European Community Law

Principle of Community law 

A person to whom the provisions of European Community Law apply is always subject to the legislation of only one Member State (see examples below).

This principle also applies when different work activities are carried out in parallel in two or more Member States. This fundamental idea is put into practice both by Regulation 1408/71 and by the more recent Regulation 883/2004. The provisions of secondary law to this effect apply equally to employed and self-employed workers.

For the United Kingdom, the provisions of Regulation 883/2004 continue to apply as part of the Withdrawal Agreement. When the Withdrawal Agreement does not apply, it should be checked whether the Agreement on Trade and Cooperation applies. If applicable, the provisions of the Agreement on Trade and Cooperation must be observed. These provisions are basically in conformity with those of Regulation 883/2004.

However, the Agreement on Trade and Cooperation does not apply to points of contact with the EEA and Switzerland. It also does not provide for the possibility of an exemption agreement. Moreover, the Agreement on Trade and Cooperation does not include any provision for conscripts.

Where a person carries out one or more work activities in different Member States, that person shall be treated as carrying out the work in the State where the legislation is applicable.

Exemption in Regulation 1408/71

The above-mentioned regulation is only invalid in a few cases. However, the exemption only applies to persons to whom Regulation 1408/71 still applies. A further prerequisite is that an employed and self-employed activity is carried out simultaneously in different Member States. If this kind of situation exists, dual insurance may occur in relation to certain EU states.

Annex VII of Regulation 1408/71 provides details of the states in which this special situation occurs and which prerequisites must be met in specific terms.


Persons are always subject to the law of only one Member State, even if there are points of reference to the law of several States.