ICANN PolicyICANN’s new Transfer Policy comes as the result of a lengthy review into policies that govern gTLD domain transfers, and replaces the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP). The new policy extends the IRTP from transfers between registrars to include the change of ownership from one registrant to another. The change of registrant triggers a series of confirmation and approval emails, which can also be triggered when a registrant changes their first name, last name or email address on a domain.

Complication not simplification

The process was initiated in 2007, when the ICANN community began to identify issues around existing transfer policies, particularly where they impact on domain hijacking.

Once the new policy goes into effect on 1st December 2016, it will no longer be possible to use a simple modification request to change of registrant for a domain. A process that once occurred seamlessly thousands of times a day between registrars and registrants has now been needlessly complicated. Hijacking may have been prevented, but at the expense of registrants who own and manage a domain name.

How the policy impacts your business

If you’re thinking of transferring any gTLD domain, the new policy will impact on your business in several key areas:-

If you make a material change to registrant details, this triggers a confirmation process that must be completed by the old registrant and new registrant or their designated agents. If either registrant or their agents fail to provide confirmation, then the whois information will revert to that of the prior registrant.

Once the process is completed, and notification has been given, there’s no mechanism for reverting the change.

Unless the old registrant opts out, the domain will be subject to a 60-day transfer lock once the process is completed.

For resellers, customers will no longer be able to submit a domain modification request to change the registrant of a domain name.

If the old registrant does not confirm the trade process within 14 days, then the whois data will remain unchanged and the request will be denied. You’ll have to start the process again from scratch.

What happens next?

Although the policy doesn’t add anything positive to the domain transfer experience or the experience of managing a domain name, catalyst2 will endeavour to minimise the negative impacts and if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.