Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register a .africa domain name?

Ask your Domain Registrar or ISP about .africa domain registrations. You may wish to participate in Sunrise if you have any rights to the name. Find a .africa Domain Registrar here.

When will .africa Domains become available for purchase?

The .africa TLD will be launched in two phases, namely:
Sunrise and Landrush. For the Sunrise phase, trademark & brand names will be the priority. Landrush applications are usually for premium or sought-after domain names.
General Availability: This is the general open registration and continuous operations phase.
If you are a trademark holder ICANN prescribes a process, which we as the Registry Operator need to follow to ensure that genuine trademarks are protected and sold to the valid entity. The trademark holder will need to register their trademarks with the ICANN Trademark Clearing House or the Mark Validation System.

How much will a .africa domain name cost?

This will depend on individual Registrar pricing, in which launch phase you register the domain and if the domain is a premium name or not.

What are the protection mechanisms available to me with regards to my .africa domain name?

There are various protection mechanisms and policies, which the Registry Operator needs to adhere to and we are also bound by ICANN to make these policies part of our operations.
The various policies include:
Rights Protection Policies
Dispute Resolutions
Sunrise Policy
Landrush Policies, etc
See the Policy menu item above for more information.

Can a .africa domain be reserved/pre-registered?

Pre-registration .africa domain names will not be possible. Any application submitted during the .africa Sunrise phase must have a corresponding validation token (SMD) in order to obtain the highest possible priority allocation.

If an applicant wants to secure the best possible claim to a domain name application during the launch, it must be associated with a pre-validated trade mark in either the TMCH or MVS. Without this a claim to the corresponding domain name is relegated to lesser priority status. The official way in which you can best secure your rights to a name in the new .africa namespace would be through the pre-validation of a registered mark.
See the MVS at www.markvalidation.com for more information.

When will .africa be available to use as an option? I would like to start my website using it.

For more detailed information on the launch program with the anticipated timelines, click here. If you have any rights to the .africa domain/s name you want, you should apply during Sunrise.

Onboarding Question & Answers

How will the onboarding process be conducted?

The onboarding process takes place on the ZACR Registrar Portal. All account management, technical integration, documentation and anything else regarding the onboarding process will be available online. If you have a Registrar account simply login at https://portal.registry.net.za or signup for a new Registrar Account here.

Will registrars have to sign multiple Registrar-Registry Agreements?

The same agreement will apply for .Joburg, .Durban and .CapeTown. A separate; yet highly similar; agreement will be provided for .africa.
Will registrars be provided with multiple testing accounts?
Yes. For Technical Accreditation and Transfer procedures, 2 accounts will be provided for testing per registrar.

Do you provide a policy for refunding registrations?

Yes, only for registrations cancelled during the policy specified Grace Period.

What are the details for credit and fraud procedures?

All billable transactions will be on a prepaid basis. Registrars that would like to have credit extended to them may apply with the Registry.

Can registrars download detailed financial reports?

Yes, as part of monthly billing. Historical financial documentation may be downloaded at any time by accessing the registrar online account.

How will billing be performed?

The ZACR will provide all registrars with 1 associated account with the Registry. Registrars wanting to use separate accounts may do so by applying with the registry. All gTLD accounts will work on a prepaid method. Invoices will be provided weekly, at the start of the week. Costing will be made available closer to the Launch

Is there an Accreditation Fee for the new gTLDs?

As it stands, the ZACR will not be charging any Accreditation Fee for ICANN registrars wanting to integrate.

What type of reports will be available?

The ZACR will provide numerous reports, including historical financial information, domain listings, contact listings, status of domains, previously deleted domains, etc… All the functionality will be available through the Accredited Registrar’s Panel. The reports will be available for download at any time.

Will you provide marketing materials?

Materials are currently available on the Registry website.

Please describe the domain lifecycle.
  1. All domains will follow the Lifecycle described below.
  2. Registration. Domain may be deleted within the first 7 days following creation for a partial refund.
  3. Domain reaches expiration date and enters the Pending Suspension Phase. This phase lasts a total of 5 days. During the 5 days the domain name may be renewed.
  4. Domain reaches the end of the Pending Suspension Phase and enters the Pending Deletion Phase. This phase lasts a total of 5 days. During the 5 days the domain name may be renewed.
  5. Domain reaches the end of the Pending Deletion Phase and enters the Closed Redemption Phase. This phase lasts a total of 20 days. During the 20 days the domain name may be renewed at a premium and may not be deleted or transferred.
What are your connection limitations to the registry system?

A minimum of 2 sessions will be provided per registrar account, per gTLD. This number may increase based on demand. Registrars will have to connect via SSL to the Live Environment. Registrars will have to provide their incoming IP address/range prior to having access to the live environment.

If I am already accredited, will my connection credentials change for the other gTLDs?

All access control information will be duplicated from the initial server on which the registrar has gotten their technical accreditation. If a registrar already has an account with the ZACR, that information will be duplicated. Registrars may go from there to customize their access controls per server if they see fit.

Do you use special extensions and are the mandatory?

The ZACR will make use of 2 in-house extensions. None of the extensions are mandatory.

  1. The first is a Cancel Pending Action extension.
    The purpose of this extension is to be able to cancel a domain that has accidentally entered the Suspension or Deletion phase.
  2. The second is an Autorenew extension.
    The purpose of this extension is to mark a domain with an Autorenew flag. Domains that have Autorenew flags set to “True” will automatically renew for an additional year upon expiration. All ZACR extensions are optional and will not be a requirement to Technical Accreditation for the gTLDs.
Do you use a real-time system?

Yes. The ZACR processes commands as and when they are received by the server. This further enhances the information available on the WHOIS system as the WHOIS performs a real-time lookup of the domain.

Does your policy allow Whois Privacy?

Yes. Understanding the need for privacy and to keep personal information personal, the ZACR will make public its Whois policy regarding privacy.

Who will be able to register domains in the new TLDs?

ICANN Accredited Registrars who have also been Accredited by the outlined requirements (technical) of the ZACR. The ZACR will be implementing a Proxy Registrar solution. The purpose of the proxy registrar solution is to allow registrars who are ZACR Accredited but not ICANN accredited, to be able to register domain names in the new TLDs through the sponsorship of their Proxy Registrar.

Is a local presence required?

A local presence is not required.

Is a trademark required to register a domain name?

Only for the Sunrise Phase.

Are any documents required for the registration of a domain name?

No documents will be required by the ZACR.

What are the min. and max. renewal periods?

All domains registered during Launch will have a lifespan as specified in the initial registration. Domain names registered during General Availability will have a lifespan of 1 year prior to their need to be renewed. Renewal will be charged at the standard purchasing price and may only be performed for 1 year at a time.

Will there be a Autorenew Grace Period and if yes, how long will it be?

No. Autorenew is an opt-in function that may be used at the discretion of the registrar.

How often and when will the root zone be updated?

The root zone will be published at 15 minute intervals. This number might decrease with implementation of dynamic zones.

Will you have premium/blocked or reserved domains?

Yes. Governments, local authorities and various other NGOs will have the opportunity to reserve names as defined in the ZACR Reserved Names Policy. Premium names may be reserved by the Registry. Pricing for reservation of names will be made public. The ZACR will make public certain categories and their reserved names.

Where is a full pricing schedule defined?

Pricing will be made available through the ZACR website and associated TLD websites. A downloadable PDF version of the pricing will be made available for all TLDs once it is finalized.

What is the outline for DNS and name servers?

The ZACR requires that all registered names have a minimum of 2 authoritative nameservers. The nameservers do not have to be responsive on registration of the domain. The domain will not be published until the nameservers are responsive. The ZACR does allow the usage of glue in association with nameservers. Orphan Glue Records will be checked for yearly and removed off the system. For technical purposes, the ZACR makes use of host attributes. No billing will be performed for the creation, association or amending of nameserver records.
How will the ZACR implement DNSSEC
Currently the ZACR has only implemented KeyData. DSData is being developed and will be available before launch. Version 1.1 of the DNSSEC standard will be implemented.

How will the ZACR manage its Contact Objects?

Contact objects must be registered with a minimum of the internationalized version of the postal information (ASCII). The ZACR provides and encourages the population of the localized version of the postal information (UTF-8). No contact object will be transferred between registrars. Updates on contact objects can be done for all associated fields.

What is the procedure and requirements for a change of registrant?

The ZACR only requires that the registrar keep records of the request for change from the current and new registrant, as well as the approval letter/memorandum/email from the current registrant giving permission for the change. In the event that a change of registrant is initiated through legal proceedings, the registrar must keep record of final resolution or order that stipulates the requirement and approval for a change of registrant. This is for auditing purposes. From a technical aspect, a change is registrant only requires a domain update. A change of registrant will not renew a domain nor charge the registrar.

Which restrictions apply to the use of domains in this TLD(s)?

The domains must not be used in a manner that is against the law or that could be harmful or elicit harmful actions/behavior.

What is the transfer process for domains?

All transfers will be handled as per the ICANN Inter-Registrar Transfer Procedure. If the domain expiration date may be increased by 1 year; up to a maximum of 10 years; the date will be increased and the Gaining Registrar will be billed accordingly on successful transfer.

I am already ZACR accredited for co.za. Why do I need to get accredited for the TLDs?

The technical implementation differs greatly from that of the co.za EPP requirements. Due to the fundamental differences, most requests require different information and processing. For more on the Technical aspects, click here.