Following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU on 29th March 2019, UK based individuals and organisations will no longer be eligible to have a .eu domain. If you currently have or are considering purchasing a .eu domain, the information provided here will explain how this affects you and what you need to do.
- The European Commission has given notice that when the UK leaves the EU, any organisation which is established in the UK but not in the EU, together with individuals who reside in the United Kingdom, will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names.
- Any individual or UK company that currently has a .eu registered domain will not be allowed to renew it.
- .eu domains registered in the UK will be withdrawn so they no longer function and will, at a later date, be revoked, so that they become available in the EU for others to register.
The dates from which these rules begin to take force is 30th March 2019, in the event of a no deal, or 1st January 2021 if a withdrawal deal is agreed.
Detailed breakdown of the EU’s ruling and relevant dates
|Important Points||No-Deal Dates||With-Deal Dates|
|Ban on new registrations
The registration of new .eu domains will be prohibited from any individual or organisation which has a registrant country code GB or GI (i.e., UK or Gibraltar).
|From 30th March 2019||From 1st January 2021|
|Existing domain holders notified of non-compliance
.eu domain registrants with GB or GI country codes will be notified that their domain name no longer complies with the .eu regulatory framework.
|From 30th March 2019||From 1st January 2021|
|Two months to comply
Existing registrants will have 2 months to demonstrate compliance. This means they will need to prove that they are legally established in one of the remaining 27 EU countries and update their contact data accordingly. During this time, any .eu domain names will remain active.
|Until 30th May 2019||Until 2nd March 2021|
|Possible actions by .eu registrants
Registrants can make a number of changes to their domain registration details, if applicable, such as updating their phone numbers, email and physical addresses, adding a new contact, or changing the name server and DNSSEC details. They can also transfer the domain name to a new registrant, provided they are based within the EU.
|Up to 30th May 2019||Up to 2nd March 2021|
.eu registrants from the UK or Gibraltar will face a number of restrictions. They will not be able to transfer the domain name to any organisation within the UK, they cannot extend registration unless it is being transferred to a registrant within the EU and the domain cannot be automatically renewed.
|From 30th March 2019||From 2nd Jan 2021|
|Domains stop working
All .eu domains registered to UK or Gibraltar based organisations or individuals will be given withdrawn status and will no longer operate. As a result, you will not be able to use them to host websites or send and receive emails.
|As of 30th May 2019||As of 2nd March 2021|
|Domains are revoked
One year following the withdrawal, all the affected domains are to be revoked. If you still have the domain registered, you will lose control of it at this point and it will become available within the EU for others to register.
|30th March 2020||1st January 2022|
Other important considerations
EU citizens in the UK
The points mentioned above apply to all .eu domains registered within the UK and Gibraltar, including those registered to EU citizens living in the United Kingdom.
Following Brexit, organisations that take legal action to retain their .eu domain will have their registration placed on hold until the courts make a decision. During this time, the domains will cease to function. If the court rules that the domain name should stay with the UK organisation, it will remain withdrawn and still cease to function unless registration is transferred to within the EU.
What to do if you have a .eu domain
As we still have the potential of a no-deal Brexit, UK based individuals and organisations with .eu domains need to act quickly, especially if it is your primary domain that has the .eu extension.
Your first task should be to register a new Top Level Domain, such as .co.uk, .org or .com. You can check the availability of a new domain and register it by visiting our domain page.
Once this is done, you can transfer your website and email accounts to your new domain to ensure your business continues operating after the .eu domain ceases to function.
While you still have the .eu domain registered to you, you should redirect all it’s visitors to your new site. At the same time, you can forward emails from your old .eu addresses to your new addresses, though it is critical that you let contacts know of the address changes.