New Guidance For UK Businesses With .eu Domain Names
Over 300,000 UK businesses currently have .eu domain names. If your business is among this number, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with recent guidance relating to the future of those domains if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29th March 2019 (https://eurid.eu/en/register-a-eu-domain/brexit-notice/).
The guidance has been published by EURid, the organisation that administers .eu domain names on behalf of the European Commission.
The key points made in the guidance are:
- The right to register a domain name under .eu is only available to a person, company or organisation based in the EU;
- Once the UK withdraws from the EU, persons, companies and organisations based in the UK, will cease to have this right. As a result, persons, companies and/or organisations based in the UK who have already registered .eu domains (“UK registrants”) will cease to meet the conditions for registration;
- UK registrants will have two months from 29th March to take action to save their registrations. The options include transferring ownership to a sister company in the EU, contact data changes or converting the registration to another top level domain (e.g. .com or .co.uk);
- If such remedial action is not taken by 30th May 2019, the relevant domain names will automatically be withdrawn (meaning that websites and emails will cease to work);
- Twelve months after the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (i.e. 30th March 2020) the affected domain names will be revoked and they will become available for general registration. Up until this point, however, it will be possible for a UK registrant to reactivate a withdrawn registration if it can demonstrate that the eligibility criteria can now be met (e.g. contact data details have been updated to refer to an entity established/registered in the EU).
The EURid guidance also deals with the position if the UK leaves the EU on 30th December 2020, following a planned transitional period.
If you’d like further advice about this or any of the other commercial law implications of Brexit, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our Commercial Team.