Firstly, companies (and thus EWCs) which established an EWC or a procedure for information and consultation before 22.09.1996 (deadline for transposition into national legal systems of the original Directive 94/45/EC) are exempt from the regime of the EWC Directive (so-called ‘Article 13 agreements’, voluntary EWC agreements).

Also, based on Article 14 of the Recast Directive obligations arising from this directive do not apply to companies where EWC agreement was concluded pursuant to Article 13(1) of Directive 94/45/EC (or Article 3(1) of Directive 97/74/EC), i.e. so called Art. 13 agreements, or where such agreements are adjusted because of changes in the structure of the undertakings or groups of undertakings;or an agreement concluded pursuant to Article 6 of Directive 94/45/EC is signed or revised between 5 June 2009 and 5 June 2011. When such agreeements expire, the parties to those agreements may decide jointly to renew or revise them; where this is not the case, the provisions of this Directive shall apply.

Secondly, in Art. 1 paragraph 7 the Directive states that it shall not apply to merchant navy crews.

Companies having headquarters outside the EU, though fulfilling the criteria laid down in the Directive are NOT exempt from the Directive.