On December 31st, 2020, the UK left the European Union. This withdrawal is having many consequences, particularly in relation to domain names. For example, there was an impact on the domain name portfolios of British individuals and companies.
It is important for businesses to know what domain names are available to them. To do so, the policies adopted by the various European Registries, whether European ccTLDs or national ccTLDs and other geoTLDs, must be taken into account.
EU : the European TLD
Since January 1st, 2021, EURid (.EU Registry) no longer allows the registration of new .EU domain names by British registrants. Moreover, from that date, EURid no longer allows the transfer of a domain name to a British registrant.
As a result, the eligibility criteria have evolved. With regard to the European regulations in force on the subject, .EU domain names can now be registered by:
- A European Union citizen, regardless of his place of residence;
- An individual person who is not a citizen of the Union and who resides in a member state;
- A company established within the Union; or
- An organization established in the Union, without prejudice to applicable national law.
The only exception being a British citizen residing in the European Union – they are eligible to register for a .EU domain.
ccTLDs of the Member State of the European Union
British individuals and companies are no longer allowed to register a ccTLDs domain related to the following European countries:
- .BG – Bulgaria : art. 3 of the terms and conditions for domain name registration and support in the .BG zone and the sub-zones,
- .CZ – Czech Republic : art. 12.6 of the Rules of Domain Names Registration under the .cz ccTLD,
- .FR – France : press release from AFNIC,
- .HU – Hungary : art. 1.1.1. of the Domain registry Policy,
- .IT – Italy : art. 18.104.22.168) of the Assignment and management of domain names in the ccTLD .it,
- .LV – Latvia : art. 3.1. of the Policy for acquisition of the right to use domain names under the top level domain .lv.
British individuals and companies will be able to keep their domains in some European countries such as:
- .AT – Austria : art. 1 of the General Terms and Conditions,
- .BE – Belgium : art. 1 and 3 of the Terms and Conditions for .be domain name registrations,
- .DE – Germany : §3(4) of the DENIC Domain Terms and Conditions,
- .DK – Denmark : Terms and Conditions for the Right to Use a .DK Domain Name,
- .EE – Estonia : art. 3.1.1, 4 and 4(1) of the .ee Domain Regulation,
- .ES – Spain : .ES Terms and Services (in Spanish),
- .FI – Finland : Domain Name Regulation 68/2016,
- .HR – Croatia –only legal entities are allowed to register a domain name with proof of a British ID number– : art. 15 of the Organisation and Management of the National Top-Level Domain, as amended by Article 5 of the Ordinance on Amendments to the Ordinance on the Organisation and Management of the National Top-Level Domain,
- .IE – Ireland –additional conditions may be required– : art. 3E of the Registration and Naming in the .IE Namespace Policy, Process, Procedures, Rules & Guidelines,
- .LT – Lithuania : Procedural Regulation for the .LT Top-Level Domain,
- .LU – Luxemburg : art. 2 of the Domain Name Charter under .lu,
- .MT – Malta : art. 4.3 of the Domain Name Registration Policy,
- .NL – The Netherlands –additional conditions may be required– : art. 1.1. of the General Terms and Conditions for .nl Registrants (1 May 2019),
- .PL – Poland : .pl Domain Name Regulations,
- .PT – Portugal : art. 11 of the .PT Domain Registration Rules,
- .RO – Romania : Rules for Registration,
- .SE – Sweden : Terms and Conditions of Registration For the top-level domain .se.
- .SK – Slovakia –eligibility rules recently updated– : art. 2.1 of the Terms and Conditions of Domain Name Service in .sk Top Level Domain,
British ccTLD .uk and its SLDs ?
Despite Brexit, the conditions of eligibility remain the same. European individuals and legal entities can still register a .UK domain name under the same conditions as before December 31st, 2020. All the British SLDs managed by Nominet are not affected.
geoTLDS of the Member State of the European Union
These extensions are linked to a city, a region or a cultural community. Most of the time, some eligibility rules should be respected and/or sometimes a content control or cultural interest may be required. Some are open to British citizens and some are not. You can find out more on this blog post.