The European Commission recently released a set of FAQs for the new EU standard contractual clauses (SCCs). The FAQs are based on feedback received from various stakeholders and currently address 44 different questions. Additional content is expected to be added as new questions come up. The long-awaited SCCs for transfers out of the EEA were adopted about one year ago. Among other changes, two of the biggest differences in the new cross-border SCCs is the modular approach and provisions to address Schrems II. The FAQs cover some general questions about the SCCs for companies that might be newer to using this mechanism for data transfers. In addition, the FAQs respond to a number of more mechanical questions added by the new terms. This includes handling the “docking clause,” limits of liability, applicable law, and requirements around government access.

Putting it into practice: For parties working through the challenges of filling out these new terms for data transfers, the FAQs shed additional light on many of the new sections. As of September 27, 2021, all new contracts should be relying on the new SCCs. By December 27, 2022, all existing contracts using the old SCCs will need to be replaced by the new terms.