Back in 2019 we reported that UK registered companies would no longer be able to hold .eu domains after the UK leaves the European Union. You can read more about this older blog post for yourself here – ‘Web Domains and the B Word’.

Essentially there are rules about who can register for local domains such as .uk and .eu. The rules state that only individuals and businesses based in the relevant countries can hold the country based domain.

What Has Happened?

Since the UK officially left the European Union on the 31st of December 2020 around 80,000 .eu domains held by UK companies have been suspended.

The EURid (the registrar for .eu domains) have enforced the rules surrounding who can register local domains and stated that all .eu domains must be owned by citizens or organisations based within the European Union. All UK based individuals and organisations were contacted back in October 2020 by the EURid themselves to inform them that they needed to update their registration date by the end of December 2020.

Any current holder of these domains has until April 2021 to prove that they are still eligible to keep the domain in their control.

How Do I Prove That I am Eligible for a .eu domain?

Individuals and organisations need to prove that they are eligible to hold the .eu domain, the proof that EURid require is at least one of the following:

  • To prove that the individual that holds the .eu domain is a European Union citizen independently of their place of residence. I.e. if you are a French citizen who happens to be living in the UK at the moment then you can keep your .eu domain.
  • To prove that the organisation that holds the .eu domain is established within the European Union.

Individuals looking to prove that they are eligible to hold .eu domains need to update the contact information within their domain accounts to show their eligibility.

What Happens if I cannot prove my eligibility?

If you are unable to provide evidence of your eligibility to EURid by April 2021 then any .eu domains you own will be withdrawn. A withdrawn domain cannot support any ‘service’, i.e. be used to host a website or email service.

On the 1st of January 2022, all .eu domain names that have been given this ‘withdrawn’ status by EURid will be removed from any ineligible UK holders and become available for purchase by European Union citizens and organisations.

What Action Should I take?

If you hold a .eu domain then you should follow the advice provided to you by the EURid back in October 2020. Didn’t get this email? Can’t find the email? Contact EURid directly or head to your domain registration account to update your contact details accordingly.

If you currently hold a .eu domain but know that you are not eligible to keep it, then make sure that you have copied any information currently on your .eu domain before it is withdrawn from service. Take the time to set up whatever you need on, .com or .uk domains for ongoing use.

If you are a European Citizen or organisation, then make a list of any .eu domains that you may want to purchase as from the 1st of January 2022 you may be able to get your hand on them.

Published: 16th Feb 2021

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