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Third countries with an adequate level of protection

Pursuant to section 27(1) of the Act on Processing of Personal Data, data may in principle only be transferred to a third country if this country ensures an adequate level of protection. However, section 27(3) contains a number of exceptions from this provision.

A third country is a country that is not a member of the European Community and that has not entered into an agreement with the European Community which contains rules corresponding to Directive 95/46/EEC of 24 October 1995 on the protection of physical persons in connection with the processing of personal data and on the free exchange of such data – i.e. the European Economic Area (EEA) countries. This means, for example, that Norway and Iceland are not third countries, while Greenland and the Faroe Islands are considered third countries.

The question of which countries are third countries with an adequate level of protection can either generally be determined or specifically from case to case.

As of 15 June 2010, the following third countries are assessed by the Commission to be countries that generally, either via legislation or other measures, ensure an adequate level of protection.

  • Switzerland
  • Canada (limited area of validity – see the Commission’s website for additional information)
  • Argentina
  • Guernsey
  • USA (only in relation to the transmission of personal data regarding airline passengers – see the Commission’s website for additional information)
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • Faeroe Islands 

Note that transfer of personal data that is subject to sections 7(1) and 8 cannot be performed unless the Danish Data Protection Agency has issued an opinion, cf. sections 45(1)1 and 52 of the act, or has provided authorisation to do so, cf. sections 50(1)1, 26c(2) and 50(2), cf. (1).

The Commission’s decisions and additional information on those decisions are available via the Commission’s website.

In the past couple of years, the Article 29 Working Party has issued statements on the programme. Additional information about the Article 29 Working Party can be found under Internationalt on this website.