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Brexit - 81,000 EU domains of British owners at risk

81,000 EU domains belonging to UK citizens and businesses could be cancelled in three months.

Approximately 81,000 .euDomains of UK owners have been placed on suspended status as a result of the recent Brexit and are therefore temporarily inaccessible. According to a report by The Register, these are domains belonging to owners who have not taken care of their domains despite several levels of notification and warning.

The responsible registry has already sent notifications to the affected persons in the first half of 2020. The company responsible, EURid (Belgium), also drew up a Brexit plan that was supposed to allow citizens of the United Kingdom to continue using their domains. However, the chaotic negotiations surrounding the Brexit have led to this plan being suspended again.

EU domain requires establishment in an EU Member State

In the last Brexit note EURid explained in November 2020 which conditions British and UK companies and organisations have to fulfil in order to continue using their .eu domains after the Brexit transition period.

Accordingly, the EU regulatory framework requires them to "declare a legally established establishment in one of the eligible Union Member States or update their residence to a Union Member State or prove their citizenship of a Union Member State irrespective of their residence".

Persons without residency or citizenship of an EU country as well as companies without an EU branch office are thus not allowed to continue using their .eu domains.

Three months to prove

Originally, around 300,000 domains were affected by the changes. In the meantime, 81,000 domains with an unclear status remain, whose owners still have three months to prove that they comply with the EU legal framework.

On 1 April 2021, EURid will then move the remaining domains to the so-called "WITHDRAWN" status in accordance with the .eu regulatory framework. The domains will then no longer contain a zone file and can no longer be used. From 1 January 2022, the domains will then be gradually moved to "AVAILABLE" status and can be re-registered.

Interested parties should reserve suitable domains already now e.g. at the webhoster.com AG. Here you can already apply for domains that might become free. register and then hope to be the first to take the vacant Domain to register.

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