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Policy for French Domain .FR

The allocation and management of domain names under .FR is performed in the public interest according to non-discriminatory and transparent rules, protecting the freedom of communication, the freedom of enterprise and rights to intellectual property.

General information for .FR domain name applicants

This policy defines the requirements for allocating and managing .FR domain names for Metropolitan France and Corsica.

Rules for .FR domain names

ASCII domain names may only consist of the alphanumeric characters in the French alphabet, the numbers 0-9, and the hyphen “-” (e.g. cafe-123.fr).

“Internationalized” domain names (IDNs) consist of national characters other than ASCII characters alone.

The following alphanumeric characters can be used in .FR domain names: a, a, á, â, a, ä, a, a, b, c, ç, d, e, e, é, e, ë, f, g, h, i, i, í, î, i, j, k, l, m, n, n, o, o, ó, ô, o, ö, oe, p, q, r, s, t, u, u, ú, u, ü, v, w, x, y, ý, y, z, ß, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, – (hyphen; minus sign)

An ASCII domain name cannot be registered if:

  • it consists of a single alphabetic or numeric character;
  • it consists of only two alphabetic characters;
  • it begins or ends with a hyphen “-“;
  • it is more than 63 characters long;
  • it consists of the “-” (hyphen) in the third and fourth position, except for ASCII-encoded
  • versions where the label is prefixed with “xn--.”

An IDN domain name cannot be registered if:

  • it consists of a single alphabetic or numeric character;
  • it consists of only two alphabetic characters;
  • it begins or ends with a hyphen “-“.

Domain applications are handled on a first come, first served basis, that is in the order they are received, except where provisions to the contrary are made for certain domain names, and contingent upon the provisions of Article L45-2 of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act.

The French Domain Authority develops and maintains a list of domain names that cannot be registered without prior review.

List of domain names subject to prior review: (click to expand)

 

The list is not exhaustive and may change over time, given the fact that publishing some of the terms may offend certain members of the public.

For this type of domain name, necessary supporting documents must be sent beforehand to the French Domain Authority to ensure that the applicant is entitled to register the domain name in question and that it is in compliance with the provisions of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act.

Further, a term subject to prior review can be registered provided that the applicant ensures that the domain name:

  • is not likely to disrupt public order or morality, or violate the rights guaranteed by the French Constitution or French law;
  • is not likely to violate intellectual property rights or personal rights or is not identical or related to that of the French Republic, of a local authority or group of local authorities, of an institution or a local or national public service, unless the applicant submits proof of a legitimate interest and is acting in good faith.

According to article R 20-44-46, the following may constitute a legitimate interest:

  • including the domain name or an identical or related name in an offer of goods or services, or proof that the applicant has made arrangements to do so;
  • the applicant is known by an identical name or one related to this domain name, even in the absence of any acknowledged rights to that name;
  • non-commercial use of the domain name or related name by the applicant who has no intention to mislead consumers or damage the reputation of a name to which a right has been acknowledged established.

According to article R 20-44-46, the following may constitute bad faith:

  • the applicant has obtained or applied for the registration of the domain name mainly in order to sell, lease or transfer it to a public institution, a local authority or the holder of an identical or related name to which a right has been acknowledged, and not to in order to competently operate it;
  • the applicant has obtained or applied for the registration of a domain name mainly in order to tarnish the reputation of the holder of a legitimate interest or an acknowledged right to that name or a related name, or that of a product or service associated with that name in the minds of consumers;
  • the applicant has obtained or applied for the registration of a domain name mainly in order to make a gain from the reputation of the holder of a legitimate interest or an acknowledged right to that name or a related name, or that of a product or service associated with that name, by creating confusion in the minds of consumers.

The French Domain Authority reserves the right to request any supporting evidence or documentation when it considers it necessary for the processing of a domain name application.

If the application does not satisfy the review requirements, it is rejected and the next application for the same domain name is considered.

In the event of any dispute over a .FR domain name, the “Legal Procedure” article shall be applied.

The voluntary transfer of a domain name subject to prior review is only possible after the
new registrant has obtained authorisation from the French Domain Authority to do so under the same conditions.

The decision to delete a domain name subject to prior review overrides its reinstatement in the original list.

The following domain names, governed by the naming convention, are subject to prior review:

  • AGGLO-NAME.FR – recommended for use by the metropolitan area authority (where “name” is the name of the metropolitan area)
  • CC-NAME.FR – recommended for use by community of municipal authorities (where “name” is the officially declared name of the community of municipal authorities)
  • CG-XX.FR – recommended for use by general councils (where “xx” is the number or directory name of the officially declared department)
  • CR-NOM.FR– recommended for use by regional councils (where “name” is the officially declared name of the regional council)
  • MAIRIE-NAME.FR and TOWN-NAME.FR – recommended for use by cities (where “name” is the officially declared name of the municipality)

.GOUV.FR
The extension .GOUV.FR is reserved for the French government. In order to receive the required authorisation code, the registrant needs the following documentation:

  • An identifier number in the SIRENE enterprise directory or any other official document that can be submitted to identify the entity; and,
  • Ratification from the Government Information Services (GIS).

Domain names reserved for the French Domain Registry

The following words cannot be used to register .FR domain names; they are reserved for the Registry. The list is subject to change:

  • fr
  • nic
  • www
  • web
  • w3
  • whois
  • office-d-enregistrement
  • officedenregistrement
  • office-enregistrement
  • officeenregistrement
  • officenregistrement
  • asso
  • tm
  • gouv
  • com

Entitlement to the .FR domain name

Registrants own the domain name throughout the period of its validity in accordance with the terms
and conditions of .FR Domain Policy. However, a domain registrant may be deprived of the domain name if the registrant fails to comply with the terms of the Policy.

.FR domain name validity period

A domain name is valid for a period of 12 (twelve) months.

The domain name is renewed automatically unless a request for its deletion is submitted by the registrant.

The French Domain Registry

Domain names are allocated by the Registry according to non-discriminatory and transparent rules that guarantee the freedom of communication, of enterprise and of intellectual property rights.

The Registry does not engage in any due diligence of applications for .FR domain registration, except those associated with the terms subject to prior review.

The Registry does not research any pre-existing rights to a domain name.

The checks or monitoring conducted by the Registry according to the provisions of the Policy shall not be considered as a surveillance and vigilance service.

The Registry may carry out checks as part of qualification process to ensure the eligibility and /or the availability of the holder of the domain name. The qualification operations consist of two distinct processes: the verification process and the substantiation process.

The verification process is initiated in the following cases:

  • to complete an operation on a domain name whose holder has never been qualified before;
  • At the initiative of the French Domain Registry;
  • in response to a report by a third party by means of the Registry’s verification form;
  • At the initiative of the registrar.

The verification process does not influence the portfolio of the domain name holder.

The substantiation process is initiated in the following circumstances:

  • After a verification conducted to highlight the implausible nature of the eligibility information and /or the availability of the holder;
  • When the verification following a report proves to be unproductive;
  • As a consequence of a duly substantiated complaint from a third party via the verification form with supporting documentation.

Upon the initiation of the substantiation procedure a request for supporting documents is sent and the owner and third party are notified of same. Simultaneously, the French Domain Registry suspends the portfolio of the domain name holder for a maximum period of thirty (30) days.

  • If, after this period, there is no proof to conclude the holder abides by the eligibility and reachability rules, the French Domain Registry notifies the registrar, the holder and the third party, and blocks the portfolio of the domain name holder for a maximum period of thirty (30) days.
  • If, after this period, there is no proof to conclude that the holder abides by the eligibility and reachability rules, the French Domain Registry notifies the registrar, the holder and the third party, and deletes the portfolio of the domain name holder.

The situation can be corrected at any time by submitting supporting evidence, in which case, the French Domain Registry terminates the current procedure and notifies the holder and the third party.

Responsibility of the French Domain Registry:

  • According to the last paragraph of Article L 45-1 of the French Electronic Communications
  • and Telecommunications Act, the Registry cannot be held responsible for any direct or indirect damage caused by the registration and/or use of a domain name, as it is registered under the responsibility of the applicant.
  • Similarly, according to the last paragraph of Article L 45-1 of the French Electronic
  • Communications and Telecommunications Act, the Registry cannot be held liable for any erroneous, false, or misleading data or omissions in the “WHOIS” database, as a domain name is registered based on statements made by the applicant.
  • Similarly, the Registry cannot be held responsible for any temporary inability to access the “WHOIS” database, or for alterations or deletions to same caused by a force majeure, an accidental event, fraud, or when it has been provided with inaccurate information.
  • The Registry only has a right to use the “WHOIS” database, the government holding all the rights to the database.
  • The Registry is by no means obliged to provide advice either to domain applicants, Registrars or third parties.
  • The Registry has the right to contact the holder and/or the administrative contact of a domain name in the special cases referred to in the naming policy.
  • The Registry shall in no way be held responsible for any relations of whatever kind between the domain name holder and the domain administrative contact.

Rights and responsibilities of a .FR domain name holder

It is possible to apply for or renew an .FR domain name for individuals residing and legal entities with their headquarters or principal place of business within:

  • the territory of one of the member states of the European Union;
  • the territory of the following countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The holder of the domain name and the administrative contact must be accessible. Both the domain holder and the administrative contact must provide a valid email address and telephone number, including factual information to establish their identities. They must make sure that the information is kept up-to-date at all times during the domain’s validity period. The same eligibility rules apply to both the holder and to the administrative contact.

The domain holder must designate an administrative contact on the domain application and maintain that contact during the domain’s validity period. The administrative contact may be the registrant or a third party (individual or legal entity). The administrative contact has no rights over the domain name unless the administrative contact is the registrant. The administrative contact may be contacted and/or notified of any transactions related to the domain name.

The domain name holder must designate a technical contact on the domain application and maintain that contact during the domain’s validity period. The technical contact should be the Registrar selected by the holder during the domain name registration process. The technical contact may be contacted and/or notified of any transactions related to the domain name.

According to Article L L45.1 of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act, .FR domain names are registered and renewed on the basis of statements made by the applicant and under the applicant’s responsibility.

The holder shall be solely responsible for the registration, use and operation of the .FR domain name.

Applicants are responsible for compliance with the terms and conditions of the French Domain Name Policy and for duly taking into consideration information received from the Registry or the Registrar.

The Registry cannot be held liable for false information or misleading statements.

The registrant shall hold the French Domain Registry harmless against any third-party claims, actions, complaints, and objections stemming from or in respect to any domain name rights, registrations, uses, or transfers of domain names.

As a consequence, the registrant will be liable for the costs of any damages awarded against the French Domain Registry as a result of litigation, preliminary proceedings, or any other claims, including the costs incurred in protecting its interests and counsel fees.

Suspending a domain name

An .FR domain name may be subject to a suspension procedure in the following circumstances:

  • a court decision has been issued ordering the suspension of the domain name and satisfy the pertaining terms and conditions;
  • a dispute resolution procedure has been initiated;
  • a verification procedure has been initiated.

