UK Holders Of .EU Domains Get Three-Month Reprieve

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Holders of .eu domains based in the UK now have an extra three months to reinstate their domain before it is permanently withdrawn, Eurid says

The registry manager handling .eu domains has extended a deadline for UK-based users to retain their online addresses, as the top-level domain adjusts to the UK’s departure from the EU.

Eurid initially suspended more than 81,000 .eu domain names with a UK contact address on 1 January, giving users until 31 March to update their contact or citizenship details to retain the addresses.

The deadline has now been extended to 30 June, Eurid said.

EU regulations require that .eu websites operate with a contact address in an EU member state, except in the case of EU citizens, who can use addresses outside the bloc.

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More than 8,000 of the suspended addresses have been reinstated so far, according to the non-profit registry.

“This extension of three months provides registrar and registrants that have not yet updated their registration data the opportunity to demonstrate their compliance with the .eu regulatory framework,” Eurid said in a notice to users.

Suspended domains can’t support services, such as websites and email, but they are still eligible to be reinstated.

Once the suspended domains have been permanently withdrawn, however, they are to remain inaccessible until next year, when Eurid plans to offered them for resale.

Regulatory confusion

Domain owners can retain their .eu domain by updating their contact details to reflect an EU address, or by proving EU citizenship with their registrar, in which case they may use a non-EU contact address.

In 2018 the European Commission initially announced plans to cancel all .eu domains with UK contact details.

After an outcry, the plans were eventually altered to include a grace period and to take into account the situations of EU citizens based in the UK.

However, in the meantime regulatory uncertainty has led to a dramatic decline in the number of .eu domains in use, dropping from more than 300,000 in 2017 to only 120,000 in the last quarter of 2020.