UK GDPR – A new UK personal data transfer mechanism

Posted on 3rd January, 2022
, in UK 

Estimated reading time 3 minutes

What’s new?

Eight months after the EU released their new standard contractual clauses for personal data transfers outside of the EEA, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued its version of the new standard contractual clauses (SCCs).


Following Brexit, the new EU SCCs did not come into effect in the UK. The UK needed to implement updated SCCs under its own domestic legislation – the UK GDPR. Until this release by the ICO, the old SCCs had been implemented under superseded directives and required amendments due to case law.

What do I need to do?

Article 46 of the UK GDPR imposes a requirement to provide appropriate safeguards when transferring personal data outside of the UK to countries not covered by ‘adequacy’ requirements. When such an export takes place, organisations can choose to use either the:
  • International data transfer agreement (IDTA) – this is a freestanding personal data transfer agreement designed for transfers outside of the UK to non-adequate countries for those businesses that are not using the EU SCCs (for example, a transfer from a UK entity to a processor in the US); or the
  • UK addendum – for organisations that use the new EU SCCs, this is an add-on to fold-in UK data flows to the EU SCCs. Multinational companies subject to both the EU GDPR and UK GDPR will choose this option for their global data transfers (internal and external).


  • The new transfer arrangements come into force on 21 March 2022.
  • Until 21st September 2022, new personal data transfers can continue using the old SCCs.
  • From 21st September 2022, new arrangements should migrate to the updated SCCs.
  • Existing arrangements using the old SCCs must be replaced by the 21March 2024.

Find out more

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