Background on Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy
ICANN promotes and encourages robust competition in the domain name space. The organization's Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP), therefore, aims to provide a straightforward procedure for domain name holders to transfer their names from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another should they wish to do so. The policy also provides standardized requirements for registrar handling of such transfer requests from domain name holders.
The policy is an existing community consensus that was implemented in late 2004 and is now being reviewed by the GNSO. As part of that effort, the GNSO Council formed a Transfers Working Group (TWG) to examine and recommend possible areas for improvements in the existing transfer policy. The TWG identified a broad list of over 20 potential areas for clarification and improvement.
In parallel to a PDP on IRTP denial reasons that now has been concluded, the GNSO Council tasked a short term planning group to evaluate and prioritize the remaining 19 policy issues identified by the Transfers Working Group. In March 2008, the group delivered a report to the Council that suggested combining the consideration of related issues into five new PDPs. On 8 May 2008, the Council adopted the structuring of five additional inter-registrar transfer PDPs as suggested by the planning group (in addition to the ongoing Transfer PDP 1 on the four reasons for denying a transfer). The five new PDPs will be addressed in a largely consecutive manner, with the possibility of overlap as resources permit.
This first PDP addresses so- called 'new IRTP issues' dealing with questions relating to the exchange of registrant e-mail information, the potential for including new forms of electronic authentication and potential provisions for "partial bulk transfers." The Working Group published its Initial Report and a public comment period ran until 30 January 2009. The Working Group finalized its report in March 2009 and submitted it to the GNSO Council for consideration. The Working Group recommended that no changes need to be made to the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy in relation to the issues considered under IRTP A, which include the need for exchanging registrant e-mail information, the potential for including new forms of electronic authentication and potential provisions for "partial bulk transfers.” The Working Group did make recommendations for: further study of the Internet Registry Information Service (IRIS) for IRTP purposes; further consideration of the appropriateness of a policy change that would prevent a registrant from reversing a transfer after it has been completed and authorized by the administrative contact; and, a clarification that the current bulk transfer provisions also apply to bulk transfer of domain names in only one gTLD.