JP: Japan joins the club of safe third countries

2B Advice
Transfers of personal data an be challenging in order to ensure an adequate level of data protection on the importers side in a third country. It is a relief for controllers and DPOs in the EU, if the importer is located in a so called safe third country. Japan now has joined this club and we are looking forward transferring data with them.

On January 23rd 2019 the EU commission announced that the „framework for mutual and smooth transfer of personal data between Japan and the European Union“ has come into force. This will make it easier for companies in the EU to transfer personal data in the course of business relationships with companies in Japan. The same holds true for Japanese companies doing business with companies in Europe.

By now the following countries are listed as safe third countries: Andorra, Argentina, Canada (commercial organizations), Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Israel, Isle of Man, Jersey, New Zealand, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA (privacy shield)

At the moment Korea is having adequacy talks with the EU commission so probably this will be the next asian country to join the list of safe third countries.

If you want to transfer data to a third country that is not included in the list, you still have other tools to use in order to ensure an adequate level of data protection, such as the EU Standard Contractual Clauses (EU SCC) or Binding Corporate Rules or – probably in the future – certifications. Which tool you want to use depens on the indivudial transfer situation and also on the time that you have available in order to implement the necessary steps. If you are unsure which tool you should use, you may want to adress your Data Protection Officer, because transferring of personal data without ensuring an adequate level of data protection implies the risk of administrative fines.

Photo: © Reicher - Fotolia

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