ICANN: Transfer Process Begins for Deaccredited Registrars

ICANN logoThe Registrar Accreditation Agreements (“RAA”) between ICANN and three registrars expired without renewal because the registrars failed to comply with the requirements of their RAA. The three registrars are as follows:

  • South America Domains Ltd doing business as namefrog.com (“South America Domains”),
  • Simply Named Inc (“Simply Named”), and
  • Tahoe Domains Inc. (“Tahoe Domains”)

Letters have been sent to each registrar outlining the decision and rationale behind the decision.

icann.org/correspondence/burnette-to-friedman-30jul09-en.pdf [PDF, 226K]

icann.org/correspondence/burnette-to-pearcy-30jul09-en.pdf [PDF, 202K] and

icann.org/correspondence/burnette-to-ball-30jul09-en.pdf [PDF, 227K]

To protect registrants, ICANN has approved bulk transfers of registration data for South America Domains and Tahoe Domains. Further ICANN initiated a process to identify a qualified ICANN-accredited registrar to take over management of the domain names formerly managed by Simply Named through a bulk transfer. Guidance is provided below for registrants who may be affected by this action.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. If I have domain names registered with a registrar whose RAA is not renewed, will I lose my domain names?

A. No. Not by virtue of the non-renewal of the registrar’s RAA. Your registrar’s gTLD names will be transferred to another registrar, as described below. Two-letter country-code (ccTLD) names, such as .IN and .US, are not affected by this process.

Q. Will I incur a cost as a result of the bulk transfer process?

A. No. The transfer will not result in any immediate cost to you as a registrant and will not change the expiration date of your domain name registration. After the bulk transfer process is completed, you will be contacted by the registrar that receives the non-renewed registrar’s domain names about your options.

Q. How long will it take ICANN to identify a qualified registrar to receive the domain names formally managed by my registrar?

A. We expect to identify a qualified registrar to receive Simply Named’s domain names within approximately 30 days.

However, the process of identifying a qualified registrar and completing the transfer of registration information may take a bit longer if unexpected events occur. ICANN will post a notice on its website, , when a qualified registrar has been identified, as noted with South America Domains and Tahoe Domains.

Q. What do I need to do now?

A. You do not need to do anything right now. You will be contacted by the company that receives the domain names registered through your registrar in due course.

Q. What if I want to register my domain with a company other than the one that is chosen for the bulk transfer?

A. You will be able to transfer your domain to a different registrar after the bulk transfer, assuming that no other condition exists to support a denial of the transfer. However, the gaining registrar is allowed to deny transfers for the first 60 days following the bulk transfer. If the gaining registrar allows, you may move your domain in those first 60 days; otherwise, you will need to wait 60 days before approaching a different registrar and requesting a transfer. For more information on the transfer of a registration between registrars, please see the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy, at icann.org/en/transfers/policy-en.htm.

Q. My domain name with my registrar was about to expire. How can I make sure it does not get lost in the transfer?

A. If a registration is due to expire within the next 30 days, it will be auto-renewed by the registry and maintained in its auto-renew grace period.

Q. What if my domain name is registered by a Whois privacy or proxy service?

A. If the privacy or proxy service is the registrant of record for your domain name(s), you should ensure that the service forwards to you any information it receives from the ICANN-accredited registrar selected to receive the bulk transfer.

Q. What does it mean that my registrar’s accreditation agreement was not renewed?

A. Your registrar breached one or more provisions of its RAA and failed to cure the breach(es) prior to the RAA’s expiration date. Accordingly, your registrar was ineligible for renewal of the agreement and is no longer an ICANN-accredited registrar. This means that your registrar will no longer be permitted to register generic top-level domain names (such as .com and .net) or continue to manage such registrations.

The non-renewal became or will become effective:

  • On 9 August 2009 for Tahoe Domains.
  • On 5 August 2009 for South America Domains.
  • On 20 August 2009 for Simply Named.

ICANN has already initiated the process of identifying a new sponsoring registrar to receive the names in a bulk transfer.

Q. How will the domain name transfer process work?

A. ICANN will follow the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure (posted at icann.org/en/processes/registrars/de-accredited-registrar-transition-procedure-01oct08.pdf [PDF, 119K]) which is intended to ensure a timely transition in the event of the de-accreditation of a registrar.

In summary, the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure is initiated by providing the de-accredited registrar an opportunity to propose a receiving registrar at or about the same time ICANN posts a request for registrars to submit expressions of interest if they wish to be considered as potential recipients of a bulk transfer. Registrars are typically given one week to submit their expressions of interest. ICANN considers several factors in deciding whether to authorize a bulk transfer to the proposed registrar, and the transfer can only be approved if it would promote the community interest.

If the de-accredited registrar fails to propose a receiving registrar or if ICANN determines that the proposed transfer would not promote the community interest, ICANN will review all submitted expressions of interest and invite all qualified registrar-applicants to participate in a one-week negotiation period. In the negotiation period, the registrar-applicants must submit competitive proposals that will be scored on pre-determined, objective criteria. The qualified registrar with the highest score will be selected to receive the bulk transfer of names.

Once the receiving registrar is selected, ICANN will provide it with available registration data and notify the registries to affect the bulk transfer after the data has been integrated into the receiving registrar’s systems. The receiving registrar will then send notices to the affected registrants, with instructions on how to begin managing names with the receiving registrar.

Q. Will the chosen receiving registrar receive my registration data for my domain names?

A. The registration data for the gTLD names formerly managed by your registrar will be released to the receiving registrar. This information will allow the receiving registrar to contact all registrants and create customer accounts for them so they may quickly begin managing their registrations. If your name is registered by a Whois privacy or proxy service, the receiving registrar will typically only receive the Whois privacy or proxy service registrant information.

Q. What if my domain name was deleted before my registrar was de-accredited, but I want it back?

A. If the name is available for registration, you may register it with your preferred ICANN-accredited registrar (see www.internic.net/regist.html).

If the name has since been registered by someone else, you have at least three options:

  1. Work out an agreement with the current registrant.
  2. Wait to see if the current registrant lets the domain name expire.
  3. If you believe the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which you have rights, and the current registrant has registered and is using the name in bad faith (and has no rights or legitimate interests in the name), you can begin an administrative proceeding under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). (Note: this is a narrow category, so you should proceed with caution.) For more details on this option, including a list of dispute resolution service providers, please see icann.org/udrp/udrp.htm.

Please note that the UDRP applies only to domain names in generic top-level domains (such as .com and .net). Dispute resolution policies vary in other TLDs such as .IN, .UK and the 240+ other country code top-level domains. You may wish to seek legal advice to determine if the is applicable to your situation, or to assist in identifying additional alternatives.

Q. I have read everything above but I still have some questions. Whom should I contact?

A. The receiving registrar will contact you shortly after the bulk transfer takes place. You should contact this registrar first with any issues. If you are still not able to get an answer to your questions, you may contact ICANN’s contractual compliance team at compliance@icann.org.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from: