Terms and Conditions of Domain Name Registration in .RU and .РФ
Why do the Terms and Conditions need to be amended?

First enacted on November 11, 2011, the Terms and Condition govern all matters related to registering second-level domain names in .RU and .РФ. This document has to be amended from time to time in order to keep up with changes in Russian law and domain market trends.

Can foreign individuals and legal entities register .РФ domain names?

Yes, they can. The Terms and Conditions of Domain Name Registration in .RU and .РФ do not contain any restrictions for foreign individuals or legal entities when it comes to registering domain names. Nationals or organizations from any country can apply for domains as long as they comply with the Terms and Conditions.

Can a registrar register domains in its name?

The Terms and Conditions do not prevent registrars for registering domains in their name. However, a registrar can register a specific domain name only if no other user submits a duly executed application for the same domain name.

What is the rationale behind the requirement to provide a mobile phone number with SMS capability?

This enhances the protection of domain name registrants from unauthorized use of their domain names by third parties, since a domain cannot be delegated without the registrant’s SMS confirmation. This measure is designed to prevent cybercrime, in particular, domain name registrations by botnets that are commonly used by criminals for illegal purposes, and it helps law enforcement agencies identify people who use domain names for fraud or other illegal purposes.

Is it true that registrars can terminate domain names at their own discretion?

No, they can’t. Registrars can cancel domain names only as set out in the Terms and Conditions. Under the Terms and Conditions registrars can cancel domain names at the request of an authority carrying out intelligence and monitoring operations, at the request of organizations fighting phishing attacks, viruses and child pornography, and also if the registrant is found to have provided inaccurate data, as well as if the registrants fails to submit to the registrar documents to support information in the registry. These measures are designed to fight cybercrime and make the Russian domain space safer.

What is the “redemption grace period”?

The redemption grace period lasts 30 days after domain name registration expires. During this period, the registrant of an expired domain retains the right to renew domain name registration if he failed to do it in time. Changing the registrant, transferring the domain to another registrar or cancelling registration is not possible during the redemption grace period. When the redemption grace period begins, the domain name is no longer delegated to the servers indicated by the registrant, and users are redirected to a registrar’s service website, i.e., the registrant’s website becomes inaccessible at its former URL. Instead, users will see a webpage stating the reason it can no longer be accessed, such as the expiration of domain name registration. The registrant may elect not to have his domain redirected, by notifying the registrar in advance. In this case, a system error message will be displayed when users try to access the website.

How are expired domains deleted?

Domain names that are not renewed before the registration expires or during the redemption grace period are automatically deleted from the registry once the redemption grace period expires. On the day when the redemption grace period expires (indicated as ‘free-date’ in WHOIS) the registry prevents registrars from carrying out any operations with the domain at the system-level. The automatic deletion procedure is not carried out on weekends or holydays, or on the first business day following a weekend or a holiday. If the free-date falls on a weekend, a holiday or the first business day after them, the domains are deleted on the second business day following a weekend or a holiday.

The redemption grace period as defined in WHOIS has expired, but the domain has not been deleted. Why?

Domains are deleted upon the expiration of the redemption grace period following the registry’s automated procedure that is not operational on weekends and holidays, as well as on the first day following a weekend or holiday. There is also a limit in the .RU and .РФ registries on the number of domain names that can be deleted. This figure is capped at 15,000 domains for .RU and 10,000 for .РФ. If the number of domains that are up for deletion exceeds these numbers, the domains in excess of the limit will be deleted during a following deletion procedure.

In addition, a domain may not be deleted, if subjected to restrictions imposed by its registrar as per the Policy on Procedures for Domain Name Disputes.

What is the timeframe for renewing domain name registration?

The registry provides the technical capability to renew domain name registration 60 days before it expires. The registration deadline is indicated in WHOIS as ‘paid-till.’ The redemption grace period begins on the day following the ‘paid-till’ date, and lasts 30 days as per the Terms and Conditions of Domain Name Registration in .RU and .РФ.

Therefore, registrants have 90 days to renew their domain names.

Do the Terms and Conditions cover the secondary domain market, and if so, how?

Yes, the Terms and Conditions of Domain Name Registration in .RU and .РФ contain a section on the registration of expired domains. It sets forth the requirements for the registrars when registering expired domains. Users can apply to register an expired domain name with any such registrars. The list of domain names that are about to be deleted is uploaded to our website, as well as to the website of the Technical Center of Internet before 12 noon (Moscow time) of the day they are scheduled to expire. This list is available to the general public, and registrars are entitled to repost it on their websites.

