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    ADGM Office of Data Protection publishes Addendum to EU Standard Contractual Clauses

    ADGM 15/11/2023
    • ADGM becomes the first in the region to issue an Addendum to the EU clauses
    • The Addendum will support ADGM businesses operating in ADGM and the EU

    Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the leading international financial centre located in Abu Dhabi, has today issued, and adopted an Addendum (“ADGM Addendum”) to the European Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses (“EU SCCs”) for personal data transfers.

    In a pioneering move, ADGM has become the first in the region to issue this Addendum to the EU clauses. The primary objective of the Addendum is to offer vital support to ADGM businesses that operate within ADGM and have data transfers involving individuals’ information. This is particularly important due to global data protection and privacy laws, including the ADGM Data Protection Regulations, impose restrictions on cross-border transfers without an appropriate safeguard.

    Following this initiative, organisations will be able to use the ADGM Addendum as a transfer mechanism to comply with the ADGM Data Protection Regulations where the organisation has already implemented the EU SCCs. With this initiative, businesses can minimise duplication and remove additional compliance obligations, benefitting both SMEs as well as large ADGM entities that rely on existing safeguards provided by the EU SCCs.

    Over the past few decades, the global digital economy has witnessed significant growth, with data and digital trade now representing nearly 16% of the global GDP, approximately equivalent to USD 11 trillion. As technologies like AI, machine learning, and cloud computing, continue to advance, digital trade is likely to grow exponentially over the next 5-10 years. ADGM remains committed to establishing itself as a destination of choice for regional and international businesses across many sectors including finance, technology, and the professional industry.

    Commenting on the decision, Mr. Sami Mohammed, ADGM’s Commissioner of Data Protection said, “Data transfers underpin today’s globalised and interconnected societies. International data flows are crucial for many businesses in ADGM, as an international financial centre. The Office of Data Protection is always looking for opportunities to support businesses whilst upholding individual rights. ADGM entities applying the EU standard clauses can now utilise the ADGM Addendum as an appropriate safeguard under our Data Protection Regulations 2021. This Addendum not only facilitates cross-border transfers but also reduces costs, duplication, and effort by ADGM entities.”

    In addition, the Office of Data Protection has issued supplementary guidelines to support businesses in implementing the Addendum to their existing EU SCCs.

    The guidance note on the Office of Data Protection can be found here: Addendum to the EU Standard Contractual Clauses.