What Brexit Means for .EU Registrants

Last updated: Dec. 4, 2020

 

On February 1, 2020, the United Kingdom officially withdrew from the European Union, with a transition period that will extend until December 31, 2020. One of the consequences of Brexit is that many UK-based, .EU domain owners will no longer meet the .EU eligibility requirements.

On November 20, 2020, EURid, the .EU registry, announced an updated timeline for revoking the domains of ineligible registrants.

EURid’s will reach out to impacted registrants on Dec. 21, 2020. Registrants who can, will be asked to update their registrant data to demonstrate their eligibility based on citizenship in a remaining EU member state by December 31, 2020. On January 1, 2021, any UK or Gibraltar-based registrants who have not demonstrated eligibility will have their domain name “suspended.” On April 1, 2021, these suspended domains will be “withdrawn.”

We provide full details below, but we want to stress the importance of encouraging your registrants to demonstrate eligibility prior to December 31, 2020, if they are able to do so. This will avoid having their domain fall into suspended or withdrawn status.

In the coming weeks, we will publish further details about how OpenSRS will manage .EU domains that are suspended or withdrawn due to registrant ineligibility.

For now, we encourage you to read on for a complete, updated timeline from EURid, suggestions on how to prepare, and a summary of the .EU eligibility requirements.

Eligibility Requirements for .EU Domains

Last year, amid the Brexit negotiations, EURid released an updated Domain Name Registration Policy, which went into effect as of October 19, 2019.  Under this new policy, the eligibility requirements for organizations did not change, but the eligibility requirements for individuals did — .EU domains can now be registered by EU citizens who live outside of the European Union.

The following registrant types are eligible to register .EU domains:

  • a European Union citizen, independently of their place of residence;
  • a natural person who is not a Union citizen and who is a resident of a Member State;
  • an undertaking that is established in the Union; or
  • an organization that is established in the Union, without prejudice to the application of national law.

In the context of Brexit, here’s what the eligibility requirements mean for existing .EU registrants:

  • EU citizens who reside in the UK will not lose their domain names. They’ll simply have to demonstrate proof of EU citizenship.
  • UK citizens that reside in an EU member state will also remain eligible.
  • However, UK citizens who reside outside of the Union Member States are no longer eligible to hold an .EU domain name. Their domain name will be revoked at the end of the transition period.

 

Detailed Timeline for .EU Reseller and Registrants

December 21, 2020

  • EURid will email all UK registrants who did not demonstrate continued eligibility to remind them of their “forthcoming non-compliance with the .EU regulatory framework.”

January 1, 2021, as of 00:00:00 CET

  • EURid will no longer allow UK residents (who can’t demonstrate EU citizenship) to register new .EU domain names. The transfer and transfer through update of any domain name to a UK registrant will also no longer be allowed.
  • EURid will email all UK registrants who have not demonstrated eligibility to inform them that:
    • Their domain name is no longer compliant with the .EU regulatory framework and has, therefore, been “suspended.” Domain names in “suspended” status will no longer resolve and cannot support any active services (e.g. websites or email).
    • They have until March 31, 2021, to reinstate their domain by demonstrating eligibility. If they don’t demonstrate continued eligibility their domain will fall into “withdrawn status.

Important note: Suspended domains can be updated using a standard contact update order, but the request must also be manually processed by the registry. So, there may be a longer than usual delay in re-activating the domain. We will provide further details as soon as we have them.

April 1 2021, 00:00:00 CET

  • EURid will send another notice to registrants whose domain(s) have been suspended, letting them know that their domain(s) have now been moved into “withdrawn” status.

Important note: OpenSRS is working with EURid to determine the process for reclaiming withdrawn domains. We will announce further details as soon as we have them. However, we strongly encourage you to urge your impacted registrants to take action well before their domain reaches “withdrawn” status.

January 1 2022, 00:00:00 CET

All withdrawn domain names will be “revoked” and made available for general registration. These domains will be released for registration in batches.

 

How Should Resellers Prepare?

1. Ensure you’re familiar with how to register, transfer, and perform contact updates for domains registered by EU citizens who live outside the European Union.

If you use the Control Panel to register domains:

Please check out our step-by-step instructions on how to register, renew, and update an .EU domain for an EU citizen living outside of the European Union.

If you use the API to register domains:

You’ll need to submit a country_of_citizenship value, when needed. When submitting request this value, you must:

  • include a valid country_of_citizenship value (two-letter country code of an EU member state)
  • exclude the org_name field — if you include an org_name in your request, EURid’s system will assume the registrant is an organization, and reject the request because the registrant contact country code is not eligible.

2. If you haven’t already, consider restricting multi-year renewals and registrations for UK customers. This will help avoid situations where a UK customer pays a sizable renewal fee, only to lose their .EU domain a few months later.

3. Consider displaying a warning to registrants during the registration process. It’s important that before registering a .EU domain, your UK-based customers are made aware of the impending change to the domain’s eligibility requirements.

4. Keep in mind that EURid will contact your impacted customers on December 21, 2020. You may wish to reach out beforehand, or simply ready your support team.

5. Advise those registrants who can, to update their information to meet the eligibility requirements well before December 31, 2020. This will ensure their domain(s) does not fall into “suspended” or “withdrawn” status and become inactive.

If a registrant’s domain falls into “suspended” or “withdrawn” status, they can reclaim it. However, we are still working with EURid to implement this process in a way that creates the least amount of work for our team and our resellers. The reality is, it will not be as straightforward as a standard domain redemption. We will provide you further details as soon as we have them.