Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.

closed ccNSO Proposed Policy for a Specific ccTLD Related Review Mechanism

RequestersCountry Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)


In total six (6) submission were received: four (4) from community groups, one (1) from a ccTLD Manager, and one (1) submission was removed. The latter will not be further considered.

The comments are categorized into two categories: general observations and specific issues. This Public Comment summary report includes ICANN org staff summary of the comments and observations on the topic in relation to earlier comments received and responses.

All received comments, along with this summary, will be transmitted to the ICANN Board for its consideration.

What We Received Input On

The Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) has submitted its proposed policy on the introduction of a review mechanism for specific decision pertaining to the delegation, transfer, revocation, and retirement of ccTLDs to the ICANN Board of Directors ( ICANN is seeking Public Comment on the proposed policy, which can be found in sections 2-6 and 9 of the Board Report referred to hereabove. For ease of understanding, a summary is presented below:

Objective and scope of the Policy. The objective of the policy is to offer ccTLD managers and applicants for new ccTLDs, who are direct customers of the IANA Naming Function, with an independent review mechanism for specifically identified IANA Function Operator (IFO) decisions.

The proposed Policy is directed at ICANN and the IFO - currently the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI), an affiliate of ICANN – responsible for performing the IANA Naming Functions for ccTLDs. The proposed Policy is not intended and shall not be interpreted to amend the way in which ICANN interacts with the IFO and the delineation of their roles and responsibilities.

The proposed policy will not change or amend the (limited) role that the ICANN Board of Directors has, with respect to individual cases of ccTLD Delegation, Transfer, Retirement, Revocation, or any other policy developed by the ccNSO and adopted by the ICANN Board which allows ccTLDs to review a decision by the IFO.

Applicability of the Policy. The Review Mechanism for IFO decisions applies to ccTLDs and is available to ccTLD Managers, or applicants for a new ccTLD, who are directly impacted by an IFO decision (Decision) for a limited set of processes, which are detailed. 

Possible findings. The only findings are on whether:

  • There were significant issues with the IFO properly following its procedures and applying these fairly in arriving at its Decision; or
  • There were significant issues in how the IFO complied with RFC 1591, the ccNSO Framework of Interpretation for RFC1591 as adopted by the ICANN Board, and any other policies developed through a ccNSO policy development process.

Proposed Review Mechanism (RM) Process.

  • If IFO takes a decision that is subject to review (as covered by the proposed policy), the ccTLD Manager, or an applicant for a new ccTLD, applies for a Review and the Process Manager accepts the application, a Review will commence by the Reviewer(s).
  • If no significant issues were found by the Reviewer(s) the review process is concluded and the IFO decision is confirmed.
  • If significant issues were found by the Reviewer(s) the IFO has three options:
    • The IFO accepts the results and adjusts its decision – this would conclude the review process.
    • The IFO accepts the results but opts to redo the process which resulted in the original decision. The renewed Decision is subject to the RM.
    • The IFO rejects the results:
      • If the IFO decision requires Board approval - the IFO shall include the findings from the review in its recommendation to the Board for confirmation.
      • If the IFO decision does not require Board approval, the ICANN CEO and the ccNSO Council shall be advised of the situation.

Recommendations regarding ICANN Bylaws Sections 4.2 (d) (i) and 4.3 (c) (ii). The proposed policy recommends that all disputes and claims regarding the delegation, transfer, revocation and retirement of ccTLDs remain and are excluded from ICANN’s Reconsideration Request Process and the Independent Review Process (see ICANN Bylaws Sections 4.2 (d) (i) and 4.3 (c) (ii)), and recommends the amendment of the Bylaws accordingly.

Proposals For Your Input
Board Report


In December 2015, the ccNSO Council discussed the launch of a formal ccNSO Policy Development Process to address the lack of policy with respect to retirement of ccTLDs and to introduce a Review Mechanism on issues pertaining to the delegation, transfer, revocation, and retirement of ccTLDs. This discussion was grounded in the need to ensure the predictability and legitimacy of decisions with respect to the delegation, transfer, revocation, and retirement of ccTLDs.

In March 2017, and in accordance with Annex B section 3 and 4 of the ICANN Bylaws, the ccNSO Council decided to initiate the third (3rd) ccNSO Policy Development Process with the initial focus on developing a policy for Retirement of ccTLDs (Part 1), and only after the substantive work on that topic would have been concluded, focus on a Review Mechanism pertaining to decisions on delegation, transfer, revocation, and retirement of ccTLDs (Part 2).

As it became apparent that the originally envisioned advantages of combining the two efforts into one (1) ccNSO Policy Development Process had become obsolete, the ccNSO Council decided on June 2021 to immediately split these two PDPs. Following this split, the ccNSO adopted the retirement policy in September 2021 and submitted it to the ICANN Board of Directors for its consideration. The Board adopted the proposed policy at the ICANN75 meeting in September 2022.  

According to its charter the ccPDP3WG-RM has the following goal:

“The goal of the working group (WG) is to report on and recommend a policy for a review mechanism with respect to decisions pertaining to the delegation, transfer, revocation, and retirement of the delegated Top-Level Domains associated with the country codes assigned to countries and territories listed in the ISO 3166-1 and within the framework of the ccNSO Policy Development Process.”

The CCPDP3WG-RM charter also listed the following questions: 

  • Which decisions and/or actions should be subject to a review mechanism?
  • Whose decisions and/or actions should be subject to a review mechanism?
  • Should a Review Mechanism be open and applicable to all ccTLDs?
  • What will be the result / scope of the review decision?
  • What powers will be bestowed upon the review panel?
  • Who will have standing at a review?
  • What are the grounds (for a review)?

Finally, in July 2022, the ccNSO Council requested the Working Group specifically recommend and/or advise on the need for clarification of the scope of ICANN Bylaws Sections 4.2 (d) (i) and 4.3 (c) (ii).

The ccNSO Working Group to develop the Review Mechanism concluded its work in March 2023 and the Final Report was submitted to the ccNSO Council. The Council adopted the proposed policy on 16 March 2022 and - as required under Annex B of the Bylaws - subsequently the support of members of ccNSO was sought through a ccNSO Members vote. The ccNSO Membership supported the Council Recommendation: out of 173 Members, 105 voted (60%) of which 101 were in favor, 2 members did not support the proposed policy and 2 members abstained. The ccNSO Council approved the Board Report at its meeting on 15 June 2023, which was then submitted to the ICANN Board of Directors on 26 June 2023.