There have been two recent updates on who can hold .eu website domain names from the end of the transition period and the timetable for implementing this.

Who is affected?

As outlined in the European Commission’s Notice to Stakeholders published on 26 May 2020 and EURid’s Brexit Notice published on 3 June 2020, after the end of the transition period, the EU rules in the field of .eu Top Level Domain names will no longer apply to the UK.

Both notices confirm that this means that the following organisations and individuals will no longer be eligible to hold a .eu domain name:

  • UK organisations and UK undertakings that are established in the UK but not in the EU or EEA;
  • UK citizens who are not a resident of a Member State; and
  • UK residents who are not EU citizens.

Note that EU citizens who are residing in the UK can still hold a .eu domain name once the Transition Period has ended, but will be required to update their registration data to evidence their EU citizenship.

What happens next?

The transition period is set to end on 31 December 2020. EURid have therefore set out the following timeline based on the transition period ending at the end of this year.

1 October 2020EURid will email all existing UK registrants and their registrars to explain that from 1 January 2021 they will lose their eligibility to hold any .eu domain name(s), unless they are able to update registration details to demonstrate compliance with the .eu regulatory framework.
21 December 2020EURid will send a second email to all UK registrants and their registrars who have not yet demonstrated continued compliance.
1 January 2021 (as of 00:00:00 CET)EURid will notify all UK registrants and their registrars by email that their .eu domain name(s) are no longer compliant with the .eu regulatory framework and are consequently withdrawn. EURid also won’t allow the registration of any new domain name by UK registrants from this date AND neither will it allow the transfer of any domain name to a UK registrant.
1 January 2022 (as of 00:00:00 CET).eu domain names that have been withdrawn will become available for general registration by eligible registrants.

Next steps

According to the progress report from EURid for Q1 2020, more than 142,000 .eu, top level domain names are held by UK registrants.

If you or your business are within that 142,000, and you want to keep your .eu domain name, you will need to explore routes to continued compliance.

The Brexit Notice suggests that this could be done by:

  • indicating a legally established entity in one of the eligible Member States; or
  • updating residence to a Member State; or
  • proving citizenship of a Member State irrespective of their residence.