How Brexit will impact your .EU domain ownership

As we approach a potential Brexit on March 30 2019, we’re making plans to deal with the potential impacts to domain names. This could mean that UK residents who hold .EU domain name(s) will no longer be able to own their .EU domain name(s).

While it is not known today whether or not there will be a “hard Brexit” we are moving forward under that assumption since a hard Brexit has the biggest impact on .EU registrants in the UK.

If there is a negotiated “soft Brexit”, there may be provisions included in that deal for .EU domains that could allow UK residents to continue to use them. Without a deal of some sort, EURid (the authority that operates and sets the rules for .EU domains) has laid out how things will proceed and that’s what we’re planning for at this time.

It’s important for you to learn how a “hard Brexit” will impact your domain ownership.

If you are the registrant (owner) of a .EU domain name (either as an individual or a company) with a GB or GI address in the owner contact, you would no longer be eligible under .EU registration rules post Brexit. As a result, you would eventually lose your .EU domain name unless you can make changes to your registration record to satisfy the requirements. In order to own a .EU domain, you must be located in a Member State of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, or Iceland. There are no work-arounds that Hover or any domain name registrar can provide customers.

If the UK leaves the EU on March 30, 2019 without a deal in place (a “hard” Brexit), the following will happen:

If you’re registering a NEW .EU domain name:

March 30, 2019, 00:00 CET: Any person using a Great Britain (GB) or Gibraltar (GI) address will no longer be able to register a new .EU domain name. Note: Hover will stop allowing new .EU domain registrations with GB or GI addresses on or around March 1, 2019 to protect registrants from purchasing domains that may be unusable within three months.

If you already have a .EU domain name with a GB or GI address:

March 1, 2019: Hover will stop allowing edits to .EU domain names that change the address to be in either GB or GI. This prevents registrants from putting their compliant domains into a non-compliant state. Existing .EU domains with GB or GI will still be editable, but only to change the address to a non-GB or GI address.

Late March 2019: You will be contacted by EURid if you have a GB or GI address associated with your .EU domain name. You will have “the possibility to demonstrate their compliance with the .eu regulatory framework by updating their contact data.”

  • For organizations: this would involve indicating a legally established entity in one of the eligible EU27 (the current EU Member States minus the UK) or European Economic Area (EEA) Member States.
  • For individuals: this would involve updating their residence to a physical address located in one of the EU27 or EEA Member States.
  • The registrant may also choose to transfer the domain name to an EU resident outside of the UK.

March 30, 2019, 00:00 CET: For existing domains, any GB or GI residents will not be able to accept transfers of .EU domain names.

Between March 30, 2019, at 00:00 CET - May 30, 2019, at 00:00 CET: The registry will lock domain names that do not belong to EU residents. If your domain name is locked it means that you will not be able to make changes, such as transferring your domain name to another UK resident or updating the DNS, until you update your contact information to satisfy the eligibility requirements or transfer the domain to an EU resident. To maintain your domain name’s active status and to prevent locking, you need to have an EU address. Locking the domain name will prevent:

  • Registrant transfer (ownership change or transferring your domain name) to a non-EU registrant
    • It will be possible to transfer the domain name to an EU resident
  • Renewals (both early renewals and automatic renewals will fail)


May 30, 2019, at 00:00 CET: Any registrant who has failed to demonstrate their eligibility will have their domain placed in “Withdrawn” status, which means that the domain won’t resolve and any linked services will become inactive. This means that any website at the domain will no longer work and email or other services like Google Apps will also stop working. The registration record will remain on file with the registry. The registrant is still able to reactivate their domain by updating their registration data to satisfy the eligibility requirements, thereby removing the Withdrawn status.

What happens to your domain name

Withdrawn domains will be unavailable for registration by anyone while in the withdrawn state. They are neither registered, nor are they available for registration - they are in a limbo state. The registrant at the time the domain entered withdrawn status can, by contacting EURid, have the domain restored provided they can show that they now satisfy the requirements to register a .EU domain.

March 30, 2020, at 00:00 CET: The .EU domain name you previously owned, if in “Withdrawn” status, will be made available for registration by users who comply with the .EU regulations.

 

What should I do if I have a .EU domain and I live in the UK:

If you can update the address to be in the EU27 prior to March 30, 2019, you should do so as soon as possible. We strongly advise against putting false information or purporting to be at an address that you aren’t really connected to. EURid may audit the updates and require proof that the address is valid and that you are connected to that address. If they then find that you have submitted incorrect information, the domain will be revoked.

If you can’t update the domain to have an address that isn’t in GB or GI, then we suggest that you register an alternative domain (if you don’t have one already) or switch over to make an alternative domain your primary domain in advance of the expiry of your .EU domain or May 30, 2019 (whichever comes first). If you are looking for some alternative domain names to your .EU, we have some ideas for you.

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