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The fight against abuse: Afnic opens a free mediation procedure

Home > Observatory and resources > News > The fight against abuse: Afnic opens a free mediation procedure

Afnic, the long-standing registry for the .fr domain, is announcing the opening of a mediation service on 3 July 2023 designed to simplify the handling of disputes concerning .fr and French overseas TLDs. Entirely free and overseen by an Afnic mediator, this new procedure aims to provide an amicable means to settle disputes between a rights holder and a holder of a domain name registered under the TLDs managed by Afnic1.

Simplifying dispute management in an effort to continuously improve our practices

Guaranteeing an ever-more secure and therefore trustworthy Internet for users is an absolute priority for Afnic, which has developed a range of services and mechanisms to successfully combat attacks on domain names in the long term. We notably offer two extra-judicial alternative dispute resolution procedures (Syreli and PARL Expert) which are currently widely used by rights holders and demand for which has been constantly growing since 2012.

To facilitate dispute resolution where both Parties could reach an amicable agreement, Afnic is introducing a free mediation procedure which will be officially available to anyone (natural or legal person) as of 3 July of this year. This procedure can only be initiated on a voluntary basis ahead2 of an ADR3 procedure, and is aimed at rights holders and domain name holders who have reached a communication impasse or are involved in a dispute with the other Party concerning a domain name under one of the following TLDs: .fr, .pm, .re, .tf, .wf, .yt.

As such, this new amicable means to resolve disputes concerning domain names has the following 3 aims:

  • To bring some of the disputes to a quick and entirely confidential conclusion: from the date of opening of a mediation procedure, the Parties, accompanied by the Mediator, have seven (7) business days in which to find a negotiated solution
  • To propose a new way of resolving disputes free of charge, unlike the Syreli and PARL Expert procedures
  • To limit publication of ADR (Syreli and PARL Expert) rulings to the cases in which the parties do not reach agreement

The mediation procedure is not designed to replace the ADR procedures, but rather to offer a new, quick, entirely confidential and free solution to amicably resolve disputes.

Opening of the service scheduled for 3 July 2023

This new mediation service will be officially made available on 3 July.

As of this date, any natural or legal person will be able to request the assistance of an Afnic mediator free of charge, in accordance with the regulatory provisions in force, by completing the form provided on the Afnic web page dedicated to mediation.

View the mediation regulations

The Naming Policy and the Abuse & Dispute Management Policy have been modified accordingly and the updated versions will come into force as of 3 July 2023.

View the Naming Policy in force as of 03/07/2023


View the Abuse & Dispute Management Policy in force as of 03/07/2023

1 – .fr, .pm, .re, .tf, .wf, .yt

2 – 4 Article 14 of the agreement signed with the French State on 18 March 2022

3 – Alternative Dispute Resolution

About Afnic

Afnic is the acronym for Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been appointed by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain. Afnic also manages the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs.

In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic’s role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, has committed to devoting 11% of its Revenues from managing .fr Top Level Domain to actions of general interest, in particular by transferring €1.3 million each year to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity.
Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf.

Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has nearly 90 employees.