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Insurers having their registered office in a European Economic Area (EEA) country can set up a branch office in the Netherlands or provide services to the Netherlands. To do so, they must first follow a notification procedure.
The EEA brings together the EU Member States and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein in a single market. These pages refer to these EEA countries as "member states".
Right of establishment (branch office) or provision of cross-border services
A branch office is a physical place of business in the Netherlands operated by an insurer having its registered office in another member state. If this insurer does not have a physical presence, but provides its services into the Netherlands directly from its home member state, this is referred to as cross-border service provision.
Under Solvency II authorisation, insurers authorised in their home member states are permitted to operate in any other member state. This is known as "passporting". This means the company does not need a separate authorisation issued by DNB to operate in the Netherlands. It must have authorisation issued in its home member state covering the services provided in the Netherlands. In addition, the insurer must follow a passporting notification procedure. The supervision of insurers from other EEA member states – and, hence, their branch offices in the Netherlands and/or their cross-border services into the Netherlands – rests with the supervisors of the home member states, also known as “home supervisors”.
Prior to taking up their activities in the Netherlands, insurers from other EEA member states must follow a notification procedure through their home supervisors¬ and submit a notification form to DNB. Notification includes an overview of the activities to be carried out and a statement to the effect that the insurer’s solvency capital meets the applicable requirements and applies irrespective of whether the EEA insurer intends to open a branch office or provide cross-border services. If an insurer wants to open a branch office, additional information is required, including details of the authorised representative of the branch office.
If it intends to provide cross-border services, it can start its operations after submitting the notification. Contrary to cross-border service provision, the activities of a branch office may not start until two months after DNB has confirmed receipt of the full notification, or after it has informed the EEA insurer, through its home supervisor, of any additional conditions to be observed in the public interest. The branch office may start its operations two months after DNB’s confirmation of receipt, or directly upon receipt of information on additional conditions.
After completing the notification procedure, the EEA insurer is entered in a public register maintained by DNB.
DNB processes incoming notifications free of charge.