According to recent statistics, there are just over 317,000 .eu domains registered in the UK. However, once the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020, UK citizens and companies established solely in the UK will no longer be eligible to hold them.
On 1 October 2020, EURid (registry manager for .eu domains) advised all UK owners that they will lose their eligibility to hold .eu domains, unless they update their registration details to demonstrate compliance with the .eu regulatory framework. In summary, only EU citizens, non-EU citizens residing in a Member State and organisations established in the EU may hold a .eu domain. Forfeited domains will be held by EURid for one year and then released for general registration by eligible third parties.
Any individuals or organisations domiciled in the UK, whose website relies on a .eu domain name, would be wise to start reviewing their domain portfolios now and where necessary, think about reassignment or an alternative domain, such as .co.uk or .com. In addition, consideration should be given to putting in place a domain name watching service which will flag any third party use of the lost domain, particularly where the domain incorporates a distinctive trade mark.