Foreign companies no longer need local subsidiary to register '.al' domain names
On January 23 2013 the Albanian Electronic and Postal Communication Authority (AKEP), the central registrar for '.al' domain names and subdomains, introduced amendments to the Regulation on the Registration and Administration of '.al' Domain Names and Subdomains, outlining administrative procedures and technical requirements for the registration of domain names. The amendments entered into force on May 1 2013.
As of May 1, all procedures - such as new registrations, renewals, deactivations and data changes - must be performed by one of the registrars authorised by AKEP. According to the regulation, the accreditation process began on May 1.
The new administrative procedures will lead to a decrease in the official fees for the registration of new domain names and the renewal of existing domain names.
Most importantly, the changes aim to liberalise the purchase of '.al' domain names by granting this right to foreign companies, provided that they can prove that they do business in their own countries. Until now, this right belonged only to Albanian citizens and entities, or foreign companies that had subsidiaries in the Albanian territory.
Before the amendments, foreign companies were not entitled to register '.al' domain names in their own names, even if they successfully challenged the Albanian owners that had registered and/or used a domain name similar to theirs.
Irma Cami, PETOŠEVIĆ, Tirana
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