The Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Slovak Republic,
Hereinafter referred to as the Contracting Parties,
Wishing to establish relations in the field of social security between each other's countries,
Being desirous to regulate the co-operation between the two States to ensure the enforcement of its legislation in each other's country,
Have agreed as follows:
Article 2. Material scope
This Agreement shall apply:
1 With respect to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to the Netherlands' legislation concerning the following branches of social security:
a) sickness and maternity benefits;
b) disablement benefits for employed persons;
c) disablement benefits for self-employed persons;
d) old age benefits;
e) survivors' benefits;
f) child benefits.
2 With respect to the Slovak Republic, to the Slovak legislation concerning sickness insurance and pension security within the scope of the following benefits:
a) sickness benefit;
b) support for care of a family member;
c) compensatory contribution in pregnancy and maternity;
d) financial assistance for maternity;
e) old age pension;
f) disability pension;
g) partial disability pension;
h) widow pension;
i) widower pension;
j) orphan pension.
Article 3. Personal scope
Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, this Agreement shall apply to any beneficiary as well as to members of their family insofar as they reside or stay in the territory of the Contracting Parties.
Article 4. Export of benefits
Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, any legislation which restricts the entitlement to or the payment of a benefit solely because the beneficiary or the member of his family resides or stays outside the territory of either Contracting Party, shall not be applicable with respect to beneficiaries or to members of their family who reside or stay in the territory of the other Contracting Party.
Article 5. Identification
In order to determine the entitlement to benefits and legitimacy of payments under the Slovak or Netherlands' legislation, a beneficiary or a member of his family shall identify himself to the competent institution in whose territory this person resides or stays, by submitting an official proof of identity. An official proof of identity includes a passport or any other valid proof of identity issued by the agency in whose territory that person resides or stays. The competent institution identifies the beneficiary or the member of his family on the basis of this identification. The competent institution concerned shall inform the competent institution of the other Contracting Party that the identity of the beneficiary or the member of his family has been verified by sending a copy of the identification document.
Article 6. Verification of applications and payments
1 For the purpose of this Article, ``information" shall at least include information regarding identity, address, household, work, education, income, medical condition, death and detention.
2 Concerning the application for or the legitimacy of payment of benefits, the competent institution of a Contracting Party shall, at the request of the competent institution of the other Contracting Party, verify the information regarding the beneficiary or the members of his family. If necessary, this verification is to be carried out with the agencies. The competent institution shall forward a statement of the verification along with authenticated copies of the relevant documents to the competent institution of the other Contracting Party.
3 Notwithstanding paragraph 2, the competent institution of a Contracting Party shall, without prior request and to the extent possible, inform the competent institution of the other Contracting Party of any changes in the information regarding the beneficiary or the member of his family.
4 The competent institutions of the Contracting Parties may contact each other, as well as the beneficiaries, the members of their family, or their representatives, directly.
5 Notwithstanding paragraph 2, the diplomatic or consular representatives and the competent institutions of a Contracting Party shall be allowed to contact the agencies of the other Contracting Party directly in order to verify entitlement to benefits and legitimacy of payments to the beneficiaries.
6 For the purposes of implementing this Agreement, the agencies shall lend their good offices and act as though implementing their own legislation. The administrative assistance furnished by the agencies shall be free of charge. However, the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties may agree to certain expenses being reimbursed.
Article 7. Verification of information in case of sickness and invalidity
2 In order to determine the sickness, the disability and partial disability of the beneficiary, the competent institutions of either Contracting Party shall use the medical reports and the administrative data provided by the competent institution of the other Contracting Party. However, the competent institution of the former Contracting Party may request the beneficiary to undergo a medical examination by a doctor of its own choice or a medical examination in its territory.
3 The beneficiary shall comply with any request referred to in paragraph 2 by presenting himself for medical examination. If the beneficiary feels that, for medical reasons, he is unfit to travel to the territory of the other Contracting Party, he shall inform the competent institution of that Contracting Party immediately. He shall, in that case, submit a medical statement issued by a doctor designated for this purpose by the competent institution in whose territory he resides or stays. This statement shall include the medical reasons for his unfitness for travelling as well as the expected duration of this unfitness.
4 The costs of the examinations under this Article and, as the case may be, expenses for travel and accommodation, shall be borne by the competent institution at whose request the examination is carried out.
Article 8. Recovery of undue payments
If a beneficiary has been unduly paid by a competent institution of a Contracting Party and he receives a benefit by the competent institution of the other Contracting Party, the former competent institution may request to balance the undue payment with the arrears or amounts still due to the beneficiary in the latter Contracting Party. The latter competent institution shall deduct the amount in accordance with, and within the limits of, the legislation applied by that competent institution, and will remit the amount to the competent institution entitled to reimbursement.
Article 9. Refusal to pay, suspension, withdrawal
The competent institution of a Contracting Party may refuse to grant a benefit, or may suspend or withdraw the payment of a benefit, if in its judgement:
a) the beneficiary fails to undergo any examinations or to provide any information as required under Article 5 and Article 7, paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Agreement within a period of three months, or
b) if the competent institution of the other Contracting Party fails to provide any information or fails to carry out any examinations as required under Article 5, Article 6, paragraph 2 and Article 7, paragraph 1 of this Agreement within a period of three months.
Article 10. Implementation of the Agreement
The competent institutions of both Contracting Parties may establish, by means of supplementary arrangements, measures for the application of this Agreement.
Article 11. Settlement of disputes
The competent authorities of both Contracting Parties shall make all reasonable efforts to resolve through mutual agreement any dispute arising from the interpretation or application of this Agreement.
Article 12. Entry into force of the Agreement
This Agreement shall be subject to ratification. Ratification documents shall be exchanged in The Hague. The Agreement shall come into effect on the first day of the month following the day of exchange of ratification documents, on the understanding that Article 4 shall be applied provisionally from the first day of the second month following the date of signature.
Article 13. Application of the Agreement
In relation to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, this Agreement shall only apply to the territory of the Kingdom in Europe.
Article 14. Duration of the Agreement
This Agreement shall be concluded for an indeterminate period. Any Contracting Party shall be allowed to terminate the Agreement at any time, in written form. After the termination, the Agreement shall be valid until the end of the year following the year of reception of the termination notice by a Contracting Party.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, have signed this Agreement.
DONE in duplicate at Bratislava, on this 28th day of May of 2001, in the English language.
For the Kingdom of the Netherlands
(s.) H. J. W. SOETERS
For the Slovak Republic
(s.) P. MAGVASI
Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family