Over 80,000 .EU domains owned by UK citizens are suspended due to new regulations imposed as a result of Brexit.
EURid, the registrar for .eu domains, is enforcing measures that came into effect on January 1 stating .eu domains must be owned by citizens or organizations located in the European Union.
EURid began notifying UK registrants about these new measures coming into effect back in October:
“On 1 October 2020, EURid has notified 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.”
In 2018, long before EURid sent its first notice, the European Commission suggested that .eu domains owned by UK citizens could be cancelled at the end of the Brexit transition period. Three year later that day has come.
Domains suspended on January 1, 2021, can no longer be used for websites or email addresses. Registrants of suspended domains have until April to prove they’re eligible to hold the domain.
As per the new regulations, the following are eligible to hold .eu domain names:
- A Union citizen, independently of their place of residence;
- A natural person who is not a Union citizen and who is a resident of a Member State;
- An undertaking that is established in the Union; or
- An organisation that is established in the Union, without prejudice to the application of national law.
After April 1, UK registrants who cannot prove eligibility will have their domain moved to “withdrawn” status. A withdrawn domain cannot support any service.
On January 1 of next year, domain names in the “withdrawn” status will be revoked from ineligible UK registrants and become generally available.
Up until the time domains are withdrawn, registrants will have the opportunity to prove they’re eligible to keep them.
That can be accomplished by updating contact information and declaring:
- You’re a legally established entity in one of the eligible EU27 or EEA Member States; or
- Your residence in one of the eligible EU27 or EEA Member States; or
- Your citizenship of one of the EU27 Member States (information on how to updated your data based on citizenship)
Domain names will be reinstated as soon as affected registrants update their contact information. EURid says 81,000 domains from 50,000 users have been suspended.
It would appear UK registrants of .eu domains saw this day coming. The number of UK-based domains ending in .eu reportedly shrunk from over 300,000 in 2017 to 81,000 at the beginning of this year.
That number will soon be reduced to zero. However, it’s not all negative. There’s opportunity here as 81,000 new domains will soon be up for grabs by citizens and organizations located in the EU.
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt has an uncanny ability to make the most complex subject matter easy to understand. When he’s not ferociously following and covering the search industry, he’s busy writing SEO-friendly copy that converts.