What Will Happen to Your .eu Domain Name After Brexit?
With the uncertainty of a Brexit date, and no clear statement as yet of how this will happen, the implications of UK-based ownership of .eu domain names could come under scrutiny. Recently, the European Commission announced changes to eligibility for holders of .eu domains, and although ongoing discussions about any transitional arrangement are not concluded, and could be subject to change within a Withdrawal Agreement, it is important for persons, businesses and organisations that are currently established within the UK, but not within the EU to be aware of the implications, particularly those that will apply in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario, and to be prepared for them.
The proposed exit of the UK from the EU changes the eligibility criteria for the registration and renewal of .eu domain names. Where registrants contact information includes a British or Gibraltar country code, after the withdrawal, EURid, the .eu registry, has announced that ‘accredited .eu registrars will not be entitled to process any request’ for registration or renewal.
What will happen if there is a no-deal Brexit?
The .eu registry has announced that it will allow a transition period for those existing .eu domain names up to 30th May 2019. This will allow current registrants the chance to update the domain’s contact information to reflect and comply with the EU requirements.
During the transition period running up to 30th May 2019 the domains will remain in active mode and registrants will be able to transfer the domain names and settings to compliant EU registrants. No new .eu domain names will be issued to applicants with non-EU postal codes.
At the end of the transition period, .eu domains will remain in the registry databases, but will be withdrawn and will no longer have functionality. All withdrawn domain names will remain in the registry database until 30th March 2020, when they will be revoked and made available to registrants deemed eligible (i.e. those registrants with EU postal addresses).
What about if there is a Withdrawal Agreement?
If the UK agrees a deal, then the transition period (currently agreed as 31st December 2020), then new registrations of .eu domain names will not be possible from 1st January 2021. The transitional period will continue until 2nd March 2021, when registrants will be able to update the contact data to meet EU compliance.
The same conditions will apply to the new dates as those in a no-deal Brexit. Withdrawn .eu domain names under these terms will be made available to new EU registrants on 1st January 2022.
Why won’t British or Gibraltar postal addresses be eligible to register .eu domain names after Brexit?
Eligibility to hold a .eu domain name requires that registrants hold a current EU postal address. Currently, the UK is still a member of the EU, but after Brexit, UK addresses will no longer be within the EU. This rule will also apply to EU nationals living in the UK. Without a valid EU registration address, .eu domains cannot be purchased according to EURid.
What you should do and how J&L can help
If your business has a legal, physical presence in the EU, including a business address or residency within the EU27 (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), you should update your contact information with that EU address as soon as possible before 30th March 2019.
Another possible path is to add another domain extension to your current business – i.e. a non-.eu domain – and begin the transition of your website traffic now. This can help to minimise the potential damage to your online presence, particularly if you cannot meet the eligibility criteria in time before the .eu domain name is withdrawn.
Jarrett and Lam understand how much pressure these types of potential changes place and realise the implications and impact businesses across the EU could face. We can help you with these changes and assist you with the transition of your domain and website traffic to help limit the potential damage in advance of the changes to eligibility.
Talk to us and let us help you to find the right solution for your business. Call us for a no-obligation chat on +44 (0)1293 127 128 or use the contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.