Government Consult on Data Protection Fee Exemptions

There’s not long left to respond to the Government’s consultation on data protection fee exemptions. The consultation closes on 1st August 2018.


Under the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018, every organisation or sole trader who processes personal information is required to pay a data protection fee to the ICO unless they are legally exempt. The fees are used to fund the work of the ICO.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is reviewing whether any existing exemptions should be removed and whether any new ones are required.

The Charges

Tier Categorisation Summary Charge

Micro Organisations No more than 10 staff and turnover below £40

£632,000 (£35 by Direct Debit)

Small/medium No more than £250 staff and turnover £60

Organisation below £36,000,000 (£55 by Direct Debit)

Large Organisation Businesses which do not fall into the previous £2900

Categories (£2895 by Direct Debit)

The ICO estimate that most businesses will fall into the first two categories.

The Consultation

The new Regulations substantially replicate the previous exemptions. The Consultation asks for feedback on which exemptions are still appropriate, which are no longer appropriate and whether the new proposed exemptions are suitable.

The Exemptions

People/businesses who process data for one or more of the following ‘core business purposes’ are currently exempt –

  • Staff administration, including payroll

  • Advertising, marketing and public relations (in connection with own business activity)

  • Accounts and records (except in relation to the processing personal data by or obtained from a credit reference agency)

  • Judicial functions

  • Personal, family or household affairs (including recreational purposes)

Also exempt are –

  • Some not-for-profit organisations

  • Data controllers processing for maintaining public registers only

  • Data controllers who do not process by automated means or with the intention that the personal data will be processed by automated means

It is proposed that small occupational pension schemes and charities should automatically be classified as tier 1 (the lowest fee).

It is proposed that a new exemption is granted for all elected Government representatives, including members of the House of Lords and prospective candidates for the same offices.

You can access the consultation on the website ( and responses are being taken via an online survey which can be accessed here -

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have your say!

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