UK Government advises owners of .eu website domain names to consider changing
UK owners of .eu domain names have been encouraged by the UK Government to examine their options for transferring to a new address.
In a newly published piece of no-deal Brexit guidance, the government outlines the decision made last year by the European Commission that, after the country leaves the European Union, UK citizens and businesses will no longer be allowed to register new .eu domains, nor renew existing registrations when they expire.
This being the case, the government suggests that UK firms and individuals currently operating a European domain should now “consider transferring your registration to another top-level domain with your local domain name registrar”. Available options may include .co.uk, .com, .net, and .org addresses, the government said.
The most recently published quarterly data from the EURid registry – which manages the .eu top-level domain – shows that, in Q3 2018, there were 273,060 .eu sites registered in the UK. This total is only exceeded by those in France, which has 336,616, the Netherlands, with 502,173, and Germany, which has almost one million.
UK websites’ preparations for Brexit are seemingly already underway, with the number of domains plummeting by 10.3% in Q3 when compared with the prior quarter – by far the biggest decline of any EU country or territory. This equates to the closure or transfer of 30,000 domain names over the course of the three-month period.
Domain name registrations can last for a maximum 10 years before they must be renewed. If the UK leaves the European Union on 29 March as planned, all .eu addresses registered in the UK will be out of action before 2030.