Leveraging your EU BCRs to obtain UK BCRs | Fieldfisher
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Leveraging your EU BCRs to obtain UK BCRs

Nuria Pastor


United Kingdom

A new UK BCR Addendum (the "Addendum") was issued by the ICO on 19 December 2023.

What is the Addendum?

It is an instrument that allows the BCR applicant (who already holds EU BCRs) to extend its existing EU BCRs to cover UK restricted transfers.  

Who can benefit from this easier route to UK BCRs? 

Organisations who already hold EU BCRs and any UK BCRs holders can switch to this easier approach. Furthermore, while not explicitly set out in the guidance, applicants currently applying for UK BCRs should be able to switch to the Addendum.

What would be the benefit of switching if you already have UK BCRs in place (or are in the process of applying)?

Under this new approach, you will only require one set of BCR policies (i.e. your EU BCR policies) with your additional UK Addendum. This would mean fewer policies to maintain in the long run and no risk of divergence between the EU and UK BCRs policies.

What documents will the applicant have to submit to the ICO?

Applicants using the UK Addendum do not have to fill in the ICO's UK BCR application form or referential table.

The UK BCR application should include a copy of the applicant's EU BCRs, the Addendum and a UK BCR Summary document. The BCR Summary primarily explains to individuals whose personal data is processed under the UK BCRs how their data will be processed and what rights they have and how to enforce them. 

Post approval, these documents will constitute your UK BCRs. The Addendum itself acts as the binding instrument for UK BCR purposes.

The documents can be submitted in their standard form (as set out by the ICO) or they may be tailored by the applicant. The level of tailoring will affect the timing for the review and approval of the UK BCRs.

Does this mean that the ICO will scrutinise the applicants EU BCRs?

No. The ICO will not opine on the EU BCRs. However, any changes to EU BCRs will 'transfer' to the UK BCRs. In addition to the EU BCR annual updates, a UK BCR annual update with the ICO will also be required.

How long will it take for the ICO to process applications based on the Addendum?

The ICO guidance sets out that it will issue approvals 'promptly' if applicants use the standard form of the Addendum.

Does the Addendum replace UK BCR applications? 

No. Applicants will be able to choose between applying on the basis of:

- the UK BCR Addendum (available to EU BCR holders only); or

- the "Traditional" UK BCR documents approved by the ICO using the controller documents and processor documents (available to all applicants).

What next?

We have supported clients to navigate EU and UK BCR applications for over a decade. Do get in touch with Nuria Pastor if you would like to consider applying for UK BCRs – if you already hold EU BCRs – applying for UK BCRs has just become easier!

Areas of Expertise

Data and Privacy