The Hungarian Domain Registration Rules and Procedures (the Rules) changed recently.  The changes extend the personal scope of potential registrants of Hungarian (.Hu) Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) and clarify the temporal scope of the Rules.

Hungarian ccTLDs are administered by the Scientific Association of Council of Hungarian Internet Service Providers (the Hungary NIC) based on an authorization from ICANN. The Hungary NIC issued the Rules to regulate the delegation of .HU ccTLDs.

Section 1.1.1 of the Rules specifies who may apply for a domain name registration.  These include:

•           any citizen of an European Union member state;

•           any natural person holding a residence permit in Hungary;

•           any entity established by virtue of law, entered in the records of or registered with an authority or court in an European Union member state; or

•           any owner of a trademark registered with the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office or protected in Hungary (such as EUTMs and International Marks protected in Hungary).

The Rules changed effective 1 January 2017 to extend the scope of registrants also to:

•           any citizen of a  country of the European Union, country which is a member of the Council of Europe, a country which is in the European Economic Area or EFTA, or of a country geographically neighbouring Hungary, or a person having an ID card, passport or driving licence issued by one of these countries; as well as

•           any entity established by virtue of law, entered in the records of or registered with an authority or court in the territory of a country of the European Union, a country which is a member of the Council of Europe, a country which is in the European Economic Area or EFTA or a country geographically neighbouring Hungary.

Practically, this means that any entity or resident of Europe (excluding Belarus and the Holy See) may apply for .HU ccTLDs registration in Hungary.

The Rules now clarify that in respect of previously delegated .HU ccTLDs, the lawfulness of the delegation will be judged according to the registration rules in effect at the time of the registration. This change makes it clear that an exit from the European Union, the Council of Europe, the European Economic Area or EFTA will not influence the validity and continued existence of the .HU ccTLD registration acquired earlier.

These changes of the Rules are effective from 1 January 2017.