Loss of .EU domains for UK businesses post-Brexit

In a statement issued on 28 March 2018, the European Commission announced that it will cancel all .eu top-level domains held by UK registrants when the United Kingdom exits the European Union. There is a suggestion that these domains could be cancelled immediately, prior to their renewal date with no right of appeal, when the UK withdraws from the EU (currently scheduled for 30 March 2019).

According to recent statistics, there are just over 317,000 .eu domains registered in the UK. As well as the impact on UK .eu domain holders, cancellation would have a huge impact on EURid (the registry that manages .eu domains), as it is estimated that this figure amounts to roughly a tenth of the Registry’s total domains.

There is a glimmer of hope though, as the official document issued by the European Commission states that amendments could be made or clarification given in the transitional agreement between the EU and UK. Given that companies in Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein can own .eu domains, there may still be room for negotiation under the terms of the final Brexit settlement.

Due to the uncertainty, however, any individuals or organisations domiciled in the UK, whose website relies on a .eu domain name, would be wise to start thinking about an alternative.

Article from Boyes Turner.

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