Monday, July 28, 2008

American domain name embargo on ccTLD

Selecting a Corporate Registrar is a hard thing to do, service, price, ccTLD covered, accreditations, knowledge, information, security… It is even harder if your plan is to have your brand protected in Cuba, Iran or Sudan.

What about the "RIGHT" to register a specific domain name?

According to the United States department of the treasury there are regions American Registrars are not authorized to work with. So what does it mean?

According to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (, a brand cannot secure its domain names on the complete range of extensions existing if its Corporate Registrar is American. In its Sanction Programs (, the foreign assets control regulations for the corporate registration industry says: "As of October 2004,
OFAC administered and enforced comprehensive sanctions programs involving three countries: Cuba, Iran, and Sudan.

Unless authorized by OFAC, no U.S. individual or entity can do business with individuals or entities (including government institutions) in those countries, or individuals or entities acting for or on behalf of those countries."

OFAC was kind enough to answer my questions:
"If your registrar is a U.S. company, it is subject to the laws of the United States. U.S. sanctions regulations prohibit most financial transactions related to Cuba and Iran, including the registration of domain names. Domain names in Burma and Sudan would be subject to these restrictions as well."

Basically speaking, you cannot secure your online brand in Cuba, Iran, Sudan if your Corporate Registrar is American. Thinking about registering yourbrand.CU, yourbrand.IR or yourbrand.SD?

Well, think twice and…take your time.

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