On 12 April 2021 a new set of rules for the .au country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) took effect. 

These new rules cover all aspects of domain names in the .au ccTLD for both registrants and registrars and are a consolidation of the more than 30 policies and guidelines which currently apply to .au domain name licences.

The rules consist of two key documents:

.au Domain Administration Rules: Licensing – The terms and conditions for .au domain name licences including the complaints and dispute resolution processes.

.au Domain Administration Rules: Registrar -  Rules for companies providing .au domain name registration services that have been accredited by auDA.


Explanatory guide

This guide provides an overview of the development process of the new licensing rules and an explanation as to where a rule is derived from (either the previous Published Policies or a 2017 Policy Review Panel recommendation), or a policy rationale for where the rule is new.

Note: The explanatory guide is for information purposes only, and is not intended as legal advice, an interpretation of the rules or an indication of .au Domain Administration Limited enforcement or compliance policy.

When the rules will apply

The new rules commenced on 12 April 2021 with the exception of the rules relating to:

  • the .au namespace
  • id.au namespace 
  • internationalised domains (e.g. 例如.au). 

Domain names created, transferred or renewed on or after 12 April 2021 are subject to the new licensing rules.

If your current domain name licence expires after 12 April 2021 the rules in place at the time you registered or last renewed your domain name will apply until the end of the current licence period. If the name is renewed the new licensing rules will apply to it as the new licence is only created once the current one expires.

Changes in the rules

While the new rules are broadly the same as the current set of rules, there are some changes to be aware of. Below you’ll find information about the changes and how they may affect you.

Changes to how registrants can use or manage their .au domain names

There are changes to how .au domain names are used and managed and which apply to all registrants.

Changes to how auDA operates

The new .au licensing rules contain changes to how auDA operates to ensure the namespace remains Australian and trusted.

com.au and net.au rule changes

There are changes to the eligibility rules for the com.au and net.au namespace which may impact some registrants. 

org.au rule changes

There are changes to the eligibility rules for org.au domains which may impact some registrants. 

State and Territory namespace rule changes

The rule for the State and Territory namespaces (e.g. vic.au or nt.au) have been changed to allow a wider range of entities to register in those namespaces.

The complaints process

How you lodge complaints about domain names and registrars is changing under the new licensing rules.

Monetisation and the new .au licensing rules

The new .au licensing rules contain changes to regarding monetisation of .au domain names.

Changes to the id.au rules

There are upcoming changes to the allocation rules for id.au names which may impact some registrants.