Contracting & the Registry Agreement

News & Views

ICANN Publishes Process to Qualify for Specification 13 to the New gTLD Registry Agreement

Following the 26 March 2014 resolution by the New gTLD Program Committee ("NGPC") of the ICANN Board, ICANN publishes the process to qualify for Specification 13 to the New gTLD Registry Agreement.

The NGPC also approved the possible incorporation of an additional clause into Specification 13, with implementation to take effect no earlier than May 12, 2014, to provide the GNSO Council an opportunity to advise ICANN regarding Policy Recommendation 19 on the Introduction of New Generic Top Level Domains. If the additional clause is incorporated, then Specification 13 would be in the form found here [PDF, 80 KB].

If, as a result of GNSO Council advice or otherwise, Specification 13 is further modified, an applicant for a TLD that has been determined by ICANN to qualify as a .Brand TLD will be offered the opportunity to execute an amendment incorporating such modified Specification 13 as part of the Registry Agreement.

Publication of Alternate Path to Delegation Reports Requires Registry Agreement Modification

ICANN must make a "Required Change" to the Registry Agreement for new gTLDs. Effective immediately, Specification 6 has been replaced in its entirety.

Contracting Code of Conduct Exemption Process Defined

A process for requesting an exemption from Specification 9, Code of Conduct (COC), of the Registry Agreement has been established. It includes a comprehensive list of criteria and standardized Exemption Request form.

NGPC Resolution on Name Collision Requires Registry Agreement Modification

ICANN must make a "Required Change" to the Registry Agreement for new gTLDs. Effective immediately, Specification 6 has been replaced in its entirety.

Contracting Statistics Available

Find out which priority numbers have received Contracting eligibility notifications and COI outreach, how many applications have received CIR invitations and how many Registry Agreements have been signed. Statistics updated weekly.

Registry Agreement Redlines To Be Published

To help the community and provide transparency, ICANN will publish redline versions of executed Registry Agreements.

Guidance for Applicants

  • Contracting Information Request Guidance and Sample Documents
    ICANN is sending Contracting Information Requests to applicants, in priority order, as they become eligible for contracting. Learn how to complete and submit the form.
  • Base Registry Agreement [PDF, 664 KB] (Updated 20 November 2013)
    Developed collaboratively by ICANN and the community, this document outlines the responsibilities that every new gTLD registry will undertake.
  • Supplement to the Registry Agreement [PDF, 49 KB]
    Required of applicants facing outstanding items, such as Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Advice, Rights Protection Mechanisms requirements, and Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Proceedings, that wish to sign the Registry Agreement ahead of resolving those issues.
  • Customer Portal User Guide: Transition to Delegation [PDF, 2.18 MB]
    Learn how to use the Customer Portal to interact with ICANN during the Contracting process.
  • Code of Contact Exemption Process [PDF, 118 KB]
    Find out how to request an exemption from the requirements of the "Registry Operator Code of Conduct."

Understanding Contracting & the Registry Agreement

Contracting Overview

Contracting is the process in which ICANN will notify eligible applicants and engage with them through execution of the Registry Agreement (RA). Contracting is part of the Transition to Delegation phase of the New gTLD Program outlined in Module 5 of the Applicant Guidebook. Applicants will receive formal notification of contracting eligibility via the Customer Service Portal. Prior to entering into Contracting, an applicant must have successfully completed Initial Evaluation or Extended Evaluation and resolved the following, if applicable:

  • Objection & Dispute Resolution
  • String Contention
  • Governmental Advisory Committee Advice
  • Change Requests

Contracting Information Request (CIR)

ICANN will notify the applicant's primary contact via email once an application becomes eligible to enter the Contracting process. Notifications to eligible applicants are sent in prioritization draw order. The applicant begins the process by completing the Contracting Information Request (CIR), a secure online form available through the Customer Portal. It's important to make sure that the form is completed and submitted correctly in order to avoid potential delays. The materials below are intended to help you prepare for the CIR:

Registry Agreement

The Registry Agreement is the formal written and binding agreement between the applicant and ICANN that sets forth the rights, duties, liabilities and obligations of the applicant as a Registry Operator. Applicants may elect to negotiate the terms of the RA by exception, but this course of action will take substantially longer to complete the Contracting process.

While community discussions continue on outstanding items,such as Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Advice and Rights Protection Mechanisms requirements, applicants that wish to sign the Registry Agreement ahead of the resolution of those issues will also be asked to sign the Supplement to the Registry Agreement.

Contracting will be completed once the RA is executed and the applicant will proceed to the next phase of Transition to Delegation known as Pre-Delegation Testing.

