Are .COM.BH and the other SLDs (second level domains - .NET.BH, .EDU.BH, .ORG.BH) also scheduled to go through the Sunrise and Local Registration phases?
Yes. Local presence will be required for .COM.BH from Jan 2nd until May 3rd IN ADDITION to the required documentation. From May 3rd .COM.BH will be open to international businesses with the required documentation:
|1- A valid commercial registration certificate.|
|2- A certificate of registration of a trademark or intellectual or industrial property.|
In terms of system functionality, .COM.BH will perpetually remain in a “launch” state even after GA because of the additional non-refundable verification fee. As a reminder - How do I register a domain during sunrise/launch phase?
An additional note to the point above, the IDN will be in the Grandfathering state the entire lead up to General Availability, so this is separate to the sunrise phase. If you want to bundle these for your clients and they don't have the .BH domain already, they will have to register the .BH in Sunrise to then be eligible for the IDN. You will need to wait for the Sunrise domain to be allocated at the end of the phase and will then have another four (4) months of the Grandfathering phase to apply for IDN.
Are holders of existing .COM.BH registrations subject to the new requirements (that is, providing the business certificate or trademark)? If so, would there be a deadline for submitting any such documents?
Existing .COM.BH registrants are not required to provide documentation to meet the new registration requirements and are treated as valid registrants by default.
Are registrants required to have an ‘exact match’ trademark to register a .COM.BH, or will a partial match suffice? Does the holder of the trademark need to match the domain name?
The policy states 'provided the name or the business activity is related to the required domain name' and does not specify that they need to be an exact match. The holder of the domain name does not need to match the holder of the trademark, but they need to supply the documentation that proves that it is related to their business activity (i.e. if it is a sub-brand and the domain holder is the parent company).
The extent to which a trademark or business activity is deemed to be a ‘partial match’ is up to the discretion of the verification agent. If the application is rejected and you disagree with the decision, you may submit a ‘reconsideration’ to the registry and argue why it should be approved. A reconsideration fee will be charged per domain and is non-refundable.
Is a SMD file required for Sunrise? This seems unusual given this is a ccTLD.
Registrants aren’t required to have an SMD file for their trademark for .BH Sunrise. However, one can be provided to meet the phase requirements if it's the easiest thing to do. The system will accept an SMD file, but any valid trademark that matches the domain name that is being applied for is also acceptable. Please note that there is a third party verification agent that is validating the applications and they have access to multiple international databases (as well as TMCH).
The SLDs require additional documentation to meet the local presence requirements. How do registrars submit these documents – can the documents be parsed via EPP or are we required to do this in the registrar console?
For example: .COM.BH requires the following:
1- A valid commercial registration certificate.
2- A certificate of registration of a trademark or intellectual or industrial property.
During all phases that require information to be supplied the ‘launch phase technical implementation’ will apply - the domain will go into a pending create state when submitted via the EPP and you will need to go into the console to provide the rest of the information. This all applies for domains considered ‘second level domains’ and they will always remain configured as a TLD in launch phase (for technical and billing purposes) - How do I register a domain during sunrise/launch phase?
Grandfathering phase for the new IDN (.xn--mgbcpq6gpa1a). How will the registry validate if a client has a matching existing .BH domain?
For example: If we have example.BH domain registered with another domain provider and we send you the example.xn--mgbcpq6gpa1a in the grandfathering phase, how do you validate the new registration?
For the Grandfathering, the validation will be based on the extent to which the registrant and the domain match. If the registrant for example.bh and example.xn--mgbcpq6gpa1a are the same and the term 'example' matches in both languages, then the application will be approved. CentralNic are not the ones that will be validating the domains and there is a third party involved to perform the verifications. In terms of the finer rules, these have not been provided in English, but there is a process in which you can contest a rejected application. The rules are in Arabic here - https://domains.bh/rules-and-regulations/
On the registration of IDNs - the rules state that IDNs registered during the Grandfathering phase should have exactly matching transliterations. If a client has two IDNs they’d like to register, which both translate to the same “brand name”, will they be eligible to register both during this phase, or will the registry only allow one IDN equivalent per Grandfathered .BH/.COM.BH?
Both transliterations can be applied for and attributed to the same existing .BH/.COM.BH domain.
Is a bulk transfer to our own accreditation available if we have an existing portfolio at a local registrar?
Yes, there is a bulk transfer option available. The following bulk transfer process is as follows:
- International registrar to have their existing local provider supply the full list of domains that are to be transferred to their own direct accreditation with TRA.
- Registrar to send bulk transfer request to email@example.com. Registrar will need to provide the list of domains and specify the current local provider.
- The customer success team will reach out to all relevant parties to get approval to transfer the domains. In this particular instance, it will include three parties; the gaining registrar, the intermediary, and the losing registrar (insofar that Batelco have been the only registrar directly accredited up until this point and all other local providers have been reselling through them).
- Once approved by all parties, customer success will schedule the migration date and confirm with both losing and gaining registrar.
- Additional notes, the bulk transfer will not trigger a renewal and thus won't be billed as such to the gaining registrar. There is, however, a 0.27c per domain fee for a bulk transfer and that will be invoiced upon completion.