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The A1 certificate is intended to certify to foreign social authorities what social security system is applicable to the insured person. The A1 certificate is a proof of the obligation to pay social insurance in Germany, which makes it not necessary to register with the social security system of a foreign country, and aims to prevent social security fraud.
When travelling on business to other European countries, Switzerland or the United Kingdom, one must have the so-called “A1 certificate” on them. This applies to both employed and self-employed personnel. Whether it is a longer business meeting, a presentation or a workshop, participation in a seminar or a conference, every business-related border crossing requires possession of the certificate. One must have the certificate available even during short business trips. In the event of inspections, severe fines can be imposed if one is travelling without the A1 certificate. Since January 1, 2022, it has now become mandatory to submit online applications for all self-employed persons, either. Previously accepted paper forms are no longer applicable.