ICANN’s new Expired Registration Recovery Policy in effect by 31 August 2013

ICANN announced the implementation of the Expired Registration Recovery Policy (“ERRP”). All ICANN-accredited registrars and gTLD registries are required to comply with the Expired Registration Recovery Policy by no later than 31 August 2013.

This policy was developed from the Generic Name Supporting Organization (“GNSO“)’s Post Expiration Domain Name Recovery (“PEDNR“) recommendations, which were adopted by ICANN‘s Board of Directors on 28 October 2011. The policy was drafted in consultation with the GNSO‘s PEDNR Implementation Review Team and was posted for public comment on 11 October 2012.

The ERRP is expected to promote better understanding of registrants’ options and help alleviate common issues related to the expiration of gTLD registrations. This policy is intended to help align registrant expectations with registrar practices by establishing certain minimum communications requirements and making renewal and redemption of domain name registrations uniformly available in prescribed circumstances.

Some of the most notable provisions of the ERRP include the following:

  1. To help prevent unintended non-renewal of domain name registrations, registrars will be required to notify registered name holders of the expiration of their registrations at least two times: approximately one month prior to the expiration date and, again, approximately one week prior to the expiration date.
  2. All gTLD registries must offer a Redemption Grace Period of 30 days immediately following the deletion of a registration. (Sponsored gTLDs are exempt, and not required to offer a Redemption Grace Period.) During the Redemption Grace Period, the registrant must be permitted by its registrar to restore the deleted registration.
  3. To promote consumer choice and awareness, registrars must make their renewal and redemption fees reasonably available to registered name holders and prospective registered name holders at the time of registration of a domain name.
  4. As in the past, registrars may delete registrations at any time after they expire, subject to applicable consensus policies and provisions of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement. However, the ERRP requires that resolution of the domain name be interrupted for a period of time after expiration, but before deletion, of the name to help make the registrant aware of the expiration of its name. Additionally, any parking page hosted by the registrar at the expired domain name must include or point to renewal instructions.

The policy recommendations by the GNSO recognize that some flexibility is required in the timing of pre-expiration renewal notices. As such, if the notices required to be sent approximately one month and one week prior to expiration described in paragraph 2.1.1 are transmitted between 26-35 days and between 4-10 days prior to expiration, respectively, this would be considered compliant with the policy.

Registrars should advise registered name holders to provide a secondary email point of contact that is not associated with the domain name itself so that in case of expiration, reminders can be delivered to this secondary email point of contact.

Consistent with the recommendations of the GNSO‘s PEDNR Working Group, ICANN is in the process of developing educational materials in consultation with interested stakeholders to help the community better understand this policy and how it applies to them.

The actual language of the ERRP is binding on ICANN-accredited registrars and gTLD registries, not the summary provided here.

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

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