firm news

Chloe Fernandez
Chloe Fernandez,
Loss of .EU domains for UK businesses post-Brexit
12 April 2018

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.

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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