The Gibraltar Government has urged people who currently hold EU domain names to check whether they will still be eligible to do so should the UK leave the European Union without a deal.
This is the latest in a series of guidance notes issued by the Government as part of contingency plans should the UK and Gibraltar leave the European Union without an agreement in place.
In a statement the Government set out advice for those who have existing domain name registrations under .eu or have an interest in registering a domain name under .eu. This includes individuals, companies or organisations.
With regards to checking eligibility, the Government said that undertakings, organisations and individuals should read Article 4(2)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 and check if they are still eligible to hold a .eu Top Level Domain.
In its notice to stakeholders, the European Commission confirmed that in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, the EU regulatory framework for the .eu Top Level Domain will no longer apply to the United Kingdom and therefore to Gibraltar as from the withdrawal date.
The notice explains that undertakings and organisations that are established in Gibraltar but not in the EU and individuals who reside in Gibraltar, will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names or, if they are .eu registrants, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.
In the scenario that we exit the EU without a deal, you should check whether you continue to meet the eligibility criteria set out in Article 4(2)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 to hold a .eu Top Level Domain.
“If you currently hold a .eu registration and the related purchase agreement expires before 29 March 2019, the date of our exit from the EU, it is suggested that you discuss whether you should consider transferring your registration to another top level domain with your local domain name registrar,” the Government said.
“If your current .eu registration is due to expire after 29 March 2019, you may wish to discuss transferring your registration to another top level domain. Examples of other top level domains include .gi, .com, .co.uk, .net or .org.”
The Commission’s notice states that where a holder of a domain name no longer fulfils the general eligibility criteria, the Registry for .eu will be entitled to revoke such a domain name on its own initiative.
This means that in the event of a no deal Brexit you may not be able to access your .eu website or email.
Domain holders may wish to seek advice from your local domain name registrar on whether the terms of your contractual agreement provide for any recourse in the event of revocation of a .eu registration. “You may also want to seek legal advice,” the Government said.