ccTLD Constituency of the DNSO

World Wide Alliance of Top Level Domain-names
Best Practice & Delegation/Re-delegation of ccTLD

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Best Practice Guidelines for ccTLD Managers

Version 4.0 - 10 March 2001

Statement of Purpose

ccTLD Managers recognize the desirability of Conforming to Best Practice and undertake to work towards compliance.


The Domain Name System structure contains a hierarchy of names. The root, or highest level, of the system is unnamed. Top Level Domains (TLDs) are divided into classes, ccTLDs and gTLDs, based on rules that have evolved over time. ccTLDs - country code Top Level Domains - are associated with countries and territories. gTLDs are (with some exceptions) generic and global in nature.

To date, ccTLDs have been created on the basis of countries and territories appearing on the ISO-3166 list, on the basis that ISO has a procedure for determining which entities should and should not be on that list. Historically, the IANA maintain a list of the ccTLD managers.

A list of current TLD assignments and names of the ccTLD Managers may be accessed at

1. Objectives of this document

To describe current and desirable best practice guidelines for cctld Registry Managers.

2. Definitions

ccTLD - A country code top level domain in the top level of the global domain name system, assigned according to the two-letter codes in the ISO 3166 standard codes for the representation of names of countries or territories.

ccTLD Registry - The entity which records names as domain names in a register of domain names for the country-code top level domain name, according to policies and rules, and following procedures, established with the Local Internet Community (see below).

ccTLD Manager - A company, organisation or individual managing a ccTLD Registry.

Registrant - A company, organisation or individual for whom a name has been registered as a domain name in the ccTLD domain name register.

ICANN - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

IANA - Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

Local Internet Community - The Internet industry and users and the government and authorities of the state or territory with which the ccTLD is associated. The definition of the Local Internet Community may vary from one country/territory to another, and is essentially a matter for the community in a given country/territory to decide. The definition of the Local Internet Community should be documented, available for public inspection, and transparent to the local community.

Global Internet Community - The Internet industry and users worldwide, including governmental and supra-national organizations.

3. Best Practice

3.1 Status and Responsibilities

The primary duty of the ccTLD Manager is one of Public Service and to manage and operate the ccTLD Registry in the interest of and in consultation with the Local Internet Community, mindful of the interests of the Global Internet Community.

A ccTLD Manager is a trustee for the delegated domain, and has a duty to serve the community it represents as well as the global Internet community. Concerns about "rights" and "ownership" of top-level domains are inappropriate. It is appropriate to be concerned about "responsibilities" and "service" to the community. The ccTLD manager should be judged on his or her performance, and the extent to which it satisfies the needs of the Local and Global Internet communities.

ccTLD Managers are entrusted with the management of the TLD Registry. The ccTLD Manager and Registry are not responsible for any alleged or actual violations of intellectual property or other rights, merely as a consequence of listing a domain name in the ccTLD register.

In the absence of pre-existing arrangements with the Local Internet Community and consistent with the requirement to best serve the interests of the Local Internet Community, the ccTLD Manager should be resident in the territory of the ccTLD or, if the Manager is a corporation, the ccTLD Manager should be incorporated there.

The ccTLD Manager should recognize that a ccTLD Registry is a special function and, resulting from this, has a special position which should not be abused.

3.2 Registration Policies

3.2.1 The ccTLD Manager must register domain names in an efficient and timely manner following policies rules and procedures that have been established and published in a transparent manner, in consultation with the Local Internet Community.

3.2.2 ccTLD registries should ensure standard agreements exist for Registrants setting out the expectations and obligations of each party. Conditions of registration should obligate registrants to supply accurate and complete contact information at the time of registration, and to keep it current.

3.2.3 Registries should ensure the provision of a means for updating registrants details in the registry database.

3.2.4 ccTLD registries should collect, store or otherwise process the necessary information in such a manner to ensure that the Registrant can be authenticated.

3.2.5 ccTLD Managers should be equitable and fair to all eligible registrants that request domain names. Policies and procedures may vary from country to country due to local customs, cultural values, local policies and objectives, law and regulations. The definition should be documented, available for public inspection, and transparent to the Local Internet Community. The policies and procedures for the use of the domain should be made available for public inspection.

3.2.6 ccTLD Managers should have a consistently applied policy on privacy, and that policy should be published.

3.2.7 ccTLD Managers should define and publish their domain name dispute resolution policies and procedures, in consultation with the Local Internet Community. Mechanisms should be established by the ccTLD Manager to handle fairly and independently any such disputes arising between registrants, or other parties, and the ccTLD Manager. Making judgments in relation to disputes between third parties and domain name registrants is outside the scope of the ccTLD Manager's duties.

3.3 Operational Requirements

3.3.1 ccTLD Managers are responsible for the operation or supervision of DNS service for the ccTLD, including management of registry database, providing access to update the registration details, generation of the zone files and management of nameservers.

3.3.2 Technical Operations Data Security: ccTLD Managers should ensure that all Registry data is reasonably secured against damage or loss using as resources permit the most appropriate technology. The ccTLD domain name service should be continuously available. At a minimum, the ccTLD manager must provide nameservers with 24-hour Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity to the Internet, 365 days per year, and operate the database with accuracy, robustness, resilience, and reliability. (See RFC 1591 and ICP-1). ccTLD Managers should keep the IANA advised of any changes to the information concerning the domain that is maintained in the IANA's register database, and should respond to requests for information from the IANA relating to the status and technical operations of the domain in a timely manner. ccTLD Managers must protect the integrity of its zone(s) and must make arrangements to assure continued operation of the registry, and continued resolution of names within the ccTLD's zone(s). Subcontracting of Operations. Unless otherwise agreed with the Local Internet Community, a ccTLD Manager may contract out any or all of the operations and administration of a ccTLD Registry, provided that ccTLD Manager contractually obliges the sub-contractor to comply with the requirements of this and any other documents that may be agreed from time to time.

3.4 Financial Matters

3.4.1 ccTLD registries shall not be limited as to business model.

3.4.2 ccTLD Managers should price its services at such levels as to not unreasonably limit the registration of domain names.

3.4.3 Governing Law ccTLD Managers should operate under the law of the country or territory where they are located. The law under which the contract between the Registry and the Registrant operates will be stated in that contract and, unless otherwise agreed, will be the law of the country or territorial authority in ccTLD managers, consistent with its financial capabilities, should participate in appropriate local and international fora on Internet technology, policy, and governance.

© ccTLD Constituency
Page updated : 2002-08-15 19:58:52