The beginning of 2021 saw the end of the transition period whilst the United Kingdom exited the European Union. As a result, companies and individuals based in the UK can no longer hold .EU domain names as only the following persons, companies or organisations are eligible to register .eu domain names:
- a European Union citizen, independently of their place of residence;
- a natural person who is not a European Union citizen and who is a resident of a Member State;
- an undertaking that is established in the European Union; or
- an organisation that is established in the European Union, without prejudice to the application of national law.
Companies or organisations established in the United Kingdom but not in the European Union, United Kingdom citizens who are not resident of a Union Member State, and United Kingdom residents who are not Union citizens are no longer be eligible to hold a .eu domain name.
EURid, as the administrator for the .EU domain names has announced the following measures:
1. No New registrations for UK organisations or citizens
As from 1 January 2021, 00:00:00 CET, EURid will NOT allow the registration of any new domain name by UK registrants.
From that date, EURid will allow neither the transfer, nor the transfer through update, of any domain name to a UK registrant.
2. Existing registrations will be suspended and later revoked
From 1 January 2021, as of 00:00:00 CET, EURid will notify by email all UK registrants and their registrars that their domain name is no longer compliant with the .eu regulatory framework and therefore, it is moved to the so-called “SUSPENDED” status until 31 March 2021. A domain name in the “SUSPENDED” status can no longer support any service (such as website and email), but may still be reinstated if registration data is updated to meet the eligibility criteria (see below).
On 1 April 2021, 00:00:00 CET, EURid will once again notify by email all UK registrants and their registrars that their domain name is no longer compliant with the .eu regulatory framework and consequently is moved to the so-called “WITHDRAWN” status. A domain name in the “WITHDRAWN” status is not in the zone file and cannot support any service.
On 1 January 2022, as of 00:00:00 CET, all the domain names in the “WITHDRAWN” status, formerly assigned to UK registrants, will be REVOKED and subsequently, become AVAILABLE for general registration. Their release will occur in batches for security reasons.
The registrar has clarified that:
- European Union citizens who are residing in the United Kingdom will remain eligible to hold a .eu domain name after the end of the transition period provided they update their registration data with their EU citizenship.
- United Kingdom citizens residing in a European Union Member State will continue to be eligible to hold a .eu domain name after the transition period based on their residence. However, United Kingdom citizens residing outside of the Union Member States, will no longer be eligible to hold a .eu domain name after the end of the transition period.
Reinstatement of Domain Names
One simple way to re-instate the domain name is to change inform your registrar of the citizenship of the person or the company, if the company has an office based in the EU or the holder of the domain is a European citizens. Most registrars have implemented a system to enable domain name holders to record their citizenship.
Another way to re-instate the domain name is to assign it to a company or organisation based in the European Union. This does not mean changing the website, email system or any thing else. It will merely ensure that the domain name remain eligible for use.
If your .EU domain name is currently suspended because of Brexit or if you have any further questions about domain names, then do get in touch.
[Illustration: Gts / Stockillustrations / Shutterstock]