Advisory Concerning Posting of Registrar Fees for Restoring Deleted Domain Names
Updated 8 December 2011
The purpose of this advisory is to clarify a provision of the Expired Domain Deletion Policy (EDDP), a Consensus Policy adopted by ICANN's Board of Directors on 21 September 2004 (see http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/eddp.htm). The EDDP is incorporated into ICANN's Registrar Accreditation Agreements (RAA) at section 3.7.5 (http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/ra-agreement-21may09-en.htm#3.7.5). This advisory focuses on the requirement that an accredited registrar's website must clearly display both the registrar's "deletion and auto-renewal policies" and "any fee charged for the recovery of a domain name during the Redemption Grace Period."
Redemption Grace Period
The Redemption Grace Period (RGP) is an optional service offered by some registries and registrars. Its implementation is different in different gTLDs. When a deleted domain name enters the RGP, it will not be included in the zone file (i.e., the domain name will not resolve - no web traffic or e-mails will reach the domain). Unless restored, the domain name will be held in the RGP for 30 calendar days. At the conclusion of that RGP (and a brief pending-delete period), the domain name will be returned to the pool of domain names available for registration.
Informing Registered Name Holders of Actual Fee(s)
To recover a domain name that has entered the RGP, the registrar must pay a fee to the registry. Registrars typically recover this fee through a charge to the Registered Name Holder requesting the redemption. ICANN's Contractual Compliance department is working with registrars to promote compliance with RAA section 3.7.5 and the rest of the RAA. Through its compliance efforts, ICANN has noted that some registrars are not in compliance with their obligations under the EDDP and RAA because their websites either: (1) do not mention fees for recovering domain names in RGP; or (2) mention that there are fees for recovery of domain names in RGP but do not specify what those fees are.
In accordance with Section 18.104.22.168 of the RAA, registrars are obligated to post the actual amounts of any fee(s) that a Registered Name Holder will have to pay if it wishes to recover a domain name that has entered the RGP. In cases where a registrar offers differential pricing for Registered Name Holders, the fee(s) posted must at least indicate the maximum amount a Registered Name Holder might have to pay for the recovery of a domain name that has entered the RGP. A registrar is therefore in breach if it charges any fee for recovery of domain names in RGP if the fee has not been posted in accordance with the RAA.
The RAA does not specify exactly where on the registrar's website the information on registrar deletion policies and restore fees must be posted, just that the information "must be clearly displayed on the website" and that it must be posted "both at the time of registration and in a clear place on its website …" (RAA sections 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199). Registrars may exercise reasonable discretion in deciding where to post this information. Customers might reasonably expect to find such information in the sections of registrar websites that deal with issues such as customer care, FAQs, pricing, and domain registration and renewal policies.
If you have questions or a dispute concerning the Expired Domain Deletion Policy, please contact your registrar or ICANN's Contractual Compliance department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not know who your registrar is, you can look it up using a WHOIS search for your domain name here: http://www.internic.net/whois.html. The results of the WHOIS search will contain the name of the registrar and the contact details. If you know who your registrar is and need to find out how to contact them, you can find that information at http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/accredited-list.html.
If you believe your registrar is non-compliant with the Expired Domain Deletion Policy, you may submit a report via the Registrar Problem Report Form.
To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer—a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers. ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn't deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.
For more information please visit: www.icann.org