[co-author: Joseph Diorio, Law Clerk]
Following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in February 2020, the EU will soon revoke all .eu domain names owned by UK registrants who do not comply with new EU requirements for registrants. owners of these domain names must be EU citizens, residents of an EU member state or have a business establishment within the EU.
Registrants in the UK have been given an 11-month transition period to update their registration data and preserve their domain rights. The transition period will end on December 31, 2020 and, as of January 1, 2021, EURid (the registry that manages the .eu top level domain) will no longer allow the registration or transfer of any domain name by registrants. British.
The current UK registrants who will be affected by this change have been notified by EURid and have until the end of the transition period to comply with the new regulatory framework. Such compliance requires one of the following actions on the part of the registrant:
- Update the registration to indicate an entity legally established in one of the eligible Member States of the Union;
- Transfer residence to a Member State of the Union; or
- Demonstrate citizenship of an EU Member State (even if you reside in the UK).
These options reveal that complying with the EURid registration requirement will involve more than just operating a .eu website that targets EU customers. However, it currently seems sufficient for UK registrants to transfer .eu names to EU based affiliates, or even to service providers such as law firms or entities that provide domain name services. business.
For some UK-based companies, it may make more sense to switch to a more general .uk or gTLD – perhaps more in line with the new UK-focused branding – to capitalize on the new independence UK economy.
All UK domain name holders who fail to act by the December 31, 2020 deadline will begin their decent descent on the slippery slope of revoking their domain name rights. First of all, domain names which have not been updated will have their status changed to “suspended”. Then, the owners of the suspended domain names will have until March 31, 2021 to comply with the new regulatory framework, or the domain’s status will change to “withdrawn”. Finally, once removed, these domains will become revoked effective January 1, 2022 and will become available for general third party registration. EU-based businesses will want to see what names could be up for grabs from January 1, 2022, as a number of .eu registrations will inevitably fall through the cracks.
As the update domain registration information window closes, there is still time for registrants who want to update their information and preserve their rights. These individuals should consider contacting their respective registrar (the company they registered the domain name with) or visiting Find a Registrar.