EURid, a registry for .eu internet domains, has confirmed the decision to revoke .eu domain names belonging to UK registrants after the UK leaves European Union. The revocation will happen whether the UK exits with or without a deal.
.eu domains in a 'no-deal' scenario
If a no-deal exit takes place on 29 March 2019, UK-registered owners of .eu websites will have two months to:
- transfer ownership of their domain to a different person or entity based in the EU
- update the contact data associated with their domain name
The domains will remain active during the two-month period but certain actions (such as automatic renewal) will not be possible.
From 30 May 2019, registrants who fail to meet the criteria to hold a .eu domain will have their domain name withdrawn.
A withdrawn domain will no longer function but it will remain in the .eu registry database. You may be able to reactivate it if you meet the registration criteria.
12 months after the UK withdrawal, on 30 March 2020, EURid will revoke all remaining affected domains and release them back on the market for general registration.
.eu registrations if there is a Brexit deal
If the UK secures a deal before leaving the EU, new registrations of .eu domains will not be possible from 1 January 2021.
The two-month cancellation period for existing domains will begin on the same date. Businesses will have until 2 March 2021 to transfer ownership to an address within the EU area or risk losing their domain name for good by 1 January 2022.
This timeline is subject to any transitional arrangement set out in a possible withdrawal agreement.
What to do if you own a .eu domain name?
The implications of losing your business' domain name could be far-reaching. If you currently own a .eu website, you should urgently check whether you will remain entitled to it post-Brexit.
If not, you should consider one of two options:
- transfer ownership of your domain to a person or entity based in the EU
- transfer your website to a different top-level domain, such as .co.uk, .com, etc
The UK government has recently issued guidance on .eu domain registrations in the event of a 'no deal' exit.
As uncertainty around the UK's exit continues, we would strongly advise that you also regularly check EURid's latest Brexit notice.