UK businesses with websites that contain the top-level domain ‘.eu’ will have two months to transfer ownership to sister companies in the EU after Brexit.
The policy, which has been set following discussions with the European Commission, was confirmed by the domain name registry EURid that operates the ‘.eu’ top-level domain.
Businesses that fail to take action in the two month time period following Brexit are at risk of having their rights to use ‘.eu’ domain names withdrawn and eventually cancelled.
The right to register web addresses with the ‘.eu’ domain is restricted under EU law and the UK government issued a warning late last year, saying:
“If your current .eu registration is due to expire after 29 March 2019, you may wish to discuss transferring your registration to another top level domain. Examples of other top level domains include .com, .co.uk, .net or .org.”
The deadline for UK businesses with ‘.eu’ domain names is fast approaching and EURid issued a warning to users, saying:
“As of 30 May 2019, 00:00:00 CEST, all registrants who did not demonstrate their eligibility will be deemed ineligible and their domain names will be withdrawn. A withdrawn domain name no longer functions, as the domain name is removed from the zone file and can no longer support any active services (such as websites or email) but the record will remain in the .eu registry database, and may be reactivated if the eligibility criteria are satisfied.”
Additionally, twelve months after the UK leaves the EU, all affected domain names will be revoked and will become available for general registration.
This means that businesses that fail to change their domain name risk someone else snatching it up which could be quite problematic.
UK-based owners of ‘.eu’ domain names will also no longer be able to renew them if they expire after Brexit.