If a domain name is not renewed during the redemption grace period, upon its expiration (free-date in WHOIS) the registry blocks all actions related to the domain name automatically. Domain names are also deleted automatically, which ensures that both registrars and their customers are on equal footing. Once a domain name is deleted, it can be reregistered at the request of the registrar who is first to submit a proper application to the registry.

Is it true that registrars may set differentiated prices on registering domains that are about to expire?

Yes, registrars are entitled to vary the price of registering domains that are about to expire relative to standard registration fees. This price can also vary as the expiration date approaches. However, this price must apply to all domains without exception, which means that it will be the same for all domain names that expire on the same date. In addition, it is the registrar’s obligation to provide users clear and extensive information on pricing and all other terms for accepting and executing an application of this kind.

Do registrants have to submit any documents to the registrars to confirm the information they provide (full name, passport number, etc.), and if so, what is the timeframe for submitting this documentation?

Whenever a registrar has reason to question the accuracy of the information it receives, the registrar is entitled to request more information and/or support documents. The registrant is bound to comply with a request of this kind within seven (7) calendar days. The accuracy of information in the registry relating to the domain name and its registrant is essential, primarily for the registrant since it guarantees the rights of the registrant to the domain name throughout the service period. The registrar determines the modality for submitting follow-up information and support documents.

Is there some kind of a stop list with words that cannot be used when registering domain names?

Those who have been around since the early days probably remember that .RU used to have a stop list, but it was phased out some time ago. Admittedly, this decision did nothing to improve the semantics of domain names. Considering the myriad ways people can express themselves in the Russian language, a stop list was created for .РФ before the land rush period started. Stop lists were designed to reduce the number of domain names with obscene language or hate slogans that might be offensive to the honor and dignity of other people. The stop list was also revived for the .RU domain.

Terms and Conditions of Domain Name Registration in .RU and .РФ govern the procedures and terms for creating a stop list. When receiving a request for domain names covered by the stop list, WHOIS will show “blocking: Domain cannot be registered” if a domain name or designation is on the stop list. The Coordination Center for TLD .RU / .РФ decides on amending the stop list by adding or removing domain names and designations from it.

Are there any restrictions regarding domain names that are designated on the stop list after they are registered?

If a domain name is designated on the stop list after registration, it is subject to certain restrictions under the Terms and Conditions. Specifically, there is a ban on transferring the domain to another registrant and in case of transferring of the domain name to another registrar, the gaining registrar may refuse to accept it.

Why are email addresses and telephone numbers for domain name registrants no longer among the contact details in the registry’s WHOIS?

As before, information on domain name registrants is transferred to the registry for storage and identification purposes, with the scope of this information determined by the Terms and Conditions. In order to protect personal data (as per Federal Law 152-FZ On Personal Data), information on registrants who are individuals appears in WHOIS in an anonymized form (Private person).

The fact that WHOIS does not provide the contact telephone numbers and email addresses of the registrants primarily serves these very registrants. There is a plethora of programs on the internet collecting email addresses and telephone numbers online for spreading unsolicited information (spam), as well as for other purposes. Some people provided inaccurate or obsolete email addresses and/or telephone numbers as a way to shield themselves from spam, while also making it impossible for registrars to reach them. As a result, the registrants could not receive important notifications in a timely manner, for example reminders to renew registration, and sometimes registrants lost their domain names as a result.

Communications with registrants are currently carried out in a web messaging form, offered on the website of the corresponding registrar. Registrars are free to determine the form’s format and communication mechanisms depending on their technical and administrative capabilities.

What is the timeframe for completing the transfer of a domain name from one registrar to another?

The Terms and Conditions set out the terms and deadlines for transferring domains, including the timeframe for transferring a domain name from a donor registrar (losing registrar) to the recipient registrar (gaining registrar). This period cannot exceed five (5) calendar days from the moment the gaining registrar initiates this procedure in the registry.

What is the duration of restrictions on changing a domain name registrant, transferring a domain to another registrar or deleting a domain name?

Registrars must refrain from executing applications from registrants to delete a domain name or transfer it to another registrar within 30 calendar days after the registrant obtains the administration right from another person.

Registrars must refrain from executing applications from registrants to transfer the administration right, delete a domain name or transfer the domain name to another registrar within 30 calendar days after the registrant obtains the administration right from another person.

Can a domain name be transferred to another registrar and registrant be changed at the same time?

A new version of the Terms and Conditions came into force on October 29, 2018, stating that a registrant can be changed immediately after the change of a registrar.

However, if a registrant receives a domain from another person, the registrant will have to wait 30 days before being able to change the registrar.