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Since the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on January 31, 2020, companies operating in the UK that process the personal data of EU data subjects have been subject to a new regulatory landscape. With the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) still in full effect, UK companies must navigate the complexities of cross-border data transfers and compliance. One critical requirement that post-Brexit UK companies cannot afford to overlook is the appointment of an EU representative.

What the GDPR Article 27 Mandates

The EU GDPR, in Article 27, mandates that organizations outside the EU offering goods or services to, or monitoring the behavior of, EU data subjects must appoint an EU representative. This representative serves as an intermediary between the company and EU data protection authorities, facilitating communication and ensuring compliance with the GDPR’s principles and obligations.

Is there case law of a fine and how much?

A poignant case that underscores the significance of this requirement is the one involving the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) and Locatefamily.com. The Dutch DPA imposed a substantial fine of €525,000 on Locatefamily.com for violating the GDPR, and more importantly, the authority also issued a specific order for the company to appoint an EU representative by March 18, 2021. The severity of the situation becomes evident when considering the additional fine of €20,000 every fortnight, accumulating to a maximum of €120,000, until compliance with the representative appointment order was achieved. As a result, Locatefamily.com faces a potential total fine of €645,000.

The case of Locatefamily.com serves as a cautionary tale for UK companies post-Brexit, demonstrating the severe financial repercussions and reputational damage that can result from non-compliance with the EU representative requirement. The fine imposed by the Dutch DPA shows that EU data protection authorities take this obligation very seriously and are committed to enforcing it rigorously.

Apart of the avoidence of a fine what are the benefits of Appointing an EU Representative

The appointment of an EU representative by UK companies after Brexit carries several significant benefits:

1. Seamless Communication with EU Authorities: An EU representative acts as the designated contact point for EU data protection authorities, streamlining the communication process. This ensures that any data protection concerns or regulatory inquiries can be promptly addressed, reducing the risk of extended investigations and potential penalties.

2. Enhanced GDPR Compliance: The EU representative plays a pivotal role in ensuring that UK companies maintain GDPR compliance. They can provide valuable insights into EU data protection standards, help implement necessary policies and procedures, and assess data processing practices for alignment with GDPR requirements.

3. Trust and Credibility: Demonstrating a commitment to GDPR compliance by appointing an EU representative can instill trust and confidence among EU customers and stakeholders. It signals that the company takes data protection seriously and respects the rights of EU data subjects.

4. Mitigating Legal Risks: By appointing an EU representative, UK companies can mitigate the risk of fines and penalties imposed by EU data protection authorities for non-compliance. It serves as a proactive measure to avoid legal disputes and potential damage to the company’s reputation.

In light of the Locatefamily.com case, it is crucial for UK companies to remain vigilant and proactive in complying with the GDPR’s requirements, including the appointment of an EU representative. Notably, the case raises an important concern regarding the lack of transparency in compliance status. It is essential for companies to be forthcoming about their appointment of an EU representative, ensuring that the relevant information is accessible on their website and to data protection authorities.


In conclusion, post-Brexit, UK companies processing the data of EU data subjects must recognize the significance of appointing an EU representative as mandated by the EU GDPR. This requirement is not a mere bureaucratic formality but a critical step toward maintaining GDPR compliance, fostering trust, and avoiding severe financial penalties and reputational harm.

By appointing an EU representative, UK companies demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding personal data and respecting the privacy rights of EU data subjects, an essential aspect of conducting business in the EU market in the post-Brexit era