Forthcoming Changes to EU Websites
UK businesses who have or intend to operate an EU website ending with the domain .eu should be warned. Now that the UK is no longer part of the EU, the rules as to ownership of .eu domains have changed, and such .eu domain names may now only be registered by the following:
an individual who is a citizen of an EU Member State (they could be resident in the UK)
- an individual who is resident in an EU Member State
- an undertaking, business or organisation established in the EU or the EEA
Domain names that end in ‘.eu’ are managed by EURid. EURid has issued notices to UK registrants, stating that their .eu domain name is no longer compliant with EU regulations. Therefore, those .eu website domains would be moved to “SUSPENDED” status until 31 March 2021 (this has now been extended to 30 June 2021). A domain name in the “SUSPENDED” status can no longer support any service (such as website and email), but may still be reinstated if registration data is updated to meet the eligibility criteria.
From 1 July 2021, all “SUSPENDED” .eu domains will be changed to “WITHDRAWN” status. This means that all withdrawn domain names formerly allocated to UK registrants will be revoked and made freely available for general registration on 1 January 2022.
So businesses who have a .eu website should check their address details and if necessary, make arrangements to meet the EU ownership criteria ahead of the July deadline if they wish to retain ownership of their .eu domains.
Further details of the changes can be found on the Government website.
Here to Help
If you need advice regarding your business and changes as a result of leaving the EU, please contact Rina Sond, Partner specialising in Company Commercial and Intellectual Property.
Please note the contents of this article are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.