19 November, 2020

New rules for com.au, net.au, org.au, and asn.au namespaces in the .au domain will come into effect on 12 April 2021, following approval by the auDA Board at its 10 November 2020 meeting.

The new rules are designed to better meet the evolving needs of registrants, enhance trust in the .au domain, and help ensure .au remains Australian and secure. They streamline and simplify more than 30 policies and guidelines that currently govern the .au domain. 

Chief Executive Officer of auDA, Rosemary Sinclair AM, said “I’m pleased to share that the new .au domain licensing rules will launch on 12 April 2021. 
“This signifies an important step forward in .au governance – modernising the policy framework, ensuring the .au domain can respond to the changing needs of Internet users, and continuing to build trust and confidence in .au namespaces.”

Changes in the new rules 

While the new Licensing Rules are very similar to the current suite of published policies, there are important changes, including to: 
•    eligibility and allocation rules for some namespaces (e.g. com.au, net.au, org.au and asn.au); 
•    the terms and conditions for .au domain names; 
•    the complaints process; and 
•    how auDA manages compliance with the rules.

Implementing the new rules 

auDA has been working on the implementation of the new rules throughout 2020. Training for registrars will begin shortly to help them understand and apply the new rules, and to communicate relevant changes to their customers.

When the new rules will apply 

The new licensing and registrar rules will commence at 10am AEST (0000 UTC) on 12 April 2021, with the exception of rules relating to the id.au namespace, second level names (such as forexample.au) and internationalised domain names (such as 例如.au), which will come into effect in future phases. 

For .au domain name licences that expire after 12 April 2021, the previous rules will apply until the end of the current licence period. The new rules will then apply from when the new licence period commences.  

“The new rules are the result of close engagement and consultation with stakeholders. I thank everyone who provided their valuable insights, as well as our community of accredited .au registrars, which will be crucial to the successful implementation of the new rules,” said Ms Sinclair. 

Find out more about the changes here.