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Brexit and .eu domains

Written by Kieran Jones

As you are no doubt very aware, the United Kingdom is likely going to leave the European Union at some point in the near future. With or without a deal, this is likely to impact the registration of .eu domains by British citizens and companies either immediately upon leaving, or at some point in the near future depending on the manner in which the UK leaves the EU.

The .eu TLD is strictly for citizens or residents of an EU member state, or a company or similar undertaking that is either established or operating in an EU member state. If/When the UK leaves the EU, any UK company or British citizen will potentially no longer be eligible for their domain(s) and so risk the domain(s) being revoked without warning and without right of appeal.

EURid have published an official statement about this at https://eurid.eu/en/register-a-eu-domain/brexit-notice/

If you are the registrant of an .eu domain our advice is that unless you are confident that you can provide us with documentation demonstrating that you will continue to meet the eligibility criteria for your domain(s), then you should look to transition your website and email away from your .eu domain to another TLD as a matter of urgency. This documentation could include:

  • A passport from another EU member state
  • Proof of residence in another EU member state
  • Company registration information from another EU member state
  • Proof of your company having a physical presence (such as an office or warehouse) in another EU member state

Transitioning early to another TLD will minimise the risk of services using your domain(s) such as website and email suddenly being taken offline in the event of a no deal Brexit for example. In our view, moving away from .eu if you do not meet eligibility post-Brexit is the most prudent course of action.

Transitioning to another domain

Transitioning to another domain is not especially complicated, but may be somewhat disruptive and so is best done in a controlled manner as far in advance as possible so that it is far less disruptive than having your primary domain simply revoked. Here is a step by step guide on what to do:

  • If you don’t already own an alternative domain, then you will need to register a new domain such as .co.uk or some other domain which you are eligible for.
  • If your website and/or email are hosted with Freethought, then contact us to change your hosting to use your new domain. We will add your .eu domain as an alias and set it to forward to your new domain so that you won’t loose web traffic or email and your search rankings will be retained until the .eu domain is revoked.
  • Update your devices to use the new domain; in particular your mail clients as your email will now be the new domain so your username will have changed.
  • Update your customers, marketing material, and social media to to let people know about the change.

Questions?

If you’d like to discuss this or get further advice call us on 03300 882130 or email support@freethought-internet.co.uk