.eu domain names and a no-deal Brexit: the view from Europe

The European Registry for internet domains (EURid) has published a Brexit notice explaining what would happen if there is no deal or a transitional period.

The European Registry for internet domains (EURid) has published a Brexit notice which sets out action plans for .eu domain registrations depending on whether the UK leaves the EU on 29 March with no withdrawal agreement, or whether the withdrawal agreement and transitional period apply. The notice comes after the European Commission confirmed the .eu top level domain will no longer apply as from the withdrawal date of the UK from the EU.

On 28 March 2018 the European Commission issued a notice to stakeholders concerning the .eu domain names registered by UK residents. It said that as of the UK’s withdrawal date, undertakings and organisations that are established in the UK but not in the EU and natural persons who reside in the UK will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names or, if they are already .eu domain name holders, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.

Following several meetings with the European Commission, EURid will roll out the following action plan that has two scenarios.

Scenario 1—no deal

If there is no deal on 30 March 2019, EURid will do the following:

  • prevent the registration of any new domain name where the registrant country code is either GB or GI after 30 March 2019
  • 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.
  • again notify by email both GB/GI registrants and their registrars that their domain name(s) is not in compliance with the .eu regulatory framework. Registrants will be given the possibility to demonstrate their compliance with the .eu regulatory framework by updating their contact information (eg indicating a legally established entity in one of the eligible EU27 or EEA Member States, or update of residence) before 30 May 2019. During this two-month period, the domain names in question will remain active.
  • withdraw domain names of registrants who did not demonstrate their eligibility on 30 May 2019
  • revoke domain names on 30 March 2020 and make them available for general registration
  • allow domain names on hold (where a legal court case is pending) to remain registered until there is an outcome of the case. They will still be suspended and cease to function on 30 May 2019.

Scenario 2—the UK leaving the EU following a planned transition period on 31 December 2020 or a later date

EURid will enforce similar measures to Scenario 1 but to a different timescale. These include:

  • not allowing the registration of any new domain name where the registrant country code is either GB or GI after 1 January 2021
  • notifying by email both GB and GI registrants and their registrars on 23 December 2020 about the forthcoming non-compliance of the data associated to their domain name within the .eu regulatory framework
  • again notifying by email both GB and GI registrants and their registrars on 1 January 2021 that their domain name is not in compliance with the .eu regulatory framework. Registrants will be given the possibility to demonstrate their compliance with the .eu regulatory framework by updating their contact information before 2 March 2021
  • withdrawing domain names of registrants who did not demonstrate their eligibility on 2 March 2021
  • revoking domain names on 1 January 2022 and making them available for general registration
  • allowing domain names on hold (where a legal court case is pending) to remain registered until there is an outcome of the case. They will still be suspended and cease to function on 2 March 2021

Published: 2019-02-04T08:00:00

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