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What happens to .eu domains after Brexit?

.eu domain names after Brexit

The UK’s exit from the European Union has prompted a range of concerns, but one question is especially relevant for online businesses: what happens to .eu domain names registered in the UK?

Brexit notice from the .eu registry

EURid, the registry that manages the .eu domain, has released a Brexit notice detailing how the .eu regulatory framework will change as the UK’s exit comes into effect.

The .eu Brexit notice states that individuals and organisations that do not reside within the EU will no longer be eligible to register or renew .eu domain names after the UK’s withdrawal date.

However, this date may be subject to a withdrawal agreement that includes a transitional arrangement. Confirmation is not yet possible due to ongoing UK-EU negotiations, but EURid has outlined action plans for two possible scenarios:

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal on 30 March 2019:

  • As of 30 March 2019, it will no longer be possible to register or renew .eu domains with the UK registrant country code (GB/GI).
  • Registrants of existing .eu domains who do not comply with the registration changes will be notified by email.
  • Registrants will be given until 30 May 2019 to update their data or transfer their domains to a valid EU registrant. The domains in question will remain active during this two-month period, but will not be eligible for renewal or transfer to another non-EU registrant.
  • Any registrants who do not show compliance by the end of the two-month period will have their domains withdrawn, meaning they will no longer function with website or email services. On 30 March 2020, the affected domains will be revoked and will become available for general registration.

If the UK leaves the EU following a planned transitional period on 31 December 2020 or a later date:

  • As of 1 January 2021, it will no longer be possible to register or renew .eu domains with the UK registrant country code (GB/GI).
  • Registrants of existing .eu domains who do not comply with the registration changes will be notified by email.
  • Registrants will be given until 2 March 2021 to update their data or transfer their domains to a valid EU registrant. The domains in question will remain active during this two-month period, but will not be eligible for renewal or transfer to another non-EU registrant.
  • Any registrants who do not show compliance by the end of the two-month period will have their domains withdrawn, meaning they will no longer function with website or email services. On 1 January 2022, the affected domains will be revoked and will become available for general registration.

Please note that these plans and dates are all subject to future developments in the Brexit process. EURid will provide updates as and when the situation changes.

Full details of the current action plans: https://eurid.eu/en/register-a-eu-domain/brexit-notice/.

How to keep .eu domains after Brexit

As detailed in the Brexit notice above, the only way for UK-based people and businesses to keep their .eu domains is to update their registration data with valid EU contact details.

This is possible, for example, if your company has a registered address located inside one of the remaining 27 EU countries or the European Economic Area. With valid contact details for an EU-resident individual or legally established entity, your .eu domains will be fully compliant with the changes and will continue to function normally.

For information on changing the address associated with a domain in your Fasthosts control panel, read our help article: how to update the contact details for a domain name.

.eu domains post Brexit: what to do next

If you intend to keep your .eu domains after Brexit, we recommend updating your contact details with an EU address as soon as possible.

However, if you don’t intend to keep your .eu domains post Brexit, there are still steps you can take to manage the transition. If you haven’t already done so, you should start redirecting traffic to a different domain immediately – this will introduce your new web address to users in advance, while also minimising any impact on your SEO ranking and online marketing activities.

Need an alternative domain name? The .uk domain is ideal for any British business looking to attract both a local and a global audience – and if you already have a .co.uk, you may have the equivalent .uk set aside for you until 10 June 2019. Even better, you can now get your reserved .uk domain free for the first year with Fasthosts. Visit our rights of registration page to find out more.

Neal Thoms's picture

Neal Thoms

Author As a content creator for Fasthosts, Neal’s main focus is cloud technology and how it’s transforming everything we do online. He’s worked in the web hosting industry for over five years.