SIDN revises General Terms and Conditions, Complaints & Appeals Regulations

SIDN logoOn 17 March 2010, a new system for the registration of domain names is being introduced and various processes are changing as a result. From that date, SIDN is therefore revising both the General Terms and Conditions for .nl Registrants and the General Terms and Conditions for Registrars to reflect the new situation. At the same time, the Complaints & Appeals Board (C&AB) is taking on a wider role, so the Complaints & Appeals Regulations (C&A Regulations) are changing as well.
Viewing the changes The new versions of the T&Cs for Registrants, the T&Cs for Registrars and the C&A Regulations are available to download using the links below. A version of each T&Cs document with the changes highlighted is also available. No comparable version of the C&A Regulations is provided, however, because the changes are too extensive for that to be helpful.

The main changes
The main changes The wording of all three documents has been improved in various respects. In addition, the procedures and processes described have been clarified where appropriate. The main material changes are as follows:

  • In the Dutch versions of all the documents, the term ‘registrar’ is replacing the term ‘deelnemer’ (literally ‘participant’), to reflect international usage. This terminological change has no material effect on the relationship between SIDN and its registrars. There is no corresponding change in the English-language documents, which already used the term ‘registrar’. In anticipation of the re-formation of the Registrars’ Advisory Council, which is likely to necessitate revision of SIDN’s constitution, the Dutch-language version of the constitution currently retains the term ‘deelnemer’.

General Terms and Conditions for .nl Registrants

  • The rules on the use of a domicile address by .nl registrants living or based outside the Netherlands are changing. From 17 March 2010, all such registrants will be obliged to accept SIDN’s registered office address as their domicile address. This means that it will be lawful for a bailiff to serve a writ on a non-Dutch registrant at that address. If a registrant does not live or is not based in the Netherlands, this will be apparent from the Whois.
  • From 17 March 2010, it will be possible to register a .nl domain name, but not have it added to the .nl zone file. The details of such domain names will be available from the Whois, however. It will also be possible for SIDN to delete a domain name from the zone file, if the name server pointers do not meet SIDN’s technical requirements. In due course, SIDN will publish a policy document explaining how it intends to exercise this power.
  • Several articles have been revised to reflect the wider powers of the Complaints & Appeals Board. The material changes are described below.

General Terms and Conditions for Registrars

  • The previously announced change to a registrar’s responsibility to confirm the identity of the registrants it represents has been implemented. Under the revised T&Cs, the registrar will still have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of registered data, both at the time of registration and thereafter. A registrar must never register information that the registrar knows or suspects to be inaccurate. Furthermore, a registrar has to be able to demonstrate the accuracy of any data for which the registrar is responsible, if requested to do by SIDN.
  • An article of the T&Cs for Registrars has also been revised to reflect the wider powers of the Complaints & Appeals Board. The material changes are described below.

C&A Regulations
SIDN has an independent Complaints & Appeals Board (C&AB). Under the circumstances described in the General Terms and Conditions, anyone who has been affected by certain types of decision made by SIDN can appeal to the C&AB. The C&AB also considers complaints about .nl domain names in situations where a complainant asserts that the registration of a name, as a consequence of the name’s use, is inconsistent with public order or decency. The C&AB has its own website (, where further details are available.
Last year, in consultation with the C&AB, SIDN undertook a thorough review of the C&A Regulations and identified various ways in which the existing procedures could be improved, the principles that the C&AB applies could be clarified and the powers of the C&AB should be modified. The C&A Regulations have now been revised in line with the outcome of the review.
The new regulations allow an individual to appeal to the C&AB in the following cases:
Where SIDN has unilaterally terminated a registration contract.
Where SIDN has unilaterally restricted the use of a domain name, e.g. by deleting it from the zone file.
Where SIDN has reversed a registration or a register amendment (e.g. a change of registrant or transfer to another registrar) or has rejected such a transaction request.
Where SIDN has declined a request to opt out of publication of the registrant’s details in the Whois.
Where SIDN has rejected an application to register a domain name because in the past the applicant has not fulfilled his/her obligations towards SIDN.
Appeal to the C&AB will in future also be possible for a registrar whose registrarship contract has been unilaterally terminated by SIDN. General speaking, registrars are regarded as professional organisations and assumed not to require special protection. Nevertheless, the termination of a registrarship contract can have far-reaching implications for a registrar’s business. SIDN therefore considers it appropriate that, in the event of termination, a registrar has access to a low-threshold independent decision review system.
Changes are also being made to the arrangements for complaining about a domain name whose registration is considered to be inconsistent with public order or decency. Under the new rules, anyone may complain to the C&AB if he or she believes that the registration of a .nl domain name is inconsistent with public order or decency as a consequence of the name’s use. In other words, a complaint has to relate explicitly to the combination of a name and its use. More information about the new complaints procedure is available here.
Read more about the consideration of complaints by the Complaints & Appeals Board.

related downloads:
General Terms and Conditions for .nl Registrants (per 170310)
(113 kB)
General Terms and Conditions for .nl Registrants (per 170310) (track changes)
(170 kB)
General Terms and Conditions for Registrars (per 170310)
(71 kB)
General Terms and Conditions for Registrars (per 170310) (track changes)
(81 kB)
Complaints and Appeals Regulations (per 170310)
(97 kB)

Europe Registry logoTo register your .NL domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

This SIDN announcement was sourced from here.