Treaties have a higher ranking than national legislation. A higher ranking means that it comes before other regulations. In addition, it is important to know the ranking amongst the various treaties and between supranational and international regulations.

The European treaty regarding social security, the EC-Regulation 1408/71, addresses such rankings in articles 6 and 7. Article 6 determines which treaties will be replaced by the EC-Regulation 1408/71 and article 7 determines which international regulations remain in force.

Thus, when it was determined that a Dutch resident fell within the scope of both EC-Regulation 1408/71 and the Treaty Rijnfarers, EC-Regulation 1408/71 was referred to for clarification. According to the EC-Regulation 1408/71, in such a case the Treaty Rijnfarers provides for the person concerned. And on the basis of the Treaty Rijnfarers, the person was covered by Dutch social security.

The statement issued by the Dutch Social Security authorities, based on the EC-Regulation 1408/71, indicating that the person in question was not covered by Dutch social security, was disregarded