New registration rules of ccTLD .BY

The main novelties

The registration of .BY domain names has been significantly simplified. From February, 25, 2012 the new rules of registration of country code top level domain (ccTLD) of Republic of Belarus (.BY) enter into force. The main novelties are the following:

- The WHOIS service for .BY domains has started working. It provides information on the domain name owner and his contact details; Registrar's name; DNS-servers the domain name is delegated with; the domain name registration and expiration dates. However individuals are still allowed to hide their personal information. This rule does not concern legal persons (companies).

- The maximum term of registration of domain name is now 1 year. The prolongation shall be made in 30 days before its expiration.The 30 days free booking period, which was a heaven for cybersquatters, is cancelled now. According to the new rules the BY. domain name is registered by person who has first paid the registration fee.

- The registration procedure of ccTLD .BY in general is significantly simplified. The verification of the application by the Operational and Analytical Centre (OAC) is not required  anymore. If previously it could take up to 2 weeks, now the registration procedure will take only a few hours.

Here is English translation of BY. domain registration rules. You can check the availability of .BY domain names at cctld.by.

Five things that you should remember while registering ccTLD .BY domain name:

1) According to p. 1 Art. 20 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus On Trademarks the owner of a trademark has right to use such name in the global Internet network (including the domain name). Thus, the applicants are recommended to avoid selecting names coinciding with the names of widely known trademarks, brands or organizations.

2) Disputes arising from the registration/use of .BY domain names are settled by the courts of the Republic of Belarus, namely the Supreme Commercial Court of the Republic of Belarus, and are not subject to WIPO Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) procedure by WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.

3) As there are some requests on this matter I emphasize again that there areno limitations for registration/operation of BY. domain names by non-residents (foreign companies/individuals).

4) Foreign applicants usually face the problem of unreasonably high registration price varying, for example, from 118 USD per year offered by http://www.onlydomains.com to 185 USD per year offered by http://www.instra.com. It should be understood that standard price for .BY domain is 12 USD per year. That is the price offered by Belarusian Authorized Registrars. However there is no English interface available at their sites and all registration forms and instructions are available only in Russian. If you would like to cut your costs I can assist your registration through Belarusian Registrars, and you'll have to pay only 12 USD per year.

5) If the desired domain name is occupied, but you still would like to host your website their, or especially in case you are a trademark owner, there is still a chance to negotiate a domain name transfer. In some cases under threat of lega sanctions the current holder of domain name agree to transfer domain for free or for relatively small monetary compensation. The .BY domain transfer procedure is also prescribed by the pre-mentioned rules. If you need any assistance in negotiations with domain holders or legal support in domain name transfer procedure, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please be free to ask me questions if anything is still unclear regarding domain name registration procedure in Belarus.