The suspension of transactions may result in the cancellation of all current transactions in progress and possibly prevent any future transactions on the domain. This does not influence the operation of the domain name.

Blocking a domain name

An .FR domain name may be subject to a blocking procedure in the following circumstances:

  • a court decision has been issued ordering the blocking of the domain name and satisfying the pertaining terms and conditions;
  • a verification procedure has been initiated;
  • the domain name is an orphan.

The blocking of transactions may result in the cancellation of all current transactions in progress and possibly prevent any future transactions on the domain. Consequently, the domain name becomes inoperative.

Transfer of a domain name

Domain names can be transferred provided that the transfer is conducted in compliance with the French Domain Policy and the requirements of the identification deed.

The French Domain Registry will not authorise any voluntary transfers unless both parties have expressed their agreement according to the provisions of the procedures manual.

In case of liquidation or any other collective insolvency proceedings, the voluntary transfer document is signed by the designated administrator.

Compulsory transfer

Compulsory transfers of domain names can be carried out further to:

  • a transfer decision made as part of a dispute resolution procedure;
  • a court decision ordering the transfer of the domain name and meeting the pertaining terms and conditions;
  • a corporate operation (merger, demerger, etc.) if the original holder is no longer able to carry out a voluntary transfer;
  • a situation where the original holder is no longer able to carry out a voluntary transfer and a legal or commercial link is established between the original holder and the new holder.

In the event of the compulsory transfer, the new registrant who has benefited from the decision awarded will be responsible for all the formalities pertaining to AFNIC and compliance with the identification and eligibility checks. The new registrant is also responsible for all technical and administrative costs incurred by a compulsory transfer as well as for recovering such costs from the former registrant if necessary.

Domain name deletion

An .FR domain name may be deleted in the following circumstances:

  • the registrant has requested the domain name to be deleted via the registrar;
  • a court decision has been made, ordering the deletion of the domain name and meeting the pertaining terms and conditions;
  • a decision to delete the domain name has been taken as part of the dispute resolution procedure;
  • following an unsuccessful verification procedure;
  • following an “orphan domain name” procedure.

Upon the expiry of the redemption period allowed for domain names deleted at a registrar’s request, deletion cannot be reversed.

During the redemption period, it is possible to reactivate the domain name with the same configuration.

There is no lead-time for the Restore process in respect to the cases where deletion occurs following an unsuccessful verification procedure within the substantiation process.

Once deleted, the domain name will be placed in the public domain and will be available for registration by a new applicant.

Dispute Resolution

According to paragraph 4 of the Annex to the Order of 19 February 2010, the French Domain Registry may only intervene in line with a court order handed down as a result of legal proceedings or as part of the dispute resolution procedure.

Legal proceedings

The French Domain Registry does not interfere in judicial proceedings referring to domain names for which it is responsible.

The French Domain Registry does not have the power to take precautionary measures, as they can only be implemented as a result of a court order taken to satisfy the requirements of this article.

Third parties concerned are solely responsible for taking all the appropriate measures to stop any rights violation they claim to take place.

Since the French Domain Registry is required to implement a court order issued as a result of legal proceedings, it is totally unnecessary for the Registry to intervene or to be asked to intervene in such proceedings. The Registry reserves the right to initiate an inquiry pertaining to abuse of process as and when required, and to seek reimbursement of the expenses incurred by same.

The French Domain Registry meets this requirement under the following conditions:

  • “After either party has notified the Registry, by bailiff, of an interim court decision in pursuance of Article 514 of the French Code of Civil Procedure and justification that the party has been notified of the decision”;

(Or)

  • “After the earliest petitioner has notified the Registry, by bailiff, of an interim court decision in pursuance of Article 515 of the French Code of Civil Procedure and substantiation that the party has been notified of the decision, and upon presentation of any warranty ordered by the judge in pursuance of Article 517 of the French Code of Civil Procedure”;

(Or)

  • “After the earliest petitioner has notified the Registry, by bailiff, of a final court decision that has the force of res judicata, pursuant to Article 500 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and with due substantiation. For example, the substantiation may comprise the forwarding of a certificate of non-recourse or of the appeal decision”.

The French Domain Registry cannot respond to requests that do not meet these conditions and shall not be bound by letters, copies of summons or subpoena sent by applicants.

In the event a decision applied by the French Domain Registry is reformed (further to withdrawal, appeal, reversal of judgment, etc.), the Registry will apply the new decision under the same conditions of service as described above.

The French Domain Registry shall not be held responsible on any grounds whatsoever for the operations it performs as a result of a court decision, or to a handed down as part of a dispute resolution procedure, and the applicant shall hold the Registry harmless against any claims.

Dispute resolution system

The holder of a .FR domain name agrees without reserve to be governed by the dispute resolution procedure (Syreli procedure) managed by the French Domain Registry.

Contact our support team for more information at support@web-solutions.eu.

The French Domain Registry is not bound by any other alternative dispute resolution procedure.

Privacy of information and data

The information and documents held or sent to the French Domain Registry, except those available via the Whois database, are regarded as confidential and shall not be disclosed to third parties.

This does not preclude communications authorised by the court or as part of an inquiry by the appropriate authority [the General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), France’s data protection authority (CNIL), Tax administration, Customs authorities, etc.).

Whois Database

The French Domain Registry is in charge of the Whois database, incorporating all the data collected to identify individual and corporate entities that hold a .FR domain name and domain name registrations.

