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Writen by Ana Mishova

Posted on: August 24, 2023

Why A GDPR Representative Is Essential for Your EU Sales

If the EU GDPR applies to your business, you’ll need to appoint an EU GDPR representative. But what benefits will the GDPR rep offer for your sales in EU? Let’s delve into it.

You know what they say about ‘when in Rome’. For US businesses, it’s a cliché well worth adopting as your business’ approach to data protection. Because however you manage data at home, a different standard applies if you sell goods or services to EU residents.

When your global market includes any EU member’s territory – including Rome, Italy – doing as the Europeans do and complying with the GDPR is a legal necessity.

Why the GDPR affects you

If you have customers outside the US and you collect their personal data, your approach to data protection must be a global one. If those customers are EU residents – note, that means they can be US citizens living in the EU – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is likely to be a crucial consideration for your business.

GDPR establishes clear rules for every organisation that processes or stores the data of EU residents. If those rules apply to your business you are as bound by them as you are local state law.

As far as US businesses are concerned, appointing an EU GDPR representative is perhaps the most vital of these GDPR rules.

The role of the GDPR Representative

A GDPR EU representative is a designated entity or individual appointed by a non-EU organization that processes the personal data of individuals within the EU. If your business collects, stores, or processes personal data of EU citizens, you need to appoint a European representative for GDPR. Yet this isn’t a purely administrative exercise. There’s genuine business benefit in meeting your GDPR obligations – benefits that can have a major impact on your EU sales and business reputation.

Now, you may be asking yourself, what are the values and functionalities of having an EU GDPR Representative? Allow us to explain.

Ensuring Legal Compliance

Compliance with the GDPR matters. It’s important to understand that even though this is a law enacted thousands of miles away – and even though it has never been voted on by US lawmakers – if you want to do business in the EU, it applies to you.

What’s more, the penalties for non-compliance can be huge. The ten biggest fines to date have totaled more than $3.3 billion – and eight of those ten were handed to US companies.

Facilitating Communication with EU Authorities

If you trade in Europe, you can expect to have conversations with the EU’s regulatory authorities from time to time. Although there are numerous reasons the authorities may want to engage with you, perhaps the most critical will be in the event of a data breach, when regulators will want to know that you have followed correct procedures and complied with the GDPR.

For US companies unfamiliar with EU legal procedures, it’s easy for such communications to cause panic. With the added language barriers, engaging with EU data protection authorities can be challenging.

The GDPR services provided by your EU representative include serving as a liaison between your company and EU authorities, streamlining communications and ensuring prompt, compliant responses to inquiries. This communication fosters trust and cooperation between the US company and EU regulators. Perhaps more importantly, it makes engagement with EU regulators far less worrying.

Building Trust with EU Customers

It’s not just in the US where consumers feel unable to trust businesses to manage their data safely and securely. EU consumers have similar concerns, with half of EU respondents to this survey saying that they did not trust brands with their personal data.

Customers want to trust the companies they do business with. Trust is a core ingredient of consumer loyalty. By appointing an EU GDPR representative, US companies demonstrate their commitment to protecting EU customers’ data and respecting their privacy rights, helping to foster that feeling of trust.

Facilitating Transatlantic Data Transfers

Transferring personal data across borders is a fundamental aspect of international business. US companies engaging in data transfers between the US and the EU must comply with the GDPR’s stringent requirements on data protection.

Your EU GDPR representative will support this, helping you navigate data transfer mechanisms such as Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) or Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs), and ensuring smooth and legally compliant data flows.

Facilitating Communication with EU Citizens

One of the central pillars of GDPR is the ability for EU citizens to challenge, change and even delete the data organizations hold about them. With an EU GDPR consultant as part of your team, they will be the first point of contact for queries, they will translate the enquiry, and they will guide and support your response.

Appoint your GDPR Representative

From liaising with citizens and authorities to avoiding fines and building trust that helps lock in growth, the GDPR services provided by your EU GDPR representative does far more than achieve bare minimum compliance. It can help you strengthen your transatlantic presence, foster customer loyalty, and unlock the full potential of the EU market.

Find the right GDPR rep for you now, get data protection advice or, for questions about your next steps, give us a call on +1 303 317 5998.

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