Rules for domain names
Furthermore, bear these rules in mind when deciding which domain name you would like to register:
Accepted characters and combinations
Classic (Non IDN) domain names consist of:
- Characters a to z
- Digits 0 through 9
- Hyphen (-)
- Can only be registered under the .eu extension
- Cannot start nor end with a hyphen (-)
- Cannot have a hyphen in third and fourth position, unless the first two characters are 'xn' and the domain name can be converted to a valid IDN.
IDNs consist of:
- Digits 0 through 9
- Hyphen (-)
- Unicode characters from the Cyrillic, Greek or Latin scripts. Click here for a complete list of supported characters.
- Cannot combine characters from different scripts. All the characters of the second level (ie. the part before the extension) must come from a single script. Domain names made up of Latin or Greek characters will have the .eu extension, while domain names made up entirely of Cyrillic characters will have the .ею extension. The digits 0 through9 and the hyphen can be used with all Latin, Cyrillic and Greek characters.
- Cannot start nor end with a hyphen (-).
- Cannot have a hyphen in third and fourth position.
Exclusively numerical domain names:
- Consist solely of the digits 0 through 9 and the hypen.
- Can be registered under the .eu as well as the .ею extension.
Name length and IDNs
Your domain name must be at least two (2) characters long (not including the .eu extension or its variants in other scripts) after the conversion of capitals into small letters and normalisation has occurred. If you want to register an IDN, apply this rule before converting your name into an ACE string. Some names are still considered too short even though they are two characters long. This is because certain two-character combinations can also be represented as a single Unicode character.
Your domain name can't be longer than 63 characters (not including the .eu extension or its variants in other scripts) after the conversion of capitals into small letters and normalisation has occurred. If you want to register an IDN, apply this rule after converting your name into an ACE string.
Expiry date of domain names
Since 15 September 2014, newly registered domain names no longer expire at the end of the month and instead do so at the end of their registration term, calculated in years starting on the registration date and ranging from one (1) to ten (10) years. Domain names registered on 29 February always expire on 28 February.
For names registered before 15 September 2014 registrars have chosen either for the "new" expiry date system described above or for the "old" expiry date system, whereby domain names expire at the end of the month. The default option, whereby domain names expire at the end of the month, applies to names registered before 15 September 2014, whose registrars hadn't indicated their preference by 1 September 2014.
As is already the case, transfers will not change the expiry day but will add an extra year to the registration term of a domain name.
New situation after 15 September 2014 (for existing domain names registered before 15 September 2014)
Registration date = 15 January 2014
If registrar has not made a choice (i.e. default old system applies)
Expiry date = 31 January 2015 (= 15 January 2014 + forward to the end of month (31 January) + 1 year)
If registrar has chosen the new expiry date option:
Expiry date = 15 January 2015 (= 15 January 2014 + 1 year)
New situation after 15 September 2014 (for new domain names registered after 15 September 2014)
Registration date = 15 January 2015
Expiry date = 15 January 2016 (= 15 January 2015 + 1 year)
Certain .eu domain names have been blocked by the EU Member States or the EU institutions. This means that they may not be registered.
Many two-letter country codes, such as BE for Belgium or DE for Germany, have been blocked as well. You can view the list of blocked names here. The list is not exhaustive and does not contain the blocked two-letter country codes.
A number of .eu domains have been reserved for use by either the European Union institutions, one of the EU Member States, EEA countries, countries in the EU accession phase or EURid.
For more information, please refer to our leaflet on reserved names and to EC regulations 1654/2005 and 560/2009. A corrigendum to Commission Regulation (EC) No 560/2009 of 26 June 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 can be consulted here.
EURid has reserved the following names for its own use:
Should there be organisations or private persons wishing to register a reserved domain name, the respective National Registration Authority might consider, under exceptional circumstances, activating the reserved name on behalf of the applicant. For more information, please consult the activation procedure for reserved names.