The French Domain Registry determines the technical requirements for the operation of this database and for accessing the related services; the conditions for using the database are specified in the document “Policy for publication and access to information domain name registrations”.

However, the French Domain Registry shall not be held responsible for any technical problems affecting the actual operation of the Internet or suspended services arising from cases of force majeure or maintenance procedures whether it concerns access to the Whois database.

The French Domain Registry collects all types of identification data needed for identification of individuals or corporate entities that hold .FR domain names.

The state owns the rights to the Whois database; the French Domain Registry has a right to use the database.

The Whois database is updated every day by publishing the domain names it has registered.

The French Domain Registry cannot be held responsible for the abusive use by third parties of the data that it holds, particularly the data held in the Whois database.

The French Domain Registry reserves the right to update the database with information about the status of the domain name or qualification procedures (for example, qualification procedure results, confirmation of the eligibility and/or reachability of the holder).

The registrar can also access the Whois database at any time and make an entry confirming the domain holder’s eligibility and /or reachability.

Entries made by the French Domain Registry to the Whois database do not influence the validity or the compliance of the registration or its renewal.

French domain names that are currently suspended are identified as such in the Whois database.

Blocked .FR domain names are identified as such in the Whois database.

Personal information

All naming-related processes carried out by the French Domain Registry are done in accordance with the “Data Protection Act” (Law No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978 on Data Processing, Files and Individual Liberties).

French domain name registrants have the right to access their personal information stored by the Registry or the registrar as applicable as well as to amend their information via their registrar at any time.

The Registry is authorized by permit No. 2007-246 issued by the National Commission for Data Protection to generate an exclusion list for the purpose of fighting against acts of cybersquatting.

Restricted information

The Whois database contains all the information relating to domain name registrants, administrative and technical contacts (individuals as well as corporate entities) which must be distributed online and be available to everyone.

When a French domain name is registered by an individual, the registrant may opt by default for the “restricted information” option.

By choosing this option, the registrant will prevent distributing personal information (name, address, telephone, fax, and e-mail address) online within the Whois database, except for technical information (technical contact – Registrar details and DNS servers).

If a person is both the registrant and the administrative contact, the “restricted information” option is applied by default.

The domain administrative contact may be contacted by e-mail, but their details are not disclosed.

The “restricted information” option is available only to first level domain names and .NOM.FR domain names (currently unavailable for registration) registered by an individual registrant.

Personal information necessary for .FR domain name registrations may be disclosed by the Registry in the following circumstances:

  • in response to a decision in ex parte proceedings or legal requisition, it being understood that there is no need to conduct proceedings against the Registry in order to obtain such information;
  • pertaining to a request from an authority with a right of communication (for example, the General Directorate for Competition Policy, the Treasury, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), the customs authorities, etc.);
  • as part of a request to lift a person’s anonymity using a form called a “Request for the disclosure of personal data”. Depending on the domain applicant’s status or the purpose of the request, the Registry has the right not to grant the request.

Additional provisions

All email correspondence and all technical elements exchanged between the French Domain Registry and registrars and/or the registrant during processing applications and transactions shall be admissible as evidence.

The date of receipt and/or date on which a request is processed contained on the Registry’s servers alone shall be legally binding.

The French Domain Name Policy has been drafted in French and in English. In the event there is any difficulty in interpreting the terms of the policy, only the French language version shall have bearing between the parties.

Jurisdiction

According to Article L45-6 of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act, the decisions taken by the French Domain Registry as part of the dispute resolution procedure are subject to appeal before the judicial court.

The same applies to the acts of the French Domain Registry performed in accordance with this Policy and especially the measures taken as part of the verification process.

The relevant jurisdiction is the High Court of Versailles.

Except for the special provisions associated with the dispute resolution procedure, appeals against the decisions and actions of the French Domain Registry must be made within fifteen (15) days of notification of same to the parties involved.

This Policy is governed by French law.

In the event of force majeure or an act of God, the French Domain Registry may be lead to suspend all or part of the application of this Policy.

The following events are explicitly regarded as force majeure or acts of God:

  • War, riots, fire, lockouts, internal or external strikes, occupancy of the Registry’s premises, earthquakes, flooding, damage by water, bad weather, legal or governmental restrictions, legal or regulatory changes in forms of marketing, epidemics, pandemic diseases affecting more than 10% of the Registry’s staff for a period of two consecutive months, accidents of all kinds, the lack of supply of energy, the partial or total shutdown of the Internet as well as public and private telecommunications networks, the blocking of roads and the impossibility to provide supplies and any other event beyond the control of the parties preventing the normal performance within the provisions of this Policy.

Intellectual Property

The French Domain Registry or the registrar do not hold any intellectual property rights to the domain names they manage.

The registration of new domain names within the zones .tm.fr, .asso.fr, .asso.re, .com.fr and .com.re is no longer available. However, the existing domain names under these naming zones are maintained and renewed under the same conditions and the holder may continue to use them.

The French Domain Registry shall process only transactions qualifying the reachability and the existence of the holder and that are in compliance with the provisions of this Policy.

Registration of French Internationalized Domain Names (IDN)

Since July 3, 2012, registration of of IDNs has been available to anyone according to the “first come, first served” principle.

Any applicant may apply for an IDN domain name, including IDN versions whose spelling do not exist, whether or not they have registered the corresponding ASCII domain name.

Policy for French Domain .FR

The allocation and management of domain names under .FR is performed in the public interest according to non-discriminatory and transparent rules, protecting the freedom of communication, the freedom of enterprise and rights to intellectual property.

