Registration Policy .NGO, .ONG

The mission and purpose of the .ngo top level domain (“TLD”) and the .ong TLD (collectively referred to as “.ngo and .ong”) is to serve the global Non-Governmental Organisation (“NGO”) Community by supplying it with exclusive TLDs that will offer NGOs and associations of NGOs differentiated and verified online identities.

A. Bundling of Domains in .ngo and .ong

Registration of domains in .ngo and .ong are technically “bundled.” This means that by registering and purchasing a domain in the .ngo TLD, for example, the NGO registrant (the “registrant”) is also registering and purchasing the corresponding name in the .ong TLD (and vice-versa for registrations in .ong). The registrant cannot, for example, purchase “example.ngo” by itself; by purchasing the domain “example.ngo” the registrant is also necessarily purchasing the domain “example.ong” due to the technical bundling of domains in .ngo and .ong.

a. If the registrant takes a particular action concerning the registration of a domain registered in .ngo (such as transferring or deleting the registration), the same action must also be taken for the corresponding .ong domain (and vice-versa).

b. If, pursuant to this, or any of its other Policies, Public Interest Registry (the “Registry” or “PIR”) takes action concerning a domain registered in .ngo (including, but not limited to, denying, suspending, revoking, transferring or modifying the information or services provided in relation to any domain name), the Registry will necessarily take the same action against the corresponding domain registered in the .ong TLD (and vice versa).

B. Registrant Eligibility Requirements; Further Certification

a. Only members of the NGO community may register a .ngo and .ong domain name bundle. All registrants must demonstrate such membership through evidence of NGO status or as a membership organization of NGOs.  The Registry uses seven distinct characteristics to define an NGO: registrant hereby certifies that it meets the following .ngo and .ong eligibility requirements when it purchases its .ngo and .ong domain name bundle(s):

  1. Focused on acting in the public interest. Whether in support of education or health, the environment or human rights, members of the .ngo and .ong community work for the good of humankind and/or the preservation of the planet and do not promote discrimination or bigotry.
  2. Non-profit making/non-profit-focused entities. While many NGOs engage in commercial activities or generate revenue in support of their missions, members of the .ngo and .ong community do not recognize profits or retain earnings.
  3. Limited government influence*. Recognizing that many NGOs have important interactions with government, not least for reasons of funding (which may include receipt of some government funding in support of their programs), members of the .ngo and .ong community decide their own policies, direct their own activities and are independent of direct government or political control.
  4. Independent actors*. Members of the .ngo and .ong community should not be political parties nor should be a part of any government. Participation in the work of an .ngo and .ong is voluntary.
  5. Active Organisations. Members of the .ngo and .ong community are actively pursuing their missions on a regular basis.
  6. Structured. Members of the .ngo and .ong community, whether large or small, operate in a structured manner (e.g., under bylaws, codes of conduct, organisational standards, or other governance structures.)
  7. Lawful. Members of the .ngo and .ong community act with integrity within the bounds of law.

* PIR has determined that organizations formed under the laws of the People’s Republic of China (or any territory thereof) do not meet the criteria “Limited Government Influence” and “Independent Actors.” Accordingly, prospective registrants from China and its territories should not register .ngo and .ong bundles as they will not meet PIR’s Eligibility Requirements. In the event PIR discovers that a .ngo and .ong bundle is registered by an organization organized under the laws of the People’s Republic of China (or any territory thereof), PIR will delete the registration bundle for failing to meet our Eligibility Requirements.

b. PIR is a U.S. company subject to U.S. law. Registrant hereby certifies that neither it nor any of its subsidiaries or, to its knowledge, any director, officer, or employee of registrant or any of its subsidiaries is a person who (a) is the target of any laws administered by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) or any other United States governmental entity imposing economic sanctions and trade embargoes, or (b) is located, organized or resident in a country or territory that is, or whose government is, the target of sanctions imposed by OFAC or any other United States governmental entity. Registrant understands and agrees that PIR does not permit registrations from registrants residing in or organized under any such country in the .ngo and .ong TLDs. In the event PIR discovers that any .ngo and .ong bundle is registered by a registrant that would not be permitted by any OFAC restrictions (or other restrictions imposed by U.S. law), the domain name bundle will be deleted.

