. The recommendations should be carefully reviewed with the new SCCs, and change processes should be planned in light of these new changes.

SCCs are standardised and pre-approved model data protection clauses that can be incorporated into contractual arrangements on a voluntary basis, providing a tool to comply with data protection requirements. The new SCCs take into account the Schrems II judgment of the Court of Justice and retain the principles in the current SCCs, which were the basis for the CJEU’s decision that the SCCs should remain valid.