General information for .FR domain name applicants

This policy defines the requirements for allocating and managing .FR domain names for Metropolitan France and Corsica.

Rules for .FR domain names

ASCII domain names may only consist of the alphanumeric characters in the French alphabet, the numbers 0-9, and the hyphen “-” (e.g. cafe-123.fr).

“Internationalized” domain names (IDNs) consist of national characters other than ASCII characters alone.

The following alphanumeric characters can be used in .FR domain names: a, a, á, â, a, ä, a, a, b, c, ç, d, e, e, é, e, ë, f, g, h, i, i, í, î, i, j, k, l, m, n, n, o, o, ó, ô, o, ö, oe, p, q, r, s, t, u, u, ú, u, ü, v, w, x, y, ý, y, z, ß, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, – (hyphen; minus sign)

An ASCII domain name cannot be registered if:

  • it consists of a single alphabetic or numeric character;
  • it consists of only two alphabetic characters;
  • it begins or ends with a hyphen “-“;
  • it is more than 63 characters long;
  • it consists of the “-” (hyphen) in the third and fourth position, except for ASCII-encoded
  • versions where the label is prefixed with “xn--.”

An IDN domain name cannot be registered if:

  • it consists of a single alphabetic or numeric character;
  • it consists of only two alphabetic characters;
  • it begins or ends with a hyphen “-“.

Domain applications are handled on a first come, first served basis, that is in the order they are received, except where provisions to the contrary are made for certain domain names, and contingent upon the provisions of Article L45-2 of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act.

The French Domain Authority develops and maintains a list of domain names that cannot be registered without prior review.

List of domain names subject to prior review: (click to expand)

 

The list is not exhaustive and may change over time, given the fact that publishing some of the terms may offend certain members of the public.

For this type of domain name, necessary supporting documents must be sent beforehand to the French Domain Authority to ensure that the applicant is entitled to register the domain name in question and that it is in compliance with the provisions of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act.

Further, a term subject to prior review can be registered provided that the applicant ensures that the domain name:

  • is not likely to disrupt public order or morality, or violate the rights guaranteed by the French Constitution or French law;
  • is not likely to violate intellectual property rights or personal rights or is not identical or related to that of the French Republic, of a local authority or group of local authorities, of an institution or a local or national public service, unless the applicant submits proof of a legitimate interest and is acting in good faith.

According to article R 20-44-46, the following may constitute a legitimate interest:

  • including the domain name or an identical or related name in an offer of goods or services, or proof that the applicant has made arrangements to do so;
  • the applicant is known by an identical name or one related to this domain name, even in the absence of any acknowledged rights to that name;
  • non-commercial use of the domain name or related name by the applicant who has no intention to mislead consumers or damage the reputation of a name to which a right has been acknowledged established.

According to article R 20-44-46, the following may constitute bad faith:

  • the applicant has obtained or applied for the registration of the domain name mainly in order to sell, lease or transfer it to a public institution, a local authority or the holder of an identical or related name to which a right has been acknowledged, and not to in order to competently operate it;
  • the applicant has obtained or applied for the registration of a domain name mainly in order to tarnish the reputation of the holder of a legitimate interest or an acknowledged right to that name or a related name, or that of a product or service associated with that name in the minds of consumers;
  • the applicant has obtained or applied for the registration of a domain name mainly in order to make a gain from the reputation of the holder of a legitimate interest or an acknowledged right to that name or a related name, or that of a product or service associated with that name, by creating confusion in the minds of consumers.

The French Domain Authority reserves the right to request any supporting evidence or documentation when it considers it necessary for the processing of a domain name application.

If the application does not satisfy the review requirements, it is rejected and the next application for the same domain name is considered.

In the event of any dispute over a .FR domain name, the “Legal Procedure” article shall be applied.

The voluntary transfer of a domain name subject to prior review is only possible after the
new registrant has obtained authorisation from the French Domain Authority to do so under the same conditions.

The decision to delete a domain name subject to prior review overrides its reinstatement in the original list.

The following domain names, governed by the naming convention, are subject to prior review:

  • AGGLO-NAME.FR – recommended for use by the metropolitan area authority (where “name” is the name of the metropolitan area)
  • CC-NAME.FR – recommended for use by community of municipal authorities (where “name” is the officially declared name of the community of municipal authorities)
  • CG-XX.FR – recommended for use by general councils (where “xx” is the number or directory name of the officially declared department)
  • CR-NOM.FR– recommended for use by regional councils (where “name” is the officially declared name of the regional council)
  • MAIRIE-NAME.FR and TOWN-NAME.FR – recommended for use by cities (where “name” is the officially declared name of the municipality)

.GOUV.FR
The extension .GOUV.FR is reserved for the French government. In order to receive the required authorisation code, the registrant needs the following documentation:

  • An identifier number in the SIRENE enterprise directory or any other official document that can be submitted to identify the entity; and,
  • Ratification from the Government Information Services (GIS).

Domain names reserved for the French Domain Registry

The following words cannot be used to register .FR domain names; they are reserved for the Registry. The list is subject to change:

  • fr
  • nic
  • www
  • web
  • w3
  • whois
  • office-d-enregistrement
  • officedenregistrement
  • office-enregistrement
  • officeenregistrement
  • officenregistrement
  • asso
  • tm
  • gouv
  • com

Entitlement to the .FR domain name

Registrants own the domain name throughout the period of its validity in accordance with the terms
and conditions of .FR Domain Policy. However, a domain registrant may be deprived of the domain name if the registrant fails to comply with the terms of the Policy.

