All ICANN accredited registrars are required to enter into a Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) with ICANN. Section 5.4 of the RAA provides that upon the expiration of the RAA, the registrar may apply for and shall be entitled to renewed accreditation, if the registrar is in compliance with its obligations under the RAA.
Accordingly, if your registrar is in breach of the RAA and the breaches have not been cured within the timeframe specified by ICANN, it would be ineligible to renew its RAAand the RAA will expire.
In order to protect registrants in this non-renewal situation, ICANN has initiated a process to identify a qualified ICANN-accredited registrar to take over management of the domain names currently managed by your registrar through a bulk transfer. Guidance is provided below for registrants who may be affected.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean if my registrar's accreditation agreement with ICANN was not renewed?
It means your registrar is no longer an ICANN-accredited registrar. This also means that your registrar will no longer be permitted to register generic top-level domain (gTLD) names (such as dot-com and dot-net, etc.) or continue to manage such registrations.
If my registrar loses its ICANN accreditation, will I lose my domain names?
No. Not by virtue of the non-renewal of your registrar's RAA. Your gTLD names, such as dot-com and dot-net, will be transferred to another registrar, as described below. Two-letter country-code domain (ccTLD) names, such as dot-in and dot-us, are not affected by this process.
Will I incur a cost as a result of the bulk transfer process?
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 domain names currently managed by your registrar about your options.
How long will it take for ICANN to identify a qualified registrar to receive the domain names currently managed by my registrar?
We expect to identify a qualified registrar to receive the domain names currently managed by your registrar before the expiration of your registrar's RAA. However, the process of identifying a qualified registrar and completing the transfer of registration information may take longer if unexpected events occur. ICANN will post a notice on its website, (http://www.icann.org/), when a qualified registrar has been identified.
What do I need to do now (and before the non-renewal becomes effective)?
You do not need to do anything right now. You will be contacted by the company that receives the domain names currently managed by your registrar in due course.
What if I want to register my domain with a company other than the one that is chosen for the bulk transfer?
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 receiving registrar is allowed to deny transfers for the first 60 days following the bulk transfer. If the receiving 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 Policy of Transfer of Registrations, at http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/transfers/policy.
My domain with my registrar was about to expire. How can I make sure it does not get lost in the transfer?
If a registration is due to expire, it will be auto-renewed by the registry operator and maintained in its auto-renew grace period. Once a registrar is selected to receive the names currently managed by your registrar you should immediately make arrangements to pay for the renewal.
What if my domain names are registered by a Whois privacy or proxy service provider?
If the Whois privacy or proxy service provider is the registrant of record for your domain name(s), you should ensure that the service provider forwards to you any information it receives from the receiving registrar.
How will the domain name transfer process work?
ICANN will follow the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure (posted at http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/drt/de-accredited-registrar-transition-procedure-01oct08-en.pdf) 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 with 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. Simultaneously, the de-accredited registrar is provided an opportunity to propose a receiving registrar. 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 community interest.
If the de-accredited registrar fails to propose a receiving registrar or if ICANN determines that the proposed transfer would not promote 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 from your registrar.
Once the receiving registrar is selected, ICANN will provide it with registration data and notify the registries to effect 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.
Will the chosen receiving registrar receive my registration data for my domain names?
The registration data for the gTLD names currently managed by your registrar is being held in escrow and 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 provider's information as the registrant of record.
What if my domain name was deleted before my registrar was de-accredited, but I want it back?
If the name is available for registration, you may register it with your preferred ICANN-accredited registrar (see http://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. (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 http://www.icann.org/en/help/dndr/udrp.
Please note that the UDRP applies only to domain names in gTLDs (such as dot-com and dot-net). Dispute resolution policies vary in ccTLDs (such as dot-in, dot-uk and the 240+ other country code top-level domains). You may wish to seek legal advice to determine if the UDRP is applicable to your situation, or to assist in identifying additional alternatives.
I have read everything above but I still have some questions. Whom should I contact?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.