Cross border services allows employers who are established in an EU country to temporarily have employees from outside the EU (so-called third-country nationals) to work in the Netherlands without requiring a work permit (permission from the UWV). It is a corollary of the freedom to provide services, which is enshrined in the EU Treaty. The idea behind this is that persons and therefore also companies within the EU should be allowed to provide mutual services to persons and companies in one of the other EU Member States without restrictions.

Think of a company elsewhere in the EU that comes to install a machine for your company here in the Netherlands with its third-country employees (for example Indians or Ukrainians) or to perform maintenance on a previously delivered installation. This will fall within the scope of the freedom of services and thus is regarded as cross border services for which no work permit is required for the third-country nationals amongst the staff members. Under certain conditions, it is also permitted that the employer established elsewhere in the EU makes its third-country nationals available as a service to work for your company (secondment of employees). Although, the latter is allowed, one has to be careful because in the past it has become apparent that the Inspectorate of Social Affairs and Employment often look at this critically.

Requirements for cross border services

The following conditions must be met for the employment of third-country nationals on the basis of the cross-border service provision:

  • The employer/service provider is established outside the Netherlands but in an EU country and is not a PO box company;
  • The employee has a residence permit in the country of residence which allows him/her to work there.
  • The employee must perform similar work in the EU country of residence.
  • The employer actually performs substantial activities as referred to in Article 6(3)(a) of the Employment Conditions for Seconded Employees in the European Union Act.
  • The work must be notified to the UWV before it starts.

If the aforementioned conditions are met and if the employee is going to be employed here for more than three months, the employee can be provided with a residence permit for the purpose of providing cross-border services.

What can Arslan|Lit Attorneys do for you?

To start with, our firm can advise your company in the preliminary phase to check with you in advance whether all the conditions are met. Our firm ensures timely notifications to the UWV before the arrival of the employees. Our job is not only to unburden you, but above all to prevent your company from having to deal with very high administrative fines. We can also advise you in all employment law matters that you may need help with.

If you have any questions about cross border services, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Call us, 020 223 2466, or send us an email, We are happy to help! You can also reach us through our social media channels which you can find at the bottom of this page.