Registrar Compliance Program
The following overview of the Registrar Compliance Program [PDF, 512 KB] serves as a guide only. Contracted parties must continue to review and comply with all requirements in their agreements with ICANN and the applicable ICANN policies.
The gTLD Registrar Compliance Program was developed by dividing the contractual provisions of Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) into general Compliance Areas. Those areas are implemented through a combination of internal monitoring efforts, processing of complaints and monitoring of external resources, such as industry news. A new service or a change in policy may trigger additional compliance monitoring in that area.
The form of the RAA is identical regardless of the characteristics of the registrar. Listed below are some of the RAA Compliance Areas and the relevant provisions.
For additional information regarding registrars and the RAAs, please refer to this visit the Information for Registrars and Registrants page.
A list of some of the Registrar related compliance areas.
Registration Data Directory Service (Whois)
This is a broad area in which accredited registrars have several obligations, including:
- Provision of free public Whois service on Port 43 and via web;
- Submitting all required data elements to the registries;
- Updating data in a timely manner;
- Taking reasonable steps to investigate and correct inaccuracies upon notification;
- Providing annual Whois data reminders to registrants.
Relevant provisions include Sections 3.2, 3.3 and 3.7.8 of the 2009 RAA and 2013 RAA, and the Whois Accuracy Program Specification of the 2013 RAA.
For additional information, please visit About Whois Complaints.
Domain Name Transfer
All ICANN-accredited registrars are required to allow registrants to transfer domain names to another registrar. If registrants encounter problems with transferring a domain name, then they can submit a complaint to ICANN for review and follow up as needed. Common areas relating to transfer complaints are at About Domain Name Transfer to a Different Registrar.
Registrar obligations relating to transfers are specified in the Transfer Policy
Domain Name Renewal
The Expired Registration Recovery Policy (ERRP) and Expired Domain Deletion Policy (EDDP) provide requirements for ICANN-accredited registrars regarding domain name expiration, including notifying registrants about expiration. For additional information, please visit About Domain Renewal/Redemption.
Registrars are required to submit an electronic copy of their database to an escrow agent according to an approved schedule and format. They must also enter into the appropriate agreement with ICANN and the escrow agent. ICANN works with the data escrow agents to ensure that registrars deposit data on the required schedule, in the required format, and that the data complies with the requirements of the RAA.
The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a method for resolving certain domain name disputes involving trademarks. Although UDRPs must be filed through independent dispute resolution providers, the RAA require registrars to comply with the UDRP. UDRP compliance areas include verifying registrant information, maintaining domain status quo, locking domain names, and timely implementing UDRP decisions. For more information, please visit About Domain Name Dispute/UDRP.
As each of these areas has a variety of requirements binding on registrars, ICANN will use various means to test compliance including surveys, review of sample registrar materials, and data from third parties such as dispute resolution providers.
ICANN undertakes various activities to ensure compliance with contractual obligations; some of the activities are a result of complaints, some are monitoring and others are related to the Contractual Compliance Audit Program.
The monitoring activities are ICANN-initiated, based in part on industry articles, previous complaints, and trend analysis in an effort to proactively address any alleged failure to comply with contract terms.