ICANN Carthage Meeting Topic:
gTLD Registrar Domain-Name Deletion Policy

Posted: 6 October 2003

ICANN Carthage Meeting Topic: gTLD Registrar Domain-Name Deletion Policy


One of the topics scheduled for ICANN Board discussion and possible action in Carthage, Tunisia (27-31 October 2003) is the Final Report of the GNSO Council's Deletes Task Force. The Deletes Task Force report recommends ICANN adopt a new uniform policy concerning gTLD registrar procedures for handling expiration of domain registrations.

At its meeting in Montréal, Canada, the GNSO Council voted unanimously to accept the Final Report of the Deletes Task Force and to forward it to the ICANN Board as a consensus-policy recommendation. The report will be discussed at the ICANN Public Forum session to be held on Thursday, 30 October 2003, and will be considered by the ICANN Board at its meeting on Friday, 31 October 2003. Both the Public Forum and the Board meeting will be held in Carthage, Tunisia.

The Deletes Task Force's recommendations are limited to two areas: a uniform delete practice after domain name expiry by registrars, and recommendations specific to the handling of expired names subject to a pending UDRP dispute (section numbering below per the task force's report).

Recommend New Consensus Policies

[3.1] Uniform deletion practice after domain name expiry by registrars

[3.1.1] At the conclusion of the registration period, failure by or on behalf of the Registered Name Holder to consent that the registration be renewed within the time specified in a second notice or reminder shall, in the absence of extenuating circumstances, result in cancellation of the registration by the end of the auto-renew grace period (although registrars may choose to cancel the name earlier). As a mechanism for enforcing this requirement, registries may elect to delete names for which an explicit renew command has not been received prior to the expiration of the grace period.

Extenuating circumstances are defined as:

  • UDRP action
  • valid court order
  • failure of a registrars renewal process (which does not include failure of a registrant to respond)
  • the domain name is used by a nameserver that provides DNS service to third parties (additional time may be required to migrate the records managed by the nameserver)
  • the registrant is subject to bankruptcy proceedings
  • payment dispute (where a registrant claims to have paid for a renewal, or a discrepancy in the amount paid)
  • billing dispute (where a registrant disputes the amount on a bill)
  • domain name subject to litigation in a court of competent jurisdiction
  • other circumstance as approved specifically by ICANN

Where a registrar chooses, under extenuating circumstances, to renew a domain name without the explicit consent of the registrant, the registrar must maintain a record of the extenuating circumstances associated with renewing that specific domain name for inspection by ICANN consistent with clauses 3.4.2 and 3.4.3 of the registrar accreditation agreement.

[3.1.2] In the absence of extenuating circumstances (as definited in Section 3.1.1), a domain name must be deleted within 45 days of either the registrar or the registrant terminating a registration agreement.

[3.1.3] These requirements retroactively apply to all existing domain name registrations beginning 180 days after the implementation of the policy.

[3.1.4] Registrars shall provide notice to each new registrant describing the details of their deletion and auto-renewal policy including the expected time at which a non-renewed domain name would be deleted relative to the domain’s expiration date, or a date range not to exceed ten days in length.

If a registrar makes any material changes to its deletion policy during the period of the registration agreement, it must make at least the same effort to inform the registrant of the changes as it would to inform the registrant of other material changes to the registration agreement (as defined in clause 3.7.7 of the registrars accreditation agreement)."

[3.1.5] If a registrar operates a website for domain name registration or renewal, details of its deletion and auto-renewal policies must be clearly displayed on the website.

[3.1.6] If a registrar operates a website for domain registration or renewal, it should state, both at the time of registration and in a clear place on its website, any fee charged for the recovery of a domain name during the Redemption Grace Period.

[3.2] Registrar deletion practice after domain name expiry for domain names subject to a pending UDRP dispute

[3.2.1] In the event that a domain which is the subject of a UDRP dispute is deleted or expires during the course of the dispute, a complainant in the UDRP dispute will have the option to renew or restore the name under the same commercial terms as the registrant. If the complainant renews or restores the name, the name will be placed in Registrar HOLD and Registrar LOCK status, the WHOIS contact information for the registrant will be removed, and the WHOIS entry will indicate that the name is subject to dispute. If the complaint is terminated, or the UDRP dispute finds against the complainant, the name will be deleted within 45 days. The registrant retains the right under the existing redemption grace period provisions to recover the name at any time during the Redemption Grace Period, and retains the right to renew the name before it is deleted.

Board Actions

The task force's Final Report contains the two "Consensus Policies" copied above concerning gTLD registrar procedures for handling expiration of domain registrations.

Because the report was supported by a Supermajority Vote of the GNSO Council, the provision of item 13 of the GNSO-PDP applies. That provision states that "the Board shall adopt the policy according to the Council Supermajority Vote recommendation unless by a vote of more than sixty-six (66%) percent of the Board determines that such policy is not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN." In the event that the Board determines not to approve the recommendations, it must return to the GNSO Council a "Board Statement" articulating the reasons for its determination. The GNSO-PDP then establishes a process for consultation between the Board and GNSO Council to resolve any differences.

In the event that the recommendations are adopted by the Board as policy, the Board will give ICANN staff appropriate direction for implementation.

Public Comment Invited

Comments are invited from all concerned on the Final Report of the GNSO Council's Deletes Task Force and on the actions that the Board should take. Comments may be submitted electronically until Tuesday, 28 October 2003, by sending them to <deletes-comments@icann.org>. Submissions will be archived at <http://forum.icann.org/mtg-cmts/deletes-comments/>.

In addition, a portion of the ICANN Public Forum on Thursday, 30 October 2003, in Carthage, Tunisia, will be devoted to public discussion of the deletes issues.


Click here to read the Final Report of the GNSO Council Deletes Task Force.
Click here for information about the ICANN Public Forum in Carthage.

Click here to make an e-mail comment regarding this topic.
Comments will be most useful if they are made by 28 October 2003.

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