Identical BCR mechanisms sought in the UK and EU

A PL&B and Hogan Lovells Workshop identified differences between the current EU Binding Corporate Rules and the ICO’s new UK approach. By Laura Linkomies.

The starting point for the Workshop was that the ICO issued a document on its new approach to Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs) on 25 July 2022(1), including simplifications for organisations. While the ICO regards BCRs as “the gold standard” and was a driving force to get this concept developed at European level for almost 20 years (PL&B International August/September 2004 p.13), it now faces the challenge of post-Brexit world where organisations are still using BCRs for their data flows originating from the UK and the EU, but suffer from lack of consistency regarding the process.

Holders of EU BCRs for which ICO did not act as lead and did not issue an authorisation were eligible for a UK BCR upon certain conditions being met and updated documentation being submitted to ICO by 30 June 2021 at the latest. The ICO recognises that BCR applicants may seek both EU and UK BCRs and that Article 47 requirements which is the legal basis for BCRs in both jurisdictions currently overlap, and that the approval process in both jurisdictions takes time.

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