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Transferring (Assigning) an ICANN Accreditation

The RAA includes a process that permits an ICANN-accredited registrar ("Transferor") to seek ICANN's approval to transfer (assign) its accreditation to another entity ("Transferee") that wishes to become an accredited registrar. The assignment process is distinct from a registrar purchase, which occurs when a new owner purchases or otherwise acquires an entire registrar entity (such as by purchase of the stock in a corporation). Registrars may use the following procedures to request ICANN's approval of a transfer of accreditation.

The assignment approval procedures and requirements differ for registrars accredited under the 2009 and 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreements (RAA).

2009 RAA Assignment Procedure

Entities seeking ICANN's approval of the assignment of a registrar accreditation under the 2009 Registrar Accreditation Agreement must submit the following items to ICANN.

The Transferee must submit:

  1. an ICANN Registrar Accreditation Application via postal mail or courier. The transferee may submit either the current version of the application or the archived 2009 RAA version, and
  2. the $3,500 application fee.

ICANN will notify the parties in writing upon its approval of the Transfer of Accreditation. Both parties must enter into an agreement acknowledging the assignment of the Accreditation Agreement. A template [PDF, 243 KB] for this agreement is available at:

https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/assignment-assumption-agreement-2009-raa-10feb16-en.pdf [PDF, 243 KB].

The Transferee will then assume and be responsible for all the RAA-related obligations and liabilities of the Transferor.

2013 RAA Assignment Procedure

Entities seeking ICANN's approval of the assignment of a registrar accreditation under the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement must submit notice of any proposed assignment or any request for approval of assignment to ICANN at registrarupdates@icann.org. Within 30 days, ICANN may either (1) approve or deny the assignment, or (2) request additional information1. If ICANN requests additional information, ICANN will have 60 days after the requested information was provided to either approve or deny the assignment.2

Note that this process is distinct from the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement's procedure for registrars to request ICANN's approval of an assignment involving wholly-owned subsidiaries and other related business entities, discussed in detail below.

ICANN will notify the parties in writing upon its approval of the Transfer of Accreditation. Both parties must enter into an agreement acknowledging the assignment of the RAA. A template [PDF, 43 KB] for this agreement is available at: https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/assignment-assumption-agreement-2013-raa-04nov15-en.pdf [PDF, 43 KB].

The Transferee will then assume and be responsible for all the existing RAA-related obligations and liabilities of the Transferor.

2013 RAA Assignment Procedure Involving Wholly-Owned Subsidiaries

The 2013 RAA provides a streamlined process for accredited registrars to request ICANN's approval of RAA transfers/assignments involving certain related business entities. The process can be used in instances where an ICANN-accredited registrar wishes to obtain ICANN's approval to assign its accreditation to a wholly-owned subsidiary or to the parent company of the ICANN-accredited registrar, or from one wholly-owned subsidiary to another wholly-owned subsidiary of the same parent company.

The Transferor is required to notify ICANN of the transfer of accreditation and must provide ICANN with official documentation demonstrating the required parent/subsidiary or subsidiary/subsidiary relationship of the Transferor and Transferee. This notification should be emailed to registrarupdates@icann.org.

The following documents must also be submitted:

  1. a document evidencing the Assignee's express assumption of the terms and conditions of the RAA. A template for this agreement is available at https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/assignment-assumption-agreement-2013-raa-04nov15-en.pdf [PDF, 43 KB],
  2. a Primary Contact Update [PDF, 250 KB] form (if primary contact information will be updated as a result of the transfer), and
  3. an updated Registrar Information Specification form [PDF, 30 KB], including a proof of Business Registration of the Transferee, a Proof of Good Standing document for the Transferee, and a list of the Transferee's officers and directors.

1 If ICANN does not approve or deny the application, nor request additional information within 30 days, the request deemed approved.

2 If ICANN does not approve or deny the application within 60 days of its receipt of the requested information, the request is deemed approved.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."