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NETHERLANDS: The new Act on Tracing the Uninsured allows authorities to trace persons who have not yet obtained mandatory basic medical care insurance

The new Act on Tracing the Uninsured allows authorities to trace persons who have not yet obtained mandatory basic medical care insurance. Also, an important European Court of Justice judgment was rendered in the Vicoplus case.

The Act on Tracing the Uninsured (Wet Opsporing Onverzekerden) went into effect on March 15, 2011. This act allows Dutch authorities to link various governmental databases and actively trace any person residing in the Netherlands who has not obtained Dutch basic medical care insurance (zorgverzekering). International basic care insurance will not suffice.

A foreigner must register for Dutch basic care insurance after receiving his or her first residence permit. This obligation exists also if the foreigner has international basic care insurance. If no basic care insurance is arranged for, under the Act a warning will be issued first. If still not arranged within 3 months, a fine of EUR 343,74 may be imposed, and another fine will be imposed after an additional 3 months if no action has been taken. Finally, if no basic care insurance is taken out after this period, compulsory insurance will be issued. Payment will be imposed by compulsory withholding on the foreigner's wages from the employer.

Non-compliance may also result in problems with extending the residence permit.

In other news, on February 10, 2011, the European Court of Justice rendered an important judgment on the freedom to provide services and the posting of workers (C-307/09, C-308/09 and C-309/09, the Vicoplus case). The Dutch High Administrative Court (Raad van State) requested that the court issue this preliminary ruling. The European Court ruled that articles 56 and 57 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) do not preclude a Member State during the transitional period (the period after the accession of new Member States to the EU) from subjecting the hiring-out of workers with the nationality of those new Member States on its territory to a work permit requirement. The transitional period is still relevant for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals.

The court also set the criteria for determining whether a service constitutes a hiring-out of workers: (i) the worker remains in the employ of the company providing the service, (ii) the movement of workers to another Member State constitutes the purpose of a transnational provision of services, and (iii) a worker who is hired out works under the control and direction of the sending company.

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