Portable Document A1: Mandatory for Europeans Doing Business in Europe

By Dr Angelika Baumhof and Cathrin Kirchbach, Jakoby Dr Baumhof

Every European citizen and citizens of EFTA states on a business trip abroad in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Luxembourg need a portable document A1 to prove their social security status. This applies even a) in the case of short-term business trips, as well as b) for self-employed persons (e.g. tax consultants, auditors, lawyers) and managers (CEOs).

In general, the portable document A1 proves that the social insurance obligations are fulfilled by the person travelling on a business trip including the country where the social insurance contribution are fulfilled.

Normally, the portable document A1 should be applied for before starting on a business trip. The document should be taken along on the business trip and be presented at any time of the trip if requested. The European Regulation Nos. 883/2004 and 987/2009 do not contain an obligation to carry the portable document A1 along on a business trip but leaves it to the member states to impose such obligation. In most European countries, the portable document A1 can be applied for even after the business trip with retrospective effect.

Only France and Austria so far have adopted a regulation obliging the person on a business trip to apply for the portable document A1 beforehand, but at the same time accept that it is suffcient to present the punctual application in case of a control. Be aware that Austria and France control these rules rather strictly at the border or in regular traffic controls. In the case of breach, a penalty will be imposed on the person travelling. Finally, it should be mentioned that the EU member states have reached an agreement at the political level to modernise the regulations for the coordination of social security systems. In the future, it is planned to exempt business trips from the portable document A1. It remains to be seen when it will be implemented.


Dr Angelika Baumhof

Dr Angelika Baumhof

GGI member firm
Jakoby Dr Baumhof Auditors Tax Consultants Lawyers
Auditing & Accounting, Tax, Law Firm, Advisory, Corporate Finance
Rothenburg o.d.T., Ebersberg, Germany
T: +49 9861 9405 0
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
W: www.jakoby-baumhof.de

Jakoby Dr Baumhof – Auditors Tax Consultants Lawyers is a mid-size, interdisciplinary company located in the south of Germany, with offices in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, located in Northern Bavaria, and Ebersberg, near Munich.

Dr Angelika Baumhof specialises in corporate and commercial law and contractual civil law. She started her career as a judge at the District Court of Munich and as a prosecutor in Munich. Since 1996, she has been a Partner at Jakoby Dr Baumhof. Her main field of expertise is consulting, but she also practices litigation in all fields of commercial and private law.
Cathrin Kirchbach

Cathrin Kirchbach

GGI member firm
Jakoby Dr Baumhof Auditors Tax Consultants Lawyers
Auditing & Accounting, Tax, Law Firm, Advisory, Corporate Finance
Rothenburg o.d.T., Ebersberg, Germany
T: +49 9861 9405 0
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
W: www.jakoby-baumhof.de

Cathrin Kirchbach is an attorney who specialises in individual and collective labour law, and also advises on social law. She speaks German and English.


Published: Labour Law Newsletter, No. 07, Autumn 2019 l Photo: alotofpeople - stock.adobe.com

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