While most of us have probably been a little preoccupied with the COVID 19 pandemic and its impact on our daily lives Brexit is still moving forward. Yes, it’s still “a thing”!

We’ve written about Brexit several times over the last couple of years. We’ve looked at the implications of it on things like hosting data and also on the ability for UK based individuals and companies to retain their domain names.

To recap very quickly:

If you are an Irish or EU company doing business in the EU then you should really keep your data within the EU. If you are using a UK based hosting provider then this could lead to headaches. I covered this here.

We know that the European Commission is pushing the .eu domain registry to take a firm stance on UK registrants. We’ve covered the evolution of this over the last couple of years.

So what’s changed?

The .eu registry has issued an update on their plans:

The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period until at least 31 December 2020. During the transition period, undertakings and organisations established in the United Kingdom and United Kingdom residents and citizens will continue to be able to hold and register a .eu domain name.

The key issue is the end date of the “transition period”. That could move, which will impact other things.

So at the moment it looks like any UK registrant of a .eu domain name will be notified by EURid in the coming months and if they don’t make the necessary changes by the end of December 2020 then they will lose their .eu domain(s):

On 1 October 2020, EURid will notify by email all UK registrants and their registrars that they will lose their eligibility as of 1 January 2021 unless they demonstrate their compliance with the .eu regulatory framework by updating their registration data before 31 December 2020. They could do so by indicating a legally established entity in one of the eligible Union Member States, or updating their residence to a Union Member State, or proving their citizenship of a Union Member State irrespective of their residence.

What does that mean for you?

Put really simply if you have a .eu domain name then you’ll need to update the contact data associated with it so that it’s still associated either with a business in the EU, an EU address or an EU citizen. If you need assistance our team are happy to help.

What happens in 2021?

From January 1st 2021, assuming of course that the transition period hasn’t been extended, UK registrants will not be able to register new .eu domain names.

If you already have a .eu domain then you will lose it (as noted above).

What about other European country code domains?

France (.fr) will not allow new registrations from January 1st 2021.

Fortunately they currently have no plans to take action against existing registrations, so if you have a .fr domain name you should be fine.

We’ve also reached out to other European domain name registries and, while many of them have remained silent, a few of them have clearly stated that it will be “business as usual”.

So .dk (Denmark), .fi (Finland), .lu (Luxembourg), .sk (Slovakia) and .ie (Ireland) will continue to accept registrations from the UK.