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Model Contracts for the transfer of personal data to third countries RSS


The Council and the European Parliament have given the Commission the power to decide, on the basis of Article 26 (4) of directive 95/46/EC that certain standard contractual clauses offer sufficient safeguards as required by Article 26 (2), that is, they provide adequate safeguards with respect to the protection of the privacy and fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals and as regards the exercise of the corresponding rights. The procedure for adoption by the Commission of standard contractual clauses is as follows:

  • a proposal from the Commission;
  • an opinion of the group of the national data protection commissioners (Article 29 working party);
  • an opinion of the Article 31 Management committee delivered by a qualified majority of Member States;
  • a thirty-day right of scrutiny for the European Parliament, to check if the Commission has used its executing powers correctly. The EP may, if it considers it appropriate, issue a recommendation;
  • the adoption of the decision by the College of Commissioners.

The effect of such a decision is that by incorporating the standard contractual clauses into a contract, personal data can flow from a Data Controller established in any of the 27 EU MS and three EEA member countries (Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland) to a Data Controller or to data processors established in a country not ensuring an adequate level of data protection. The Commission has so far issued two sets of standard contractual clauses for transfers to data controllers established outside the EU/EEA and set of contractual clauses to data processors established outside the EU/EEA.

Commission Staff Working Document SEC (2006) 95


Commission Decision C(2004)5271

Commission approves new standard clauses for data transfers to non-EU countries (7.1.2005):


Commission Decision 2001/497/EC


Standard Contractual Clauses for Data Processors established in Third Countries

The model of the standard contractual clauses are only available in the PDF document of the Decision:

  • Opinion 7/2001 Choose translations of the previous link  on the Draft Commission Decision (version 31 August 2001) under the Article 26(4) of Directive 95/46
  • Comments Choose translations of the previous link  to the outcome of the public consultation
  • Press Release (IP 02/102), 22.01.2002pdf Choose translations of the previous link  : Data Protection: Standard contractual clauses to facilitate personal data transfers to third countries for processing


Press releases