How Brexit will affect .EU Domains
Brexit and EU Domains
When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, it will no longer be possible to register a .EU domain name to an address in the UK. Likewise, it will no longer be possible to renew existing registrations where the domain is registered to a UK address.
Following Brexit, individuals and businesses in the UK will no longer be able to own a .EU domain name unless it is registered to a postal address within the EU.
Revocation of Existing Rights
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.
When will .EU Rights be revoked?
- In the event of a no-deal brexit, existing holders' rights will be revoked on 30 March 2019.
- In the event of a brexit deal, existing holders' rights will be revoked on 1 January 2021.
What can I do with my .EU domain?
- If possible, update the domain to be registered to a subsidiary in the EU (if the domain is vital to your business).
- Start moving email and web traffic on to replacement domains now so that in the event of a no-deal brexit, web and email hosting services are not affected.
- As above, start moving email and web traffic on to an alternative domain name as soon as possible.
If you need any help or advice in moving your Freeola & GetDotted services to a new domain, our Support Team will be able to help.
You can also register alternative domains.
1. Registration and Renewal of Domain Names
In accordance with Article 4(2)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 733/2002, the following persons are eligible to register .eu domain names: (i) undertakings having their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the EU; (ii) organisations established within the EU (without prejudice to the application of national law); and (iii) natural persons resident within the EU.
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.
2. Revocation of Registered Domain Names
Where, as of the withdrawal date and as a result of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, a holder of a domain name does no longer fulfil the general eligibility criteria pursuant to Article 4(2)(b) of Regulation (EC) 733/2002, the Registry for .eu will be entitled to revoke such domain name on its own initiative and without submitting the dispute to any extrajudicial settlement of conflicts in accordance with point (b) of Article 20, first subparagraph, of Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004.
3. Rights that can be invoked in procedures for the revocation of speculative and abusive registrations
According to Article 21(1) of Commission Regulation (EC) 874/2004, a registered domain name shall be subject to revocation, using an appropriate extra-judicial or judicial procedure, where that name is identical or confusingly similar to a name in respect of which a right is recognised or established by national and/or Union law and where the registered domain name was the subject of speculative and abusive registration as described in that Article.
As of the withdrawal date, rights recognised or established by the United Kingdom, but not by EU-27 Member States or by the Union, can no longer be invoked in procedures under Article 21(1). By contrast, rights recognised by the Member States or by the Union, arising from international instruments, like rights arising from Article 6bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and Article 16(2) and (3) of the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, are not affected.
4. Applicable Law in Agreements Between Accredited .EU Registrars and .EU Registrants
In accordance with Article 5, first subparagraph, of Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004, agreements between the Registrar and the registrant of a .eu domain name cannot designate, as applicable law, a law other than the law of a EU Member State, nor can they designate a dispute-resolution body, unless selected by the .eu Top Level Domain Registry pursuant to Article 23 of that Regulation, nor an arbitration court or a court located outside the EU.
Should any such agreement designate as applicable law the law of the United Kingdom, the Registrar and registrant concerned are advised to amend the relevant agreement accordingly so that it complies with Article 5, first subparagraph, of Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 as of the withdrawal date.
The websites of the Commission on the EU rules for the digital single market (https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/the-top-level-domain-.eu and http://ec.europa.eu/ipg/basics/urls/doteu_en.htm) provide general information on the rules concerning the Top Level Domain .eu.