A1 certificate for business trips

A1 certificate for business trips

Since 1 July 2019, the electronic application and certification procedure has been mandatory in Germany.



A1 certificates for secondments and business trips

Since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) 883/2004 in 2010, employers (or employees) are legally obliged to notify the competent insurance institution of any cross-border activity within the EU/EEA and Switzerland. Under social security law, there is no distinction between a secondment and a business trip. This means that for every cross-border activity, no matter how short, an A1 certificate is required from the first day. The legal framework does not currently provide for a de minimis time limit for business trips or secondments.

A secondment does not only exist in cases where the employee is deployed abroad to carry out a project. Participation in conferences or seminars, i.e. every border crossing for professional reasons, also requires the carrying of an A1 certificate. The prerequisite for this is the application for the A1 certificate.

Until mid-2019, A1 certificates were requested in paper form at the competent insurance institutions and sent to the applicant by post. In order to both simplify and standardise the exchange of data between European social security institutions, the EU launched a project on the electronic exchange of social security information (EESSI). The EESSI has simplified and accelerated processes. The previous standardised paper forms are now reproduced electronically. It can be assumed that this will further increase controls in the countries. Furthermore, networking of the individual authorities is assumed.

Since 1 July 2019, the electronic application and certification procedure has also been mandatory in Germany. The automated procedure is integrated into the payroll accounting programmes. A data transfer by means of a machine completion aid also fulfils the legal requirements.

You can find more information here:

We support our customers in all matters relating to A1 certificates and handle the entire application. We take care of the entire process, including the employee’s travel notification via the travel sheet to the legal assessment of the foreign assignment, the application to the social security agency, the verification of the certificate and the forwarding to the traveller.

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In some European countries, the lack of an A1 certificate is punished with sanctions and fines. In this context, KPMG in Germany conducted a survey in all EU/EEA countries and Switzerland on compliance requirements. The aim was to find out how the individual countries deal with the “A1 certificate” issue in practice and what sanctions and fines are levied for missing A1 certificates. Below is an excerpt of the results. To see the full survey results, please contact us.

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