Domain names in the European Union’s common ccTLD .EU, previously owned by UK registrants, will become available for re-registration starting January 3, 2022, according to a statement by the EURid registry, which manages the domain zone. The previously announced date was January 1, but the registry probably assumed both domain investors and registrars might find other things to do on the first day of the year, and shifted the timeframe.
UK citizens and legal entities lost their eligibility to hold .EU domain names when the country officially left the EU at the beginning of last year. The decision was based on the results of the referendum held in the UK in June 2016. According to Domain Incite, at the time of the referendum, UK registrants owned about 300,000 .EU domains. After the official completion of the Brexit procedure, registrants from the UK were given a fairly long period so they could re-register their domains to EU-based entities or EU citizens that qualify, which many of them did. Others simply dropped their domains. Yet, the number of domain names UK registrants did not bother to update turned out to be quite significant. On January 3, about 48,000 such domains will be released for registration.