Neu-Isenburg, August 7, 2019
When taking a business trip in the European Union, you are required to carry a form certifying you have social security. The procedure is as tedious as it is expensive – companies pay an estimated 70 euros per form.
The regulation is expensive and is complied with by only a few: A mere 27 percent of business travelers in Europe always bring an A1 form, officially known as Portable Document A1, when entering another European country, even though they should be able to present the form at any time. That is the finding of a survey conducted by AirPlus International, a leading international provider of solutions for daily business travel management. The aim of the mandatory A1 form is to prevent social dumping: it is proof of the traveler’s social security status in his/her home country. A traveler unable to present the form will have to pay social security in the destination country.
Almost half of business travelers violate the regulation
Since May 2010, if you travel to an EU country or to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Iceland, you are obligated to carry the A1 form. Since the beginning of this year, employers have been required to apply for A1 forms electronically. The new procedure has given the issue more public prominence. However, despite being subject to potential controls and fines in individual member states, 44 percent of business travelers indicated they were unaware of this obligation. Four percent of travelers knew of the rule but didn’t abide by it. This means that almost 50 percent of travelers never bring along an A1 form while fewer than one in four travelers (24 percent) state that they sometimes carry the requisite form.
A costly annoyance for companies
Currently, the A1 form must be presented on every cross-border business-related trip including travel to trade fairs, business dinners, or meetings with colleagues from other company branches. “The procedure takes companies a lot of time: business travelers have to apply for the form prior to every trip and other staff members have to ensure the health insurance company has set up the electronic application process,” says Birgit Hölzel, Country Manager Germany at AirPlus. The costs for the application are estimated to be approximately 70 euros per trip and per traveler. Efforts have been made within the EU to abolish the obligation to present the A1 form during business travel and to revise the rules. However, in spring the European Council refused to adopt the agreement to which the EU Commission already had committed. Hölzel expresses this hope, “Now that the EU institutions – Commission, Parliament, and Council – have been constituted following the European elections in late May, they can tackle a new regulation as soon as possible.” She advises: “Until then, every business traveler should carry an A1 form at all times to avoid being subject to fines and back payments.”
About AirPlus International:
AirPlus is a leading international provider of solutions for the daily management of business travel. Fifty thousand corporate customers rely on AirPlus for the payment and analysis of their business trips. The products and services are marketed worldwide under the AirPlus International brand. The AirPlus Company Account is the most successful billing account within the UATP. More information is available online at www.airplus.com.
Phone: +49(0)6102 204-6350