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Advisory: Availability of Bulk Transfers in Individual gTLDs

5 October 2009

ICANN-accredited registrars are advised that Part B of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy ("Transfer Policy") permits ICANN to approve a bulk transfer of all of a registrar's names in a particular gTLD without requiring simultaneous transfer of its names in other gTLDs.

The Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy Part A Policy Development Process Working Group noted in its Final Report to the Generic Names Supporting Organization that some confusion may exist about the availability of "partial bulk transfers," where a registrar might wish to transfer all of its domain names in only one particular gTLD to another ICANN-accredited registrar. This advisory is intended to clarify that Part B of the Transfer Policy does permit ICANN to approve a bulk transfer of all of a registrar's names in a particular gTLD without requiring simultaneous transfer of its names in other gTLDs.

Part B of the Transfer Policy (ICANN-Approved Transfers) makes available a bulk transfer of gTLD names between registrars "as the result of (i) acquisition of that Registrar or its assets by another Registrar, or (ii) lack of accreditation of that Registrar or lack of its authorization with the Registry Operator" where (a) the gaining registrar to the transfer is accredited by ICANN and has in effect a registry-registrar agreement with the registry operator for the affected TLD(s) and (b) ICANN certifies to registry operator that the transfer would promote the community interest, "such as the interest in stability that may be threatened by the actual or imminent business failure of a Registrar." Part B of the Transfer Policy additionally establishes a one-time registry fee of $50,000 charged to the gaining registrar for such transfers, where more than 50,000 names are transferred.

The bulk transfer provision (Part B) of the Transfer Policy is most often invoked in instances where a registrar's Registrar Accreditation Agreement ("RAA") is terminated or expires without renewal. Part B of the Transfer Policy also allows for bulk transfers in cases where a registrar lacks authorization to continue management of domains within a registry, such as where its Registry-Registrar Agreement ("RRA") is terminated. In both cases, ICANN follows the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure to identify an ICANN-accredited registrar to take over management of the names and notifies affected registries that it has approved the bulk transfer. No distinction is made in either the Transfer Policy or the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure between voluntary terminations (those initiated by the registrar) and involuntary terminations (those initiated by ICANN in the case of an RAA or the registry, in the case of an RRA). Furthermore, where a bulk transfer is approved by ICANN due to lack of a registrar's authorization within a registry, there is no requirement that domains in other TLDs be transferred as a result.