.FR domain name validity period

A domain name is valid for a period of 12 (twelve) months.

The domain name is renewed automatically unless a request for its deletion is submitted by the registrant.

The French Domain Registry

Domain names are allocated by the Registry according to non-discriminatory and transparent rules that guarantee the freedom of communication, of enterprise and of intellectual property rights.

The Registry does not engage in any due diligence of applications for .FR domain registration, except those associated with the terms subject to prior review.

The Registry does not research any pre-existing rights to a domain name.

The checks or monitoring conducted by the Registry according to the provisions of the Policy shall not be considered as a surveillance and vigilance service.

The Registry may carry out checks as part of qualification process to ensure the eligibility and /or the availability of the holder of the domain name. The qualification operations consist of two distinct processes: the verification process and the substantiation process.

The verification process is initiated in the following cases:

  • to complete an operation on a domain name whose holder has never been qualified before;
  • At the initiative of the French Domain Registry;
  • in response to a report by a third party by means of the Registry’s verification form;
  • At the initiative of the registrar.

The verification process does not influence the portfolio of the domain name holder.

The substantiation process is initiated in the following circumstances:

  • After a verification conducted to highlight the implausible nature of the eligibility information and /or the availability of the holder;
  • When the verification following a report proves to be unproductive;
  • As a consequence of a duly substantiated complaint from a third party via the verification form with supporting documentation.

Upon the initiation of the substantiation procedure a request for supporting documents is sent and the owner and third party are notified of same. Simultaneously, the French Domain Registry suspends the portfolio of the domain name holder for a maximum period of thirty (30) days.

  • If, after this period, there is no proof to conclude the holder abides by the eligibility and reachability rules, the French Domain Registry notifies the registrar, the holder and the third party, and blocks the portfolio of the domain name holder for a maximum period of thirty (30) days.
  • If, after this period, there is no proof to conclude that the holder abides by the eligibility and reachability rules, the French Domain Registry notifies the registrar, the holder and the third party, and deletes the portfolio of the domain name holder.

The situation can be corrected at any time by submitting supporting evidence, in which case, the French Domain Registry terminates the current procedure and notifies the holder and the third party.

Responsibility of the French Domain Registry:

  • According to the last paragraph of Article L 45-1 of the French Electronic Communications
  • and Telecommunications Act, the Registry cannot be held responsible for any direct or indirect damage caused by the registration and/or use of a domain name, as it is registered under the responsibility of the applicant.
  • Similarly, according to the last paragraph of Article L 45-1 of the French Electronic
  • Communications and Telecommunications Act, the Registry cannot be held liable for any erroneous, false, or misleading data or omissions in the “WHOIS” database, as a domain name is registered based on statements made by the applicant.
  • Similarly, the Registry cannot be held responsible for any temporary inability to access the “WHOIS” database, or for alterations or deletions to same caused by a force majeure, an accidental event, fraud, or when it has been provided with inaccurate information.
  • The Registry only has a right to use the “WHOIS” database, the government holding all the rights to the database.
  • The Registry is by no means obliged to provide advice either to domain applicants, Registrars or third parties.
  • The Registry has the right to contact the holder and/or the administrative contact of a domain name in the special cases referred to in the naming policy.
  • The Registry shall in no way be held responsible for any relations of whatever kind between the domain name holder and the domain administrative contact.

Rights and responsibilities of a .FR domain name holder

It is possible to apply for or renew an .FR domain name for individuals residing and legal entities with their headquarters or principal place of business within:

  • the territory of one of the member states of the European Union;
  • the territory of the following countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The holder of the domain name and the administrative contact must be accessible. Both the domain holder and the administrative contact must provide a valid email address and telephone number, including factual information to establish their identities. They must make sure that the information is kept up-to-date at all times during the domain’s validity period. The same eligibility rules apply to both the holder and to the administrative contact.

The domain holder must designate an administrative contact on the domain application and maintain that contact during the domain’s validity period. The administrative contact may be the registrant or a third party (individual or legal entity). The administrative contact has no rights over the domain name unless the administrative contact is the registrant. The administrative contact may be contacted and/or notified of any transactions related to the domain name.

The domain name holder must designate a technical contact on the domain application and maintain that contact during the domain’s validity period. The technical contact should be the Registrar selected by the holder during the domain name registration process. The technical contact may be contacted and/or notified of any transactions related to the domain name.

According to Article L L45.1 of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act, .FR domain names are registered and renewed on the basis of statements made by the applicant and under the applicant’s responsibility.

The holder shall be solely responsible for the registration, use and operation of the .FR domain name.

Applicants are responsible for compliance with the terms and conditions of the French Domain Name Policy and for duly taking into consideration information received from the Registry or the Registrar.

The Registry cannot be held liable for false information or misleading statements.

The registrant shall hold the French Domain Registry harmless against any third-party claims, actions, complaints, and objections stemming from or in respect to any domain name rights, registrations, uses, or transfers of domain names.

As a consequence, the registrant will be liable for the costs of any damages awarded against the French Domain Registry as a result of litigation, preliminary proceedings, or any other claims, including the costs incurred in protecting its interests and counsel fees.

Suspending a domain name

An .FR domain name may be subject to a suspension procedure in the following circumstances:

  • a court decision has been issued ordering the suspension of the domain name and satisfy the pertaining terms and conditions;
  • a dispute resolution procedure has been initiated;
  • a verification procedure has been initiated.

