I read the terms and condition of Domain Registration Policy (country level domain register in my county)

The following sentence were there:

Domains may not be sold, and any such domains may be de-registered.

Is it legal? Can ccTLD have that types of policy? ICANN allow to ccTLD to having that type of TOS?

  • ccTLDs are controlled by countries or entities on behalf of the country. The rules are what they country deems as right for themselves. This may not be the case for all ccTLDs, but generally the case. Keep in mind that ccTLDs are intended to be different right from the jump.
    – closetnoc
    Dec 18, 2017 at 15:12

2 Answers 2


Only gTLDs are signing a contract with ICANN which clearly frames what they can and can not do.

ccTLDs have a basic mutual understanding with ICANN but are not regulated by it. They are supposedly for the local community and are administratively delegated to the government, which puts in place whatever structure it likes to run things (university sector, non profit organization, commercial company, etc.) So they are basically free to choose the contract terms they force on the registrants, which are free to shop elsewhere if they do not like it.

You are probably hiting a ccTLD not having registrars and where the registry deals directly with registrant. In that case the sentence you quote does not shock me, while you may disapprove it. It is perfectly legal and ICANN has nothing to say in that regard.

Remember also that domain are not really sold anyway like a property: they are closer to a license that you renew, like a phone number.

The road of ccTLDs have basically been less and less regulations to try developing their TLD use, especially against the gTLDs. The situation is now more complicated with new gTLDs on one side that are started to drive more competition (or so it is said) so that should encourage ccTLDs to be closer to them, but new regulations on other sides, like the European GDPR that will impose new limits on what registries and registrars can do, for those impacted by these laws.


Very few ccTLDs are under ICANN control (cc and tv are examples). The rest, are able to set their own rules, so that includes the ability to restrict the ability to sell/resell the domains.


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