Important information on international business trips

>> this translation is for information purposes only <<

On 01.07.2019, the electronic A1 certification procedurehas become mandatory for secondments to EU countries as well as countries of the so-called EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland).

Below you will find basic information on the A1 certificate in connection with business trips and the application procedure as well as information on business trips to other countries.

More information about international business trips:

What is an A1 certificate?

The A1 certificate serves employers and employees as proof of which social security legislation applies to employees.

If employees are working in another EU/EFTA member state, their social security affiliation is determined on the basis of Regulation (EC)  –EG- 883/2004, according to which employees are generally subject to the social security regulations of the member state in which they actually work (the so-called territoriality principle pursuant to Art. 11 para. 3 a) EC No 883/2004). This applies regardless of where the employees live or where the employer is based.

The ordinance provides for exceptions, among other things, for employees who occasionally or temporarily work abroad (secondment). This applies if the expected duration of this work does not exceed 24 months. If there is an exceptional case under the Ordinance, the employer must apply to the responsible institution for an A1 certificate. If employees have the A1 certificate, they will continue to be subject to the social security legislation of their home country. At the same time, employees will then be exempt from the application of foreign social security law. According to the relevant European understanding of the law, any business trip abroad is also understood to be a secondment. The relevant ordinances do not (currently) provide for a time limit for short trips. Consequently, for every cross-border work, no matter how short, it is necessary to obtain and carry an A1 certificate. This always applies if the activity in the foreign country is carried out at the employer's instruction, i.e. also when participating in conferences, further training courses, meetings, etc.


Who needs to carry an A1 certificate and request it from the Human Resources Division?

The A1 certificate application must be submitted by all employees of the CAU with statutory health insurance who travel abroad as part of their employment relationship to the Personnel Department of the CAU (R12), which will send it to the DLZP.

Privately-insured or uninsured persons (e.g. civil servants) must apply for the A1 certificate from the Civil Service and Appeals Department (R11) of the CAU, which will send it to the pension insurance institution.


When and for which countries do CAU employees need an A1 certificate?

As a general rule, every employment abroad (business trip/secondment) to an EU/EFTA member state (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) must be accompanied by an A1 certificate. Any border crossing for professional reasons requires an A1 certificate.  

CAU employees who, at the employer's instruction, are staying in an (EU) foreign country or an EFTA state for temporary work (e.g. as part of business trips, conference participation, further training, meetings, etc.) must have an A1 certificate in good time before the start of the trip  (cf..  Decree of the Ministry of Finance of 11.06.2019,(german only)).
In order to enable processing and timely forwarding to the DLZP, applications must be submitted to the Human Resources Division of the CAU at least three weeks before the start of the trip.




Is it possible to apply for general A1 certificate?

A certificate cannot be requested for a general period (from - to). For example, if an employee travels to an EU/EFTA country several times during a certain time period, it is necessary to apply for a separate A1 certificate for each of these trips.


What happens if an A1 certificate cannot be presented while abroad?

Checks are being carried out more frequently in Europe, especially in Austria, France and Switzerland. If the A1 certificate is missing, this can have unpleasant consequences for the travellers as well as for the employer (e.g. fines, denial of entry, problems during return travel, social security payments according to the law of the country of stay, denial of benefits from accident insurance after a work accident, etc.). The associated disadvantages and risks are therefore disproportionate to the effort involved in completing the application for an A1 certificate.
If the traveler does not yet have the A1 certificate at the start of the journey, a copy of the A1 application should be taken along in any case.



Does the A1 certificate have to be taken along on the trip?Does the A1 certificate have to be taken along on the trip?

Please note that the A1 certificate must be taken along on the trip by the business traveler.


How do I get an A1 certificate?

The employer and the travelers themselves are responsible for applying for the A1 certificate. The contact partner for employees with statutory health insurance is their health insurance company, for privately-insured/civil servants the German Pension Insurance (Bund).
The application for the A1 certificate must be made via the Human Resources Division of the CAU from where it will be forwarded to the DLZP or the pension insurance institution. The traveler must complete one of the following forms at least three weeks before the start of the trip - depending on the health insurance status - and send it to the relevant employee at the Human Recourses Division of the CAU:

a)    Persons with statutory health insurance when travelling in the EU-/EFTA-area

b)    Privately insured persons travelling in the EU-/EFTA-area

Persons with statutory insurance are requested to send the completed form for travel to EU or EFTA countries by e-mail to the person responsible in the Personnel Department (R12). Those with private health insurance should send the form by e-mail to the Civil Service and Appeals Department (R11).    
Information on how to fill out the application forms can be found here (german only)
As soon as the requesting body has received the certificate, it shall be sent to the traveler by post or e-mail.    
Business trip applications and approvals will be made separately and as up to now, in good time before the start of the trip using the online procedure 'WinTrip' of the Travel Expenses Department (R14).


What needs to be considered on secondments/ business trips to other countries?

In the case of business trips to other countries, the application for the certificate must be submitted to the Human Resources Division. Please contact the responsible person at least three weeks before the start of your trip.
Social security agreements exist with many countries according to which seconded employees are not subject to foreign social security but only to domestic social security. However, not all agreements cover all branches of social security. A list of the countries with which cooperation agreements exist can be found under the following link:  Website of the DVKA  - see "Kooperationen" tab there.

In the case of secondments to a country with which no social security agreement has been concluded, the question of the extent to which the employee on secondment is subject to social security is assessed in accordance with national regulations. It then depends on § 4 SGB IV. Even if according to this provision the prerequisites for the continued validity of German law are met, it is possible that additional statutory provisions of the country of employment with regard to social security must also be observed.

If you are travelling to a country with which there is a cooperation, please complete and submit the form for your country of destination to the Human Resources Division of the CAU at least three weeks before the start of your journey. Forms can be found at: Website of the DVKA. In the grey field you will find a search field under the heading " Ich suche Fragebögen zu...". If you click on the arrow on the right, a list of countries will appear.
The completed application and/or corresponding documents can be sent to the Human Re-sources Division of the CAU by e-mail. Here you will find information on how to complete the ap-plication forms (german only).
As soon as the requesting body has received the certificate, it shall be sent to the traveler by post or e-mail.    
The business trip application and approval are also carried out separately here and, as up to now, using the online procedure 'WinTrip' of the Travel Expenses Unit (R14) in good time before the start of the trip.



Please note:

Please note that the matter at hand has to do with social security law. This is not one of the core tasks of the Human Resources Division, which is why it comes up against consulting limits here. Please also note that the application procedure is not a CAU procedure. The German Pension Insurance (Deutsche Rentenversicherung) and the German Association of Foreign Health Insurers (Deutscher Verband der Krankenversicherer Ausland) are responsible for this procedure. The Personnel Department is not allowed to consult on insurance coverage as this is the responsibility of the insurer. Special questions therefore cannot be addressed without further inquiries to the relevant authorities. However, the Human Resources Division will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning the application procedure and/or the choice of the relevant forms. We also advise you to contact your respective (health/pension) insurer if you have any further questions.