The suspension of transactions may result in the cancellation of all current transactions in progress and possibly prevent any future transactions on the domain. This does not influence the operation of the domain name.

Blocking a domain name

An .FR domain name may be subject to a blocking procedure in the following circumstances:

  • a court decision has been issued ordering the blocking of the domain name and satisfying the pertaining terms and conditions;
  • a verification procedure has been initiated;
  • the domain name is an orphan.

The blocking of transactions may result in the cancellation of all current transactions in progress and possibly prevent any future transactions on the domain. Consequently, the domain name becomes inoperative.

Transfer of a domain name

Domain names can be transferred provided that the transfer is conducted in compliance with the French Domain Policy and the requirements of the identification deed.

The French Domain Registry will not authorise any voluntary transfers unless both parties have expressed their agreement according to the provisions of the procedures manual.

In case of liquidation or any other collective insolvency proceedings, the voluntary transfer document is signed by the designated administrator.

Compulsory transfer

Compulsory transfers of domain names can be carried out further to:

  • a transfer decision made as part of a dispute resolution procedure;
  • a court decision ordering the transfer of the domain name and meeting the pertaining terms and conditions;
  • a corporate operation (merger, demerger, etc.) if the original holder is no longer able to carry out a voluntary transfer;
  • a situation where the original holder is no longer able to carry out a voluntary transfer and a legal or commercial link is established between the original holder and the new holder.

In the event of the compulsory transfer, the new registrant who has benefited from the decision awarded will be responsible for all the formalities pertaining to AFNIC and compliance with the identification and eligibility checks. The new registrant is also responsible for all technical and administrative costs incurred by a compulsory transfer as well as for recovering such costs from the former registrant if necessary.

Domain name deletion

An .FR domain name may be deleted in the following circumstances:

  • the registrant has requested the domain name to be deleted via the registrar;
  • a court decision has been made, ordering the deletion of the domain name and meeting the pertaining terms and conditions;
  • a decision to delete the domain name has been taken as part of the dispute resolution procedure;
  • following an unsuccessful verification procedure;
  • following an “orphan domain name” procedure.

Upon the expiry of the redemption period allowed for domain names deleted at a registrar’s request, deletion cannot be reversed.

During the redemption period, it is possible to reactivate the domain name with the same configuration.

There is no lead-time for the Restore process in respect to the cases where deletion occurs following an unsuccessful verification procedure within the substantiation process.

Once deleted, the domain name will be placed in the public domain and will be available for registration by a new applicant.

Dispute Resolution

According to paragraph 4 of the Annex to the Order of 19 February 2010, the French Domain Registry may only intervene in line with a court order handed down as a result of legal proceedings or as part of the dispute resolution procedure.

Legal proceedings

The French Domain Registry does not interfere in judicial proceedings referring to domain names for which it is responsible.

The French Domain Registry does not have the power to take precautionary measures, as they can only be implemented as a result of a court order taken to satisfy the requirements of this article.

Third parties concerned are solely responsible for taking all the appropriate measures to stop any rights violation they claim to take place.

Since the French Domain Registry is required to implement a court order issued as a result of legal proceedings, it is totally unnecessary for the Registry to intervene or to be asked to intervene in such proceedings. The Registry reserves the right to initiate an inquiry pertaining to abuse of process as and when required, and to seek reimbursement of the expenses incurred by same.

The French Domain Registry meets this requirement under the following conditions:

  • “After either party has notified the Registry, by bailiff, of an interim court decision in pursuance of Article 514 of the French Code of Civil Procedure and justification that the party has been notified of the decision”;

(Or)

  • “After the earliest petitioner has notified the Registry, by bailiff, of an interim court decision in pursuance of Article 515 of the French Code of Civil Procedure and substantiation that the party has been notified of the decision, and upon presentation of any warranty ordered by the judge in pursuance of Article 517 of the French Code of Civil Procedure”;

(Or)

  • “After the earliest petitioner has notified the Registry, by bailiff, of a final court decision that has the force of res judicata, pursuant to Article 500 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and with due substantiation. For example, the substantiation may comprise the forwarding of a certificate of non-recourse or of the appeal decision”.

The French Domain Registry cannot respond to requests that do not meet these conditions and shall not be bound by letters, copies of summons or subpoena sent by applicants.

In the event a decision applied by the French Domain Registry is reformed (further to withdrawal, appeal, reversal of judgment, etc.), the Registry will apply the new decision under the same conditions of service as described above.

The French Domain Registry shall not be held responsible on any grounds whatsoever for the operations it performs as a result of a court decision, or to a handed down as part of a dispute resolution procedure, and the applicant shall hold the Registry harmless against any claims.

Dispute resolution system

The holder of a .FR domain name agrees without reserve to be governed by the dispute resolution procedure (Syreli procedure) managed by the French Domain Registry.

Contact our support team for more information at support@web-solutions.eu.

The French Domain Registry is not bound by any other alternative dispute resolution procedure.

Privacy of information and data

The information and documents held or sent to the French Domain Registry, except those available via the Whois database, are regarded as confidential and shall not be disclosed to third parties.

This does not preclude communications authorised by the court or as part of an inquiry by the appropriate authority [the General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), France’s data protection authority (CNIL), Tax administration, Customs authorities, etc.).

Whois Database

The French Domain Registry is in charge of the Whois database, incorporating all the data collected to identify individual and corporate entities that hold a .FR domain name and domain name registrations.

The French Domain Registry determines the technical requirements for the operation of this database and for accessing the related services; the conditions for using the database are specified in the document “Policy for publication and access to information domain name registrations”.

