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2013 RAA Approved by ICANN Board of Directors

28 June 2013
By Cyrus Namazi

We are finally there. After a long and extensive period of discussions, negotiations and revisions, the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement [PDF, 913 KB] is finally a reality. Here is a summary of the changes [PDF, 158 KB] made since the RAA was posted for public comment on April 22.

This accomplishment marks yet another significant milestone in the process of empowering New gTLDs and provides a robust mechanism for continued improvements for the entire DNS ecosystem. I dare say that for the first time we have an agreement that incorporates many significant provisions that our stakeholders have been asking for.

Yet, much work still lies ahead. This new agreement requires many new services and systems to be put in place by the industry. ICANN is fully committed to facilitate trainings and webinars to help the global Registrar community better understand these new requirements. To that end, we are planning onsite trainings in China to be conducted in Chinese, as well as in Los Angeles, sometime in August. We plan to do similar trainings in other regions as necessary.

Once again, I salute the Registrar Negotiating Team for all of its contributions to this process and for being true partners in accomplishing this monumental task. These dedicated individuals delivered on their commitment to help raise the industry’s standards for the benefit of the community. In short, a job well done!

What industry leaders are saying about the new RAA…

James Bladel, GoDaddy

“The new 2013 RAA represents a milestone achievement for our industry, thanks to almost two years of work on the part of Registrar Negotiators and ICANN Staff. But finalizing the language of the agreement was actually the easy part, and now the real work of implementing the new RAA can begin. Registrants and customers should see these changes in the coming months.”

Volker Greimann, Key-Systems GmbH

“The approval of the 2013 RAA by the ICANN board clears one of the final obstacles for the long-awaited launch of the new gTLDs. The changes contained in the new agreement will have a lasting and noticeable effect on the domain name industry and the registration process in general for all registrations in the existing and the new generic top level domains. Registrars and ICANN have worked hard to create this document in response to the problems put before us and we appreciate the willingness of ICANN to work with registrars in addressing and implementing them in a realistic and workable manner. Going forward, we will continue to work together to fine-tune and expand upon the existing agreement as the new RAA is intended and designed to be a living document.”

Rob Hall, Momentous

“The new registrar agreement clears that way for market success in the launching of new Internet domain names. By committing to a single set of requirements, businesses — registrars and registries alike — can now more decisively make investment and business decisions with winners and losers determined by those actions, not by rule or regulation.”

Jeff Eckhaus, Demand Media

“The 2013 RAA is the product of a great deal of work by both Registrars and ICANN, but the direction of the changes were driven directly from the ICANN Community. With input from the GAC, Law Enforcement, GNSO and the public comment system, this negotiation had the feeling of everyone in the room and their voices heard, but above all we always worried about the most important person, the registrants of domain names.”


Cyrus Namazi