C. Process for Registrants in .ngo and .ong

During the registration process, the registrant will be asked to verify and certify that it meets the eligibility requirements listed above. This will be accomplished via a two-step process:

Step 1: Registration

The first step requires the registrant to provide information about itself, including the identity of the NGO or NGO association on whose behalf the entity is acting and the role that the representative of the registering entity fulfills within the NGO or NGO association. The registrant will then certify (via click through box or other means) that registrant has read, understands and has complied with these Registration Policies and that information provided by the entity is accurate and complete.

It is registrant’s responsibility to determine whether the domain name bundle registration infringes or violates someone else’s rights. It is also registrant’s responsibility to determine whether the domain name bundle registration complies with these Registration Policies.

PIR conducts random audits of .ngo and .ong domain bundle registrations and reserves the right to cancel, transfer or modify a domain name, in accordance with PIR’s Registrations Dispute Resolution Policy (“RDRP”), Eligibility Requirements, Anti-Abuse Policy, Takedown Policy, Name Selection Policy or other legal requirements. These audits may occur at any point after a registrant registers a domain name bundle, including prior to completion of the validation process described herein.

Once the registration process is completed, the domain name bundle will be registered, but will not resolve until the validation process (below) is successfully completed.

Step 2: Validation

Registrant will be required to submit information and documentation to PIR establishing that it meets the Eligibility Requirements of an NGO. The registrant will be asked to provide evidence of its NGO status through a document upload function when it begins the validation process. Validation documentation may consist of one or more of the following: government lists, corporate documents (e.g., Articles of Incorporation), tax records or other documents evidencing the entity’s charitable status and work in the community it serves. PIR may attempt to confirm that the documentation provided establishes the registrant’s NGO status. In the event that PIR requires additional information to confirm the registrant’s NGO status (which is determined in PIR’s sole discretion), it will notify the registrant that more information is needed to complete the validation process and the registrant will need to provide such additional information or documentation to complete validation. Once validation is complete the domain name bundle will resolve.

If the registrant does not successfully complete the validation process within three hundred sixty (360) days from the date it registers the domain name bundle, the domain name bundle will be deleted and released back into the pool of available domains and any fees paid in connection with the registration of the domain name bundle will be forfeit. Registrant understands and agrees that it may be subject to an audit concerning the Eligibility Requirements at any time, including during this 360 day period. The registrant acknowledges and understands that, in the event it is selected for such an audit, it will promptly comply with any inquiries and requests from the Registry to provide additional evidence of its NGO status. If, as a result of the audit process, the Registry determines (in its sole discretion) that the registrant does not meet the NGO Eligibility Requirements, the registrant’s domain name bundle will be deleted and released back into the pool of available domains. Similarly, if the registrant does not respond with PIR’s request(s) for information pursuant to this audit the domain name bundle will be deleted and released back into the pool of available domains. Finally, the registrant understands and agrees that it will be required to certify that the information and documentation it submitted in the validation process remains true, complete and accurate at least once every two years after initial validation.

D. Name Selection Policy

The .ngo and .ong domain name bundle that a registrant wishes to register must fulfill certain name policy criteria. PIR permits .ngo and .ong registrants to register the following types of domain name bundles:

  • the name of (entire or portion of) the NGO, e.g., its “doing business as” name;
  • an acronym representing the NGO;
  • a name that recognizes or generally describes the NGO; or
  • a name related to the mission or activities of the NGO.

Reserved Names Policy

The following names are reserved from registration:

  • All two-letter second-level names;
  • Names of an inappropriate nature, e.g., adult-related terminology, as defined by PIR;
  • Names required by ICANN to be reserved;
  • Certain generic names defined by PIR that represent the NGO Community in a general manner.
  • Names that PIR uses to support the registry, including:
    • Names to support registry operations, e.g., directory.ngo/directory.ong;
    • Names to support PIR’s NGO Community Advisory Council.
    • Names reserved by PIR, in its discretion.

In the event a registrant attempts to register a reserved name, the registrant will receive a notice informing it that the domain name it is attempting to register has been reserved.