ICANN Transfer Policy Change


As of the 31st of March 2020, OpenSRS re-introduced the Change of Registrant process (as required by ICANN), formally known as the trade process, for changing or updating the Registrant information of gTLD domains (eg .com, .net, .org). While the purpose of the policy is to make domains more secure and reduce ownership disputes, in practice it can turn simple Registrant updates into a cumbersome process.

To simplify the process and avoid a registrant receiving a flood of authorisation emails, our chosen Registrar, Tucows, acts as a Designated Agent. This means that only the initial update requires authorisation and all subsequent authorisations from the same Registrant details will be automatically approved on your behalf when submitted via konsoleH.

Our Hosting Terms and Conditions reflect Tucows as a Designated Agent, acting on your behalf for gTLD domain Registrant updates.

What is the Transfer Policy?

The Transfer Policy previously only covered domain transfers between registrars but now also covers the process of changing ownership of the domain from one entity to another (Registrant to Registrant). This typically happens under the following scenarios:

  1. When a domain is transferred to xneelo (e.g. Transfer to xneelo from ENOM).
  2. When Registrant details are updated through the Domain Update Tool in konsoleH.
  3. When Registrant details are updated through a successful Internal Transfer from one xneelo customer to another.

Which domains are affected?

The ICANN policy applies to all gTLD domains. These Global Top Level Domains are all international, non-country specific domains eg .com, .net, .org, .info and .biz.

What is the effect?

  • Any changes to the first name, last name, organisation or email address fields for the owner of any gTLD domain name will now start a COR process.
  • The process involves obtaining explicit confirmation from current and new Registrants, via a series of confirmation and approval emails before a change can be completed. If either party declines the change, then the change of Registrant request is cancelled and the previous whois info remains the same.

What is xneelo doing about it?

The Transfer Policy allows Registrants to delegate giving their consent for Registrant updates to a third-party, called a Designated Agent, on their behalf.  

To simplify the process and avoid Registrants receiving a flood of authorisations, our chosen registrar, Tucows (the legal entity which operates the OpenSRS registrar), will act as a Designated Agent,  acting on your behalf for gTLD domain Registrant updates.

What is a Designated Agent?

The Transfer Policy allows Registrants to delegate giving their consent to a Change of Registrant to a third-party on their behalf. The policy defines such third-party as a Designated Agent (DA):

1.2 “Designated Agent” means an individual or entity that the Prior Registrant or New Registrant explicitly authorises to approve a Change of Registrant on its behalf.

In practical terms, this means that a Registrant can give authority to Tucows (the legal entity that operates the OpenSRS registrar) to confirm a Change of Registrant. When Tucows is enabled to act as a Designated Agent, the Registrant will not need to receive or confirm an email in order for a change to proceed. Instead, Tucows will always auto-approve any Change of Registrant.

What does it mean for Tucows to act as the Designated Agent?

Tucows will automatically accept all COR emails on behalf of the current and/or new Registrant. The new Registrant, however, will not have the option to opt-out of the 60-day lock.

How will this affect me?

  • As an xneelo customer, you have already accepted xneelo’s Terms and Conditions, thereby authorising Tucows to act as your Designated Agent. Domain updates are now accepted on your behalf, bypassing the cumbersome COR process.
  • After a change of Registrant has been completed, the previous and new Registrant will receive a confirmation email informing them that the change has completed.
  • After a change of Registrant has been completed, the domain is by default locked for transfers to a new registrar for the following 60 days.

How can I update the Domain Registrant Details?

You are able to easily update your domain Registrant details online in konsoleH, and any changes you make will automatically be updated by Tucows. You will receive a verification email if this is your first update.

Note to resellers and web developers: The end-user of a domain must always be listed as the domain Registrant. The reseller or web developer may be listed as the administrative contact. 

What about Domain Transfers?

If you want to transfer and change the Registrant at the same time, you should transfer the domain first, and then change the Registrant. Failure to do so will result in your domain being locked for 60 days.

Does the Policy apply to all Registrars?

Yes, the ICANN Transfer Policy applies to all registrars, but it is important to note that registrars implement the policy in differing ways. Therefore transferring domains to or away from xneelo, where a registrar other than Tucows is involved, may follow a different process.

For detailed information, please refer to OpenSRS/Tucows.