I currently reside in the UK and sport a .pm domain name. Obviously as of next year the UK will no longer be within the EU. I'm wondering where that leaves me? Is there any alternative to giving up my domain name?

For reference it's a personal domain, my emails etc. I really wouldn't like to lose this.

  • What does a .pm top level domain have to do with the EU? WikiPedia says that the Australian prime minister was able to register one. – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 28 at 21:01
  • Actually, the UK isn't really leaving the EU with the current proposal. The Tories have made sure that we remain, in a watered down EU membership. The only way we can leave the EU fully is to have a hard Brexit. – Simon Hayter Nov 28 at 22:02
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    @StephenOstermiller Although the Wikipedia page also says that the "Registrant must reside in the European Economic Area [EEA]...". At least the aus.pm domain has a French contact address listed in the Whois. (I would have thought they could have gotten around the restrictions by using the Australian Embassy address in Paris? Although that doesn't appear to be the case.) – MrWhite Nov 28 at 23:33
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    @StephenOstermiller Yes requires us to remain in the european economic area according to the terms. – razki Nov 30 at 10:46

.PM is the ccTLD for "Saint-Pierre and Miquelon", a French overseas territory, and is currently being run by AFNIC as registry:

The latest document on eligibility rules is at https://www.afnic.fr/medias/documents/Cadre_legal/Charte_de_nommage_25052018_VEN.pdf

You can learn in its article 88 about who can own a .PM domain name:

Any individual residing and any legal entity having its headquarters or principal place of business as specified below may apply to register or renew a domain name in each of the top-level domains:

  • within the territory of one of the member states of the European Union;
  • within the territory of the following countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland

The emphasis there of course needs to be on "European Union". And, due to European regulations, similar restrictions applies to many other European ccTLDs (or at least registries can not discriminate between EU citizens).

The current divorce between UK and EU is not exactly settled right now, so its consequences are not clear at this level of details.

If the rule above is not changed, one may argue that you are not entitled any more to a .PM domain name. To be 100% sure you will probably have to contact the registry (https://www.afnic.fr/en/about-afnic/contact/) but it is probably too soon.

Note that there is a precedent: .EU, handled by EURid, is in the same kind of problems... except that it received already clear directives from the European Commision on how to handle UK registrants of .EU domain names and right now it does not look good for them. Have a look at https://eurid.eu/en/register-a-eu-domain/brexit-notice/ for details. Maybe .PM will be in same spot (like the 5 others AFNIC ccTLDs: .FR, .RE, .TF, .WF, .YT, the above eligibility rules apply to all 6 of them), maybe not.

What can you do?

Right now not much but:

  1. as explained above you can contact the registry and share your concerns; you might not get a definitive reassuring reply, but it is a first step
  2. probably extreme, but you may wish, at least as a safeguard, to register some other kind of domain names and "prepare" yourself to switch to it, if nothing else works
  3. you can also transfer ownership of the domain to some other third party that will still respect the eligibility rules and will basically be your proxy. Some points to take into account for this:
    1. some registrars may provide you (for free or not) such kind of trustee/proxy service
    2. make sure to carefully review the agreement you will need to sign as, for the registry and on all public records (whois, etc.) the other entity will be the legal owner of the domain; in case of disagreement between you and them you will have a lot of troubles to get your domain back
    3. trustee/proxy services are forbidden in some TLDs; it could be a good idea to ask the registry about that in advance
  4. DO NOT suppose that you can fake your address in the hope to pass the eligibility rules: in many TLDs, and including those run by AFNIC, so .PM too, there are regular checks on domain names, and if physical addresses are deemed wrong and not corrected it is ground for domain name cancellation

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