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EDPB: calculation of administrative fines under the GDPR

On 24 May 2023, the EDPB released the updated version of Guidelines 04/2022 – on the calculation methods of administrative fines – which incorporates some of the suggestions from the public consultation.

In addition to changes of a purely formal nature, the major change concerns

  • the calculation of the starting amount of the fine based on the seriousness of the infringement
  • the correction of the starting amount based on the organisation’s dimensional value (i.e., on its Total Worldwide Annual Turnover).

As for the rest, especially with regard to the methodology and the steps in the process of determining the amount of the fine, the text of version 1.0 of these guidelines remains unchanged.


The guidelines, together with the new annex, emphasise that their content is intended to facilitate a harmonized application of the fine calculation by the different national supervisory authorities, with the twofold caveat that they:

  • cannot be interpreted according to a mathematical approach
  • they are without prejudice to the freedom of the authority to assess each case and to determine the fine up to the legal maximum permitted by the regulation, in the presence of justified circumstances.

Starting point for calculation

According to the procedure suggested by the EDPB, the first steps in determining the sanctionable amount are:

  1. to determine the level of seriousness of the infringement
  2. to apply the corresponding mitigation percentage in relation to seriousness and with respect to the maximum legal sanctionable amount
  3. to apply the corrective to the result in relation to the perpetrator’s Total Worldwide Annual Turnover
  4. to determine, thus, the theoretical amount of the initial fine with reference to the specific infringement, on the basis of which, subsequently, mitigating or aggravating circumstances shall be applied and the assessments of the effectiveness, dissuasiveness and proportionality of the final fine shall be carried out.

For easier reading, we will go over these four steps with some practical examples.