The impact of Brexit on .eu domains

Mar 21, 2019  - written by  in Domain names

ATTENTION!

Following today’s publication of an official notice update by EURid (the registry in charge of .EU domains), the various scenarios listed below have been suspended for the time being.

We will keep you informed as the situation evolves.


On 28 March 2018, the European Commission informed registrants of .eu domain names (both individuals as well as companies) that they will no longer be able to register or renew .eu domain names if they do not reside within the European Union.

The Brexit date—31 March 2019—is approaching quickly, and so the European Commission asked EURid, the registry in charge of .eu domains (https://eurid.eu/en/register-a-eu-domain/brexit-notice/) to prepare an action plan for .eu domain owners who reside in the United Kingdom.

Possible dates for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union are:

  • 31 March 2019 if no deal is reached (this may be pushed back to a later day, this is unknown at this time)
  • 1 January 2021 if a deal is reached

As such, EURid has made plans for two possible scenarios, depending on whether the United Kingdom and the European Union reach a deal.

=1=
Scenario 1 – The United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a deal on 31 March 2019

For all new .eu domain registrations

  • Starting 31 March 2019

EURid will no longer authorise the registration of .eu domains to any owner with an address in the United Kingdom (country code GB) or in Gibraltar (country code GI).

For domain names already registered

  • 23 March 2019 :

EURid will send a notification via email to all .eu domain owners with postal addresses in the UK or Gibraltar. This email will inform them that the registration data associated to their domain name no longer conforms with the rules for .eu domains.

  • 30 March 2019 :

EURid will send a second notification via email regarding the non-conformity of their registration information. A two-month grace period (that is, until 30 May 2019), will be provided for them to update their registration information in order to conform with the registration requirements for .eu domains.

During this two-month period, all domains will remain active.

  • After 30 May 2019 :

All .eu domain owners that still do not meet the eligibility conditions of the registry, EURid, will see the status of their .eu domains change to one of the following:

>>WITHDRAW,” status. The domain name will stop working, though there will still be the possibility of reactivating it if the data is brought to conformity before 30 May 2020. Beyond that date, the domain name will be deleted and will be available for new registration.

>>HOLD,” status.

a judicial procedure is underway on the domain. The domain name will no longer work, but will remain registered. There are two cases, depending on the judicial procedure:

  • If the order is to transfer the domain to an eligible owner, the domain will be reactivated.
  • If the order requires that the domain name remain registered to an non-eligible owner, the “WITHDRAWN” status will be applied to the domain name, as described above.

>>SUSPENDED,” status. EURid is evaluating the owner’s special request and it may result in the deletion of the domain name (actions described in 1. above apply).

>>QUARANTINE,” status. Owner change operations on the domain name are forbidden. However, owner changes to a registrant located in the European Union is authorised.

=2=
Scenario 2 – The United Kingdom leaves the European Union with a deal starting 1 January 2021

For new .eu domain registrations

Starting 1 January 2020, EURid will no longer authorise the registration of .eu domain names to any owner with a street address located in the United Kingdom (country code GB) or in Gibraltar (country code GI).

For domain names already registered

The process described above remains the same but the dates are changed to the following:

  • 23 December 2020:

EURid will send an initial email notifying owners of domains with non-compliant registration data.

  • 1 January 2021 :

EURid will send a second notification email.

  • Before 2 March 2021:

Domain owners will have the opportunity to update their registration information to bring them into conformity with EURid’s requirements.

During this two-month period, domain names remain active.

  • As of 2 March 2021:

All domain names for which the owner has not demonstrated eligibility will be deleted.

  • 1 January 2022 :

All domain names deleted previously will become available for registration.

With Brexit and its consequences on .eu domains, residents of the UK are asked to reconsider their domain name strategy, notablly to strengthen the protection of their brand names and avoid risks such as cyber-squatting, particularly on the part of EU residents who do meet the registration requirements for .eu domains.

Gandi is committed to helping out our UK customers during this transitional phase and we remain at your disposal if you have any questions or difficulties.