However, the French Domain Registry shall not be held responsible for any technical problems affecting the actual operation of the Internet or suspended services arising from cases of force majeure or maintenance procedures whether it concerns access to the Whois database.

The French Domain Registry collects all types of identification data needed for identification of individuals or corporate entities that hold .FR domain names.

The state owns the rights to the Whois database; the French Domain Registry has a right to use the database.

The Whois database is updated every day by publishing the domain names it has registered.

The French Domain Registry cannot be held responsible for the abusive use by third parties of the data that it holds, particularly the data held in the Whois database.

The French Domain Registry reserves the right to update the database with information about the status of the domain name or qualification procedures (for example, qualification procedure results, confirmation of the eligibility and/or reachability of the holder).

The registrar can also access the Whois database at any time and make an entry confirming the domain holder’s eligibility and /or reachability.

Entries made by the French Domain Registry to the Whois database do not influence the validity or the compliance of the registration or its renewal.

French domain names that are currently suspended are identified as such in the Whois database.

Blocked .FR domain names are identified as such in the Whois database.

Personal information

All naming-related processes carried out by the French Domain Registry are done in accordance with the “Data Protection Act” (Law No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978 on Data Processing, Files and Individual Liberties).

French domain name registrants have the right to access their personal information stored by the Registry or the registrar as applicable as well as to amend their information via their registrar at any time.

The Registry is authorized by permit No. 2007-246 issued by the National Commission for Data Protection to generate an exclusion list for the purpose of fighting against acts of cybersquatting.

Restricted information

The Whois database contains all the information relating to domain name registrants, administrative and technical contacts (individuals as well as corporate entities) which must be distributed online and be available to everyone.

When a French domain name is registered by an individual, the registrant may opt by default for the “restricted information” option.

By choosing this option, the registrant will prevent distributing personal information (name, address, telephone, fax, and e-mail address) online within the Whois database, except for technical information (technical contact – Registrar details and DNS servers).

If a person is both the registrant and the administrative contact, the “restricted information” option is applied by default.

The domain administrative contact may be contacted by e-mail, but their details are not disclosed.

The “restricted information” option is available only to first level domain names and .NOM.FR domain names (currently unavailable for registration) registered by an individual registrant.

Personal information necessary for .FR domain name registrations may be disclosed by the Registry in the following circumstances:

  • in response to a decision in ex parte proceedings or legal requisition, it being understood that there is no need to conduct proceedings against the Registry in order to obtain such information;
  • pertaining to a request from an authority with a right of communication (for example, the General Directorate for Competition Policy, the Treasury, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), the customs authorities, etc.);
  • as part of a request to lift a person’s anonymity using a form called a “Request for the disclosure of personal data”. Depending on the domain applicant’s status or the purpose of the request, the Registry has the right not to grant the request.

Additional provisions

All email correspondence and all technical elements exchanged between the French Domain Registry and registrars and/or the registrant during processing applications and transactions shall be admissible as evidence.

The date of receipt and/or date on which a request is processed contained on the Registry’s servers alone shall be legally binding.

The French Domain Name Policy has been drafted in French and in English. In the event there is any difficulty in interpreting the terms of the policy, only the French language version shall have bearing between the parties.

Jurisdiction

According to Article L45-6 of the French Electronic Communications and Telecommunications Act, the decisions taken by the French Domain Registry as part of the dispute resolution procedure are subject to appeal before the judicial court.

The same applies to the acts of the French Domain Registry performed in accordance with this Policy and especially the measures taken as part of the verification process.

The relevant jurisdiction is the High Court of Versailles.

Except for the special provisions associated with the dispute resolution procedure, appeals against the decisions and actions of the French Domain Registry must be made within fifteen (15) days of notification of same to the parties involved.

This Policy is governed by French law.

In the event of force majeure or an act of God, the French Domain Registry may be lead to suspend all or part of the application of this Policy.

The following events are explicitly regarded as force majeure or acts of God:

  • War, riots, fire, lockouts, internal or external strikes, occupancy of the Registry’s premises, earthquakes, flooding, damage by water, bad weather, legal or governmental restrictions, legal or regulatory changes in forms of marketing, epidemics, pandemic diseases affecting more than 10% of the Registry’s staff for a period of two consecutive months, accidents of all kinds, the lack of supply of energy, the partial or total shutdown of the Internet as well as public and private telecommunications networks, the blocking of roads and the impossibility to provide supplies and any other event beyond the control of the parties preventing the normal performance within the provisions of this Policy.

Intellectual Property

The French Domain Registry or the registrar do not hold any intellectual property rights to the domain names they manage.

The registration of new domain names within the zones .tm.fr, .asso.fr, .asso.re, .com.fr and .com.re is no longer available. However, the existing domain names under these naming zones are maintained and renewed under the same conditions and the holder may continue to use them.

The French Domain Registry shall process only transactions qualifying the reachability and the existence of the holder and that are in compliance with the provisions of this Policy.

Registration of French Internationalized Domain Names (IDN)

Since July 3, 2012, registration of of IDNs has been available to anyone according to the “first come, first served” principle.

Any applicant may apply for an IDN domain name, including IDN versions whose spelling do not exist, whether or not they have registered the corresponding ASCII domain name.

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Need more information?

If you would like more information about the Local Presence / Trustee Service in France, or have other questions about the French domain registration or domains transfer, please don't hesitate to contact us at relations@web-solutions.eu or via phone: +44 (0) 208 133 3994