Registrations of .eu domain names in the United Kingdom plummeted in 2018, dropping over 76,000 to 240,887 from 317,286 at the end of 2017, the latest annual report from EURid reveals, as Brexit fears cause British registrants to drop their .eu domain names.
Depending on the outcome of Brexit, registrants in the UK will likely find they are unable to register, renew or continue to hold .eu domain names unless they have a relationship with the European Union such as an office within the EU.
Overall, the annual report [pdf] showed total registrations of .eu domain names dropped 130,305 to 3,684,750 from 3,815,055 at the end of 2017. Another contributor to the decline was the suspension of 36,520 domain names in October that were previously suspended due to non-eligible registration data, of which some had been reported for abuse. Due to the decline in registrations, the renewal rate dropped to 78.75% from 81.9% in 2017. But this compares more than favourably with .com and .net with 74.8% and 74.4% renewal rates respectively.
The top countries for .eu registrations as of 31 December 2018 were Germany (983,460 registrations), Netherlands (474,697), France (330,323), Italy (267,465), Poland (265,571), UK (240,887), Czech Republic (156,868), Austria (153,939), Belgium (141,343) and Spain (116,985). But the big movers in registration increases for the 12 month period were Cyprus, which saw registrations increase 46.0%, Portugal (35.6%), Romania (34.0%), Ireland (25.9%) and Norway (23.5%)
For DNSSEC and internationalised domain names (IDNs) there were contrasting results in the annual report. DNSSEC-signed domain names in .eu and .ею jumped 69,724 to 513,324 while internationalised domain names (IDNs) dropped 1,901 to 39,396 and now make up 1.07% of total registrations.
Among other highlights in the annual report, EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) registration was confirmed in November until 2021. In December agreement was reached between the European Parliament, the Council, and the European Commission on the new rules guiding .eu. The new rules, which come into effect in October 2022, will expand the eligibility criteria surrounding the .eu, as EU citizens will be able to register a .eu domain name regardless of where they reside. Currently, any person resident or business established in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway can register a .eu domain name.
On the financial results, costs dropped 1.66% while revenues decreased 3.96%.