Post-Brexit & .EU Domains

The UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2020 after the ratification of the withdrawal agreement in Parliament. A transitioning period is now in effect to temporarily hold off any changes and allow the UK and the EU to negotiate their future relationship. During this period, UK owners of .eu domain names had the option of getting a .eu proxy service to help mitigate the impact of Brexit. Now that the transitioning period ended December 31, 2020 there are crucial dates which UK citizens need to be abreast of and their implications.

How to keep ownership of your .eu domain?

According to Article 4 (2) (b) of Regulation (EC) No 733/2002, the following persons and organizations are eligible to register .eu domain names:

  • You’re a citizen of the EU independent of your place of residence
  • You’re a resident of the EU even though you have no citizenship in an EU country
  • You established a company in the EU.

What factors makes you ineligible to hold a .eu domain?

The listed factors make you ineligible to hold a .eu domain name. Each of the listed factors would be classed as UK registrant:

  • You are a UK Organization established outside of the EU
  • You reside outside of the EU
  • You’re a UK registrant with no EU citizenship

What happens to a .eu domain post-brexit?

EURid, the registry which is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the .eu top level domain, has issued the following timelines before all UK registrants of .eu domain names will be revoked and available for ownership by compliant parties:

Suspended January 01 – June 30, 2021 – All UK registrants who did not demonstrate compliance with the new eligibility standards during the transitioning period ended December 31, 2020 was informed by EURid that their domain names were no longer compliant and was consequently moved to a SUSPENDED status until June 30, 2021. Registrants under this status can be reinstated once they become compliant with the new standards however, a domain name remaining in this status cannot support any service such as website and email.

Withdrawn July 01 – December 31 2021 – Should July arrive and registrants are still not compliant, EURid will again inform all UK registrants that their domain name is not compliant and consequently will be moved to the WITHDRAWN status. If you find yourself in this status, note that you cannot support any service. The good side to this is that WITHDRAWN domain names are not available to any other entity until January 1, 2022.

Revoked January 1 2022 – If UK registrants did not become compliant; all the domain names previously assigned to them in the WITHDRAWN status will be REVOKED and available for general registration.

Are new registrations affected?

As stated before, if you do not meet the new required eligibility standards, then you’re not allowed to register any new domain name. EURid will not allow you to transfer or transfer through update, of any domain name to a UK registrant.

After the transition period, UK citizens living in the EU continues to be eligible to hold a .eu domain name. This is based on their residence. However, UK citizens located outside of the EU are no longer eligible to hold a .eu domain name.

One thing is for sure as outlined by the Government, organizations and individuals established in the UK will not be able to renew their .eu domain names in the event of a no-deal Brexit. But registrants can keep abreast of these timelines as they work through finding an amicable solution.

What other options are there?

You can seek to use a reputable .EU Proxy Service which can acquire and register your .eu domain name using EU proxy address. This can bypass the location restriction.

You can transfer your internet presence to another top level domain. Examples are: .com, .org, or .net. In doing this, you can let customers know that you’re moving or have moved to another domain. You can use a holding page to redirect web traffic towards your new domain or update your search engine optimization.

For more alternative plans, you may visit Gov.UK.

Generally, the deliberations between the UK and the EU sets out new agreements and rules that apply between the UK and the EU as of 1 January 2021.

The rules touched on a number of areas such as: travel and border controls; trade in services like the delivery services and telecommunications; trade in goods, such as flowers and food; fair competition, including areas such as working hours and rules on the environment; and fisheries, including how much fish EU vessels can catch in UK waters.

It’s a wrap

UK registrants who have not complied with the new standards are faced with having their .eu domain names revoked by January 1, 2022. Until then, these domains cannot support any service such as website or email. To mitigate this, UK registrants can sign up with a reputable .EU Proxy Service, choose to become compliant or transfer to a top level domain.