The impact of Brexit on .fr registration eligibility in the UK

Jan 29, 2021  - written by  in Domain names

As of January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union (EU). “Brexit,” as the UK’s departure from the EU has been dubbed, has impacted the eligibility conditions for residents of the United Kingdom to register .fr domain names. Essentially, .fr is available exclusively to individuals residing in or companies based in EU territory (+ Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland).

AFNIC, the .fr registry, has updated its registration eligibility conditions for .fr domain names. Let’s sum up what’s changed.

Residents of the United Kingdom are no longer eligible for .fr domains as of January 1, 2021

As of January 1, 2021, residents of the United Kingdom are no longer eligible to register .fr domain names. This restriction extends to all geographic domains managed by AFNIC, also including:

  • .re (Réunion)
  • .yt (Mayotte)
  • .pm (Saint Pierre and Miquelon)
  • wf (Wallis and Futuna)
  • .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Lands)

These new rules also apply to countries and territories within the United Kingdom, including:

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales

The decision that AFNIC has communicated complies with the eligibility rules set out in the Charte de nommage (“Naming Charter”, link in French).

So what about domain names registered before January 1, 2021?

Rules unchanged for domain names registered prior to January 1, 2021

The good news for UK residents who currently own .fr domain names registered before January 1, 2021: this change will not have any retroactive effect. They will maintain their rights to possess their domain names.

Concretely, any UK resident owner of a .fr, or any other geographic extension managed by AFNIC, who registered their domain before January 1, 2021 may:

  • keep their domain name
  • renew it as many times as they wish
  • transfer the domain to a new, eligible owner

These are the new rules to date. We’ll keep you informed of any further updates in the coming months.