British and Hold a .EU Domain?  Here’s what you need to know

The European Commission has announced that UK businesses and individuals will not be able to hold .EU domains once Brexit takes effect.  This means that as many as 300,000 registrants will need to put in place plans for a website migration.

In a press release issued on 28th March 2018, the European Commission stated that “as of the withdrawal date, undertakings and organisations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU, and natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names.”

 

Renewal of .eu Domains Will Not Be Possible

The release continued confirmed that existing .eu registrants who are based in the UK will not be able to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.

Brexit is currently scheduled to take place on 30th March 2019, so if you are currently using a .eu domain name it would make sense to set up a replacement in a less restrictive domain such as .com or .co.uk to replace the relatively little-used domain as soon as possible.

A dot-com domain can make a suitable place for companies to use as a multi-national portal. Despite its traditional association with US domains, it is technically an international domain.  This can be used as a common portal to more regionally focused domains that will remain in the USA such as .de or .fr domain as well as to your new .co.uk site.

 

Over 300,000 .eu Domains Affected

If you are one of the 300,000 UK based registrants of .eu domains, we would recommend transferring to a new domain as soon as possible and undertaking a renewal for the maximum renewal period of 1 year.  It is not yet known if domain registrars will pull .eu domains on the exit date or allow them to lapse naturally, but it seems most likely that the domain will lapse without a renewal being possible.

We would recommend for affected businesses to move web pages and emails to the new domain as soon as possible and use 301 redirects to pages that will not be affected by the changes to British membership of the EU. This may involve a full website migration

The EU announcement can be read in full at https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/notice-stakeholders-withdrawal-united-kingdom-and-eu-rules-eu-domain-names_en.