Applying for the A1 certificate is regulated by the EU Regulation on social security. The A1 certificate attests, when necessary, that the work done abroad is insured in the Member State that has granted the certificate.

The EU Regulation does not stipulate for how long periods of work abroad the certificate is required. However, there is no need to apply for an A1 certificate for short conference or business trips abroad unless it is known that the receiving country requires the worker to have the certificate.

If a foreign party requires it, or if an occupational accident occurs during the trip abroad, the A1 certificate can be applied for in retrospect.

Example Peter goes to Sweden for two days to attend a seminar. Peter’s Finnish employer contacts the Finnish Centre for Pensions and finds out that it isn’t necessary to apply for an A1 certificate for short business trips unless it’s known that Sweden requires him to have the certificate. His employer is also informed that the certificate can be applied for in retrospect if necessary. Since it is unlikely that Sweden will require Peter to have an A1 certificate for his short seminar trip to Sweden, Peter’s employer decides not to apply for the A1 certificate.

Example Sarah works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and travels to Brussels and elsewhere in Europe from time to time. She is about to go on a business trip to Paris. Based on the EU Regulation, officials are covered by the social security laws of their employer’s domicile country, but also officials are granted A1 certificates. Since, as s rule, officials don’t have to present A1 certificates on short business trips, the employer doesn’t deem it necessary to apply for the A1 certificate.

Example Oliver resides and works in Finland for a Finnish employer as the CFO of the company. He is going to Belgium on a business trip (to a fair) for two days. As a rule, he makes a couple of equivalent short trips abroad per year, but no other trips abroad have been scheduled so far for this year. Oliver’s employer finds that the A1 certificate isn’t needed and decides to apply for it only if a foreign party requests it.

Finnish Centre for Pensions – Central body of and expert on statutory earnings-related pensions