On the morning of January 1, the unified country code domain of the European Union .EU was missing approximately 80,000 names, EURid, which manages the domain zone, reported. However, this comes as no surprise: two years ago EURid announced that after the Brexit transition (the UK's exit from the European Union), British legal entities and individuals would lose their registered names in .EU.
Since then the number of UK registrants in the domain has seen a steady decline, and the registry associated its less than impressive results with this.
The Brexit transition was formally completed in the final days of 2020, and the restrictions imposed by EURid on UK registrants came into effect. Now their domain names have a “suspended” status (sites and e-mail addresses associated with them are not functioning). Registrants can change this status until midnight on March 31. To do so, a registrant must either re-register as a legal entity or an individual in one of the EU countries, or provide confirmation that the registrant is an EU citizen residing in the UK. Otherwise, from April 1, the status of domain names will be changed to “withdrawn,” and starting in 2022 they will become available for new registration.
According to the Q3 results from last year, there were 130,114 domain names in .EU belonging to British registrants. The figure of 80,000 domains blocked on January 1 indicates that about 50,000 domains have been re-registered over the past three months, the Domain Incite reports. But 80,000 domain names are still a very serious loss. EURid’s first report in 2021 is likely to show another decline in registrations – by about 2 percent.