On August 1, 2016 the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) started accepting self-certifications for compliance with the Privacy Shield Principles. A number of companies have already started the process to self-certify with the DOC to take advantage of the grace period offered to early adopters of the Principles to get contracts with third parties updated. If a company self-certifies to Privacy Shield within the first two months of the DOC accepting certifications (August 1 – September 30), those companies will be given an additional nine (9) months to get their contracts with third parties updated to meet Privacy Shield requirements. During that time, the Notice and Choice Principles apply to transfers to third parties. The grace period only applies to the Accountability for Onward Transfer Principle. The company needs to be in full compliance with the remaining Principles to self-certify.