In a blog post earlier today, ICANN announced that it will assist domain name registrants in Ukraine and the surrounding area to ensure their domain names do not accidentally expire during these horrific times:
— ICANN (@ICANN) March 7, 2022
Describing the the Russian invasion of Ukraine as “troubling” and “tragic,” ICANN invoked Section 22.214.171.124 of the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement related to “extenuating circumstances.” This has previously been invoked in the wake of health and weather situations that impacted large amounts of domain name registrants. Here’s how ICANN explained what, exactly, this means:
This means that registrars now have the flexibility to extend the domain name registration renewal period for domain name holders in affected areas. We encourage registrars and registries to support this action and take these circumstances into consideration when reviewing impacted registrants’ renewal delinquencies in affected regions.
The invasion undoubtedly causing life-altering issues for Ukrainians – not to mention the massive infrastructure damage that has impacted communications. I presume domain name renewals have taken a back seat to more pressing time-sensitive issues.
Some domain registrars like GoDaddy and Namecheap have already publicly announced different types of assistance for Ukraine-based domain registrants. ICANN is now suggesting that other domain registrars act in a way that relieves Ukraine-based registrants who may not be able to renew their domain names. Hopefully registrars heed this notice.