Brexit’s consequences on .eu domain names : EURid’s action plan

Brexit’s consequences on .eu domain names : EURid’s action plan
Brexit’s consequences on .eu domain names : EURid’s action plan
Image source : Tumisu via Pixabay

In a previous article, we discussed the Brexit’s consequences on .EU domain names, the European Commission announced on 28 March 2018 that companies and individuals, holders of a .EU will no longer be able to renew or register names in .EU if they are not residing in the European Union.

With the Brexit’s date approaching, EURid, .EU registry, has recently published its action plan that has two scenarios depending on the case there is no deal or the case there is a withdrawal agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. In the second case, it will be the same actions but they will be implemented on different dates (from December 2020).

Scenario 1: The United Kingdom leaves the European Union with no deal on 30 March 2019 

New registrations

  • From 30 March 2019: EURid will not allow the registration of any new domain name from registrant declaring an address in Great Britain (country code GB) or in Gibraltar (country code GI).

.EU domain names that have GB/GI as the registrant country code within WHOIS, at the time of UK withdrawal

  • On 23 March 2019: EURid will notify by email both GB/GI registrants and their registrars about the forthcoming non-compliance of the data associated to their domain name within the .EU regulatory framework.
  • On 30 March 2019: EURid will again notify by email both GB/GI registrants and their registrars that their domain name is not in compliance with the .EU regulatory framework.
  • Before 30 May 2019: Registrants will be given the possibility to demonstrate their compliance with the .EU regulatory framework by updating their contact data.

During this two months period, the domain names in question will remain active and the following actions are possible:

-Contact data changes including updates to existing contact details pertaining to phone number, email address, postal address and country code;

-Updating a contact or linking a new contact;

-Name server and DNSSEC changes;

-Transfer the domain name to a non GB/GI registrant.

During this two months period, the following actions are not possible:

-Transfer the domain name to a GB/GI registrant;

-Term extension, unless accompanied by a transfer request to an eligible registrant;

-Automatic renewal for domain names that expire in the period between 30 March 2019 and 30 May 2019.

  • As of 30 May 2019: All registrants who did not demonstrate their eligibility will be deemed ineligible and their domain names will be withdrawn.
  • On 30 March 2020, i.e. twelve months after the UK withdrawal: All the affected domain names will become available for general registration.
  • For. EU domain names that are in the ON-HOLD status at the time of UK withdrawal: They will remain registered until there is an outcome of the court case. However, they will be suspended and will cease to function as of 30 May 2019.

-If a court ruling establishes a transfer to an eligible party, that decision will be implemented in the usual way.

-If the domain name stays with the GB/GI registrant, the domain name will be withdrawn.

  • For .EU domain names that are in the SUSPENDED status at the time of UK withdrawal: Evaluation by the registry on a case-by-case basis, moving forward if appropriate, with the withdrawal of the domain name.
  • For .EU domain names that are in the QUARANTINE status at the time of UK withdrawal:

-No transfer to GB/GI registrants from quarantine will be possible during the two months period.

-Transfer to a non-GB/GI registrant will be possible.

Scenario 2: The United Kingdom leaves the European Union with a planned transitional period on 31 December 2020

It will be the same actions but they will be implemented on different dates.

New registrations

  • From 1 January 2021: EURid will not allow the registration of any new domain name from registrant whose country code is either GB/GI.

 .EU domain names that have GB/GI as the registrant country code within WHOIS, at the time of UK withdrawal

  • 23 December 2020: First email sent about the non-compliance of the data associated to the domain name.
  • 1 January 2021: Second email sent about the non-compliance.
  • Before 2 March 2021: Possibility for the registrants to demonstrate their compliance with the .EU regulatory framework by updating their contact data.
  • As of 2 March 2021: All registrants who did not demonstrate their eligibility will be deemed ineligible and their domain names will be withdrawn.
  • On 1 January 2022: All the affected domain names will become available for general registration.

The actions planned in the first scenario regarding the different status « ON HOLD », « SUSPENDED » and « QUARANTINE », will also be applied in the second scenario.

The Brexit’s consequences thus force the British to rethink their domain names strategy. Indeed, the loss of their .EU domain names will be an opportunity for cybersquatters who reside in the E.U. and meet the eligibility criteria, they would then have the rights to register these .EU domain names. Nameshield’s team is at your disposal to reply to all your questions and to propose you the best recommendations regarding your domain names’ portfolio management.

Aurélie Tran

Author: Aurélie Tran

Chef de projet marketing - Nameshield group

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