Brexit busting – possible bad news for holders of a .eu domain name

1 October 2018

Background – .eu domain names

Back in March 2018, the EU Commission ramped up the pressure on the UK by issuing a communication regarding future registrations for the .eu Top Level Domain. Briefly, they announced that, absent any transitional and/or withdrawal agreement with the UK, .eu domains would not available to UK registrants after withdrawal.

EURid’s actions

Following this, EURid, the body responsible for .eu registrations, announced that it was drawing up plans for refusing registrations or renewal requests from UK based registrants. EURid recently posted a notice concerning this and setting out those points where it was seeking clarification.

Possible outcomes

We do not of course know what the outcome of the current negotiations is going to be. Against the scenario – increasingly likely – that there will be no deal on Brexit, then UK based registrants of a .eu domain will lose the right to renew it, unless they have (or obtain) some sort of EU postal address which becomes their new admin address or are (or become) an EU resident.

The numbers are not precise, but there are probably over 300,000 UK registrants of a .eu domain, so this is important for those businesses which are relying on such a domain for their trade. The sad reality is that plans are underway, in the absence of some sort of agreement between the UK and the EU, to revoke those registrations as from 30 March 2019.

Conclusion

Given the current political uncertainty, those UK based businesses with a .eu would be well advised to acquire a different Top Level Domain, such as a .co.uk domain, and commence plans to transition to it rather than finding themselves suddenly without a domain name in April 2019.