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The following is part of Greenberg Traurig’s ongoing series analyzing cross-border data transfers in light of the new Standard Contractual Clauses approved by the European Commission in June of 2021.



  • Cross border transfers in the United States don’t need a SCC. Company A is not required under U.S. law or the GDPR to put in place safeguards. Company Y is not required under US law or the GDPR to put in place a safeguard when it transmits (exports) personal data.  While Company Y is not required under U.S. law or the GDPR to put in place a safeguard when it receives personal data from Company Z, as noted in the following bullet point, Company Z is required to put a safeguard in place when it transmits data to Company Y.
  • SCC Module 3. Article 46 of the GDPR requires that a processor that transfers data outside of the EEA to a non-adequate country must utilize a safeguard. The EDPB has confirmed that this requirement applies when an EEA processor (Company Z) sends data to another processor or sub-processor (Company Y).1
  • Subsequent Onward Transfers from Company Y.  Note that if Company Y sends data back to Company A, it is not required to do so using the SCCs. If, however, Company Y were to onward transfer data to another sub-processor in the United States (e.g., Company X), it would be required pursuant to SCC Module 3 Clause 9(b) to ask Company X to agree to the SCCs Module 3.
  • Transfer Impact Assessments. Section 14 of SCC Module 3 requires Company Z and Company Y to conduct a transfer impact assessment (TIA) of United States law to determine whether any party has reason to believe that the laws and practices of the United States that apply to the personal data transferred prevent Company Y from fulfilling its obligations under the SCCs.
  • Law enforcement request policy. Section 15 of SCC Module 3 requires that Company Y take specific steps in the event that it receives a request from a public authority for access to personal data. As a result, Company Y might be expected to implement a written law enforcement request policy.

1 EDPB, Guidelines 05/2021 on the Interplay between the application of Article 3 and the provisions on international transfers as per Chapter V of the GDPR at para. 13.