It’s here — .au! auDA, the registry for the .au TLD (top-level domain, also called a domain extension), the official TLD of Australia, has announced that domain registrations directly on .au (and not .com.au for example) will be available as of March 24, 2022! A priority registration period will open to owners of domain names at the second level (e.g. .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .id.au, etc.) from March 24 until September 20, 2022.
Who can register a .au domain name?
Gandi is opening .au registrations to any organization registered in Australia as well as owners of an Australian trademark. Contrary to the rules for second-level .au domains, for which the domain name should be linked to the requestor or to products and services they offer, .au will not have this restriction.
However, if your registration eligibility is based on an Australian trademark, your .au domain name must exactly match that trademark (as is the case for .com.au and .net.au).
Here’s the release calendar for .au:
- Priority registration period: from March 24, 2022 through September 20, 2022 (23:59 UTC), second-level .au domain name owners have priority registration of the equivalent .au domain name
- General availability for .au domains that do not have an equivalent registered in a second-level domain: starting March 24, 2022, on a first come, first served basis.
- General availability for .au: starting September 21, 2022 (00:00 UTC), all .au domain names, even those that could previously be registered with priority registration, if they have not been registered during the priority registration period, will be available for anyone to register on a first come, first served basis
The second-level domains .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, and .id.au will remain in operation. The registration rules for these will not change.
Priority registration for .au domain names
Owners of a second-level .au domain name have priority rights to the identical .au domain name corresponding to their existing domain.
If multiple registrants own the same domain name on different second-level .au domains, a “conflict” will arise between the different owners:
- If you own all the identical domain names: you have sole priority over the registration of the corresponding .au domain name. There can still be a risk of conflict if the owner information is not identical for each domain name. We encourage you to closely verify your ownership details and if necessary, bring them into alignment between now and March 24, 2022
- If you are not the owner of all the identical domain names: a conflict then exists for the registration of the corresponding .au domain name with the owners of the other matching second-level domain names.
You can check the different priorities and their status for a single domain name using the tool the registry has implemented for this purpose.
If you are interested in the equivalent .au for your domain names, to exercise your right to priority registration, you’ll need to place a registration order starting March 24, 2022 and before the end of the priority registration period. The domain name will then be attributed to you according to the resolution of the conflict through applying the priority rules the registry has implemented, by the end of the priority registration period at the latest. Please note, however, that registration fees cannot be reimbursed, even if you fail to obtain the domain name.
Before that happens, please verify that the owner contact information for your domain names are correct and up to date. Your .au registration should have the same owner contact information and you will not be able to update this information once you’ve requested registration until the conflict is resolved.
Priority registration rules for .au domain names
If you are the only domain owner entitled to priority registration for your .au domain name, you can register the identical match of your existing domain name with .au.
If there are conflicting rights — that is, if more than one entity have priority registration rights to the same .au domain name and more than one of them have attempted to register the domain name before September 21, 2022 — the registry has implemented the following rules:
- Domain names registered prior to February 5, 2018 00:00 UTC (category 1) give their owners priority over domain names registered after that date (category 2).
- If there is a conflict within category 1:
An agreement must be made between the parties, without which the .au domain name will remain “reserved” until only one valid registration request remains. A registration request can become invalid in the following situations: the requestor withdraws or does not renew their request annually (renewal entails a fee), the requestor is no longer eligible to register the .au domain name NOR the second-level domain name that gives them access to priority registration.
- If there is a conflict within category 2:
The .au domain name will be attributed to the domain name owner who’s second-level domain name registration giving them access to priority registration came first.
Gandi Corporate Services’ advice
The economic attraction of Australia makes .au a potentially large target for cybersquatting.
If you are the owner of a .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, or .id.au, we recommend that you register it or its equivalents in other second-level .au domains between March 24 and September 20, 2022, so that you can take advantage of the priority registration on this domain name.
Come September 20, 2022, any domain name not yet registered during the priority registration period will be available on a first come, first served basis!Tagged in .aucorporateDomain namenew TLD