Contracting Process Statistics

CUMULATIVE TOTALS —> 1930 1103 525 445 382
Week Ending (2014) Sent Through Priority Number Contracting Eligibility Notifications Sent CIR Invitations Sent CIR Responses Received Contracts Sent Out For Signature Registry Agreements Executed
11 Apr 0 9 7 4
04 Apr 4 4 6 10
28 Mar 5 10 5 10
21 Mar 2 4 11 27
14 Mar 0 4 19 4
7 Mar 1 15 60 37
28 Feb 7 7 4 3
21 Feb 1 63 5 4
14 Feb 95 3 8 3
07 Feb 0 18 13 9
31 Jan 1 7 0 7
24 Jan 0 4 7 14
17 Jan 6 9 15 9
10 Jan 1 10 10 19
03 Jan 0 3 0 0
Week Ending (2013) Sent Through Priority Number Contracting Eligibility Notifications Sent CIR Invitations Sent CIR Responses Received Contracts Sent Out For Signature Registry Agreements Executed
27 Dec 0 16 0 0
20 Dec 5 8 23 21
13 Dec 5 23 25 11
06 Dec 3 13 37 31
29 Nov 1 11 0 0
22 Nov 9 14 16 15
15 Nov 2 40 30 29
08 Nov 1930 430 198 22 48 35
01 Nov 1500 100 46 16 4 5
25 Oct 1400 100 52 14 16 8
18 Oct 1300 100 49 26 7 9
11 Oct 1200 100 49 7 6 2
04 Oct 1100 100 57 15 9 8
27 Sep 1000 100 47 14 3 4
20 Sep 900 100 39 13 14 10
13 Sep 800 100 53 21 15 17
06 Sep 700 100 53 10 2 0
30 Aug 600 100 49 19 17 13
23 Aug 500 100 49 20 0 0
16 Aug 400 100 53 24 0 0
09 Aug 300 100 49 9 0 0
02 Aug 200 92 53 0 0 0
26 Jul 108 58 31 1 0 0
19 Jul 50 0 0 0 4 4
12 Jul 50 0 0 4 0 0
05 Jul 50 50 31 0 0 0

Continuing Operations Instrument (Letter of Credit) Outreach

Week Ending (2013) Priority Numbers Addressed
11 Oct 1701 - 1930 (Completed)
04 Oct 1501 - 1700
27 Sep 1401 - 1500
20 Sep 1251 - 1400
13 Sep 1101 - 1250
06 Sep 951 - 1100
30 Aug 801 - 950
23 Aug 701 - 800
16 Aug 501 - 700
09 Aug 201 - 500
02 Aug 109 - 200
26 Jul 51 - 108
19 Jul Not applicable
12 Jul Not applicable
05 Jul 1 - 50

Questions?

Archive

Below find archival materials documenting milestones in the development of the Contracting process, listed in reverse chronological order.

15 July 2013 — Contracting Session at ICANN 47 Durban

Krista Papac, ICANN's gTLD Registry Services Director, leads a session focused on helping New gTLD applicants understand and prepare for the Contracting process.

15 July 2013 — First Registry Agreements

On the opening day of ICANN 47 Durban, ICANN signs the first four Registry Agreements with new gTLD applicants.

21 June 2013 — Contracting Information Request Guidance

ICANN publishes materials to help applicants to prepare for contracting.

13 June 2013 — New gTLD Contracting Webinar

ICANN hosts a webinar to help new gTLD applicants understand the Contracting process and learn what information they must provide prior to executing a Registry Agreement.

29 April 2013 — Registry Agreement is Now Available for Public Comment

ICANN is seeking public comment on the Proposed Final Registry Agreement published on 29 April 2013.

1 April 2013 — Revised Registry Agreement Posted for Review

ICANN provides the latest version of the “Revised new gTLD Registry Agreement” for the community’s information and review.

26 March 2013 — New gTLD Update Webinar

ICANN staff hosts a webinar session providing information about the Contracting process, among other program updates.

5 February 2013 — New gTLD Applicant Webinar

ICANN staff hosts a webinar session providing details about the Public Interest Commitments (PIC) Specification, among other program updates.

5 February 2013 — Public Comment: Revised New gTLD Registry Agreement & PIC Spec

ICANN solicits feedback on a revised version of the New gTLD Registry Agreement that includes information on the Public Interest Commitments (PIC) Specification.

5 September 2013 — Customer Portal User Guide

ICANN publishes a User Guide to help applicants complete Transition to Delegation processes. Applicants must conduct Contracting through the Customer Portal.

27 August 2013 — Potential Name Space Collision Report

ICANN explains how the Name Space Collision Report will affect the Contracting process. New gTLD applications are to be handled according to the potential for risk.