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Brexit Done: What Does It Mean for an Online Presence?

On January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom officially ended the transition period and is no longer subject to European Union rules.

The U.K. had been part of the EU for 47 years, or almost two generations. Comprehending the impact, the changes, the new ruling, and compliance will take some time. But in a world where online shopping, online banking, and communication is growing at lightning speed, we need clarity on key digital assets—the basic domain name.

The dot EU

To register or maintain an .EU, .??, or .?? domain name, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You represent an organization established in one of the European Union member states, or in Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway.
  • You are an individual citizen or are residing in one of the European Union member states, or you are residing in Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway.

As the U.K. is no longer an EU member state, businesses or individuals in the U.K.—but also businesses outside the U.K. that have used their U.K. entities to satisfy the local presence requirements—will not be able to keep their .EU domain. In fact, according to an article in ZDNet, 81,000 domain names have currently been suspended. That means those website aren’t supported any longer. This also applies to emails linked to those domain names.

Businesses and individuals have from now until June 30, 2021 instead of the previously published date, March 31, 2021, to either use a local agent’s service or prove their eligibility. After June 30, 2021, the domain name will be withdrawn entirely.

Your domain registrar should have informed you about this new rule. If they have not, please contact them ASAP.

Domain extensions in the EU

As the U.K. is now viewed as a third country within the bloc, various countries within the EU are also updating their rules and regulations concerning the U.K. While those new rules might not necessarily affect their current portfolio, it will definitively affect any new domain registrations.

Your domain name provider will be able to assist you with additional hurdles by using their local agent services.

Please note that rules within the domain name landscape are subject of constant change. It’s very important that your domain name provider gives you the right information and updates you regularly.

By Ewa Zane, Domain Product Manager at CSC

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