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Standard Contractual Clauses 2021

Standard Contractual Clauses 2021: All You Need to Know

In today`s digital world, data is one of the most valuable assets. However, transferring personal data across borders poses a significant challenge for businesses. The European Union`s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets strict rules on how personal data can be transferred outside the EU. To meet these requirements, businesses can use Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs).

What are Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs)?

SCCs are a set of contractual terms that allow EU-based businesses to transfer personal data to a third country outside the EU. SCCs are legal instruments designed to ensure that the third country offers an adequate level of data protection. SCCs can be used for a wide range of data transfers, including cloud storage, HR data, and customer data.

What`s New in the SCCs 2021?

On 4th June 2021, the European Commission adopted new SCCs to reflect the GDPR`s requirements. The new SCCs were introduced to provide increased transparency, accountability, and legal certainty in data protection. The new SCCs apply to both data controllers and data processors.

Here are some of the key changes in the SCCs 2021:

1. Parties and scope of the SCCs – The new SCCs ensure that the data exporter and importer (or subprocessor) are explicitly identified in the agreement. The scope of the SCCs has also been expanded to cover transfers from processors to other processors.

2. Special categories of data – The new SCCs provide a framework for transfers of special categories of personal data (or sensitive data) that require enhanced safeguards.

3. Security measures – The new SCCs require both parties to adopt appropriate technical and organizational security measures to protect personal data. The security measures must be clearly defined in the agreement.

4. Data subjects` rights – The new SCCs ensure that data subjects` rights are respected, including the right to access, rectify and erase their personal data.

5. Liability and compensation – The new SCCs clarify the liability and compensation obligations in case of a breach of the SCCs or GDPR.

6. Third-party beneficiaries – The new SCCs allow data subjects to enforce the SCCs directly against both parties and provide a mechanism for third-party beneficiaries.

What Should Businesses Do?

Businesses that currently use SCCs for transferring personal data should review their existing agreements and update them accordingly. The new SCCs will apply for new transfers from 27th September 2021. Businesses should ensure that their data transfers comply with the new SCCs and GDPR`s requirements.


The new SCCs provide a welcome update to ensure that data protection remains a top priority in cross-border data transfers. By adopting the new SCCs, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to protecting personal data and meet GDPR`s requirements. Businesses should take the necessary steps to comply with the new SCCs to avoid potential legal and financial consequences.


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