On 28 March 2018 the European Commission issued a notice to stakeholders concerning the .eu domain names registered by UK residents. The notice reads:
“Subject to any transitional arrangement that may be contained in a possible withdrawal agreement, the EU regulatory framework for the .eu Top Level Domain will no longer apply to the United Kingdom as from the withdrawal date. […]
“As of the withdrawal date, undertakings and organisations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU and natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names or, if they are .eu registrants, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date. Accredited .eu Registrars will not be entitled to process any request for the registration of or for renewing registrations of .eu domain names by those undertakings, organisations and persons.”
As reported above, the full communication highlights the fact that this information is subject to any transitional arrangement that may be contained in a possible withdrawal agreement, which is an ongoing negotiation between the United Kingdom and European Commission.
On 10 April 2018 EURid, the .eu registry manager, received a communication from the European Commission stating the following:
“The revocation of existing holders’ rights and the prohibition for registrars from processing any more requests for registrations or renewals for .eu domain names whose holders are no longer eligible must be prepared so that the necessary measures are effective as from 1 January 2021 or, in case that there were no withdrawal agreement in force before 30 March 2019, as from 30 March 2019.”
Upon request of the Commission, we drafted a high-level plan to implement the domain name revocation scenario(s). At the same time, we highlighted several pending matters that should be communicated to the registry manager before we can enforce any measure. Among them:
- What is the earliest date on which the European Commission will be able to inform EURid of the chosen option?
- What domain names are affected by the decision of the European Commission? For example, will there be any difference of approach where the registrant is from Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar or other British overseas territories?
- What will happen to domain names reserved by the UK government as listed in the Annex of EC Regulation 874/2004?
We understand the concerns of our stakeholders about this decision. We are fully committed to share further details as soon as they become available to us and invite you to regularly visit this webpage for updates.