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Contracting Invitation Requests or CIR are invitations sent to new TLD applicants that have passed initial evaluation (IE) and are ready to continue the process of registering a new gTLD.

  • ICANN uses CIR invitations to gain more information about the new registry including: points of contact (billing, delegation, registry operator, contracting and notice) and any modifications to data in previous applications.[1]
    • Since the February 18th update of the CIR, the proof of a continued operations instrument (COI) and disclosure of cross-ownership interests are no longer part of the CIR form and should be submitted in separate CSC cases.[2] An additional Billing POC was also incorporated into the new CIR form.[2]
  • In order for an application to be considered eligible for a CIR, it must meet specific criteria, such as being active.[3] In particular it must:
  1. Have passed Initial Evaluation;
  2. Not currently be in a contention set;
  3. Not have an unresolved objection filed against them;
  4. Not be a string for which issues raised in the Governmental Advisory Committee’s Beijing Communiqué [3] or Durban Communiqué remain unresolved;
  5. Not be currently subject to a change request for which ICANN has not yet approved or denied the requested changes; and
  6. Not be listed as “High Risk” on the Staff Name Collision Risk Mitigation Proposal.

An applicant will not qualify to receive a CIR [3] otherwise.

During the CIR process, registries may apply for a Code of Conduct (COC) exemption. In order to qualify, a registry operator must show:

  • (i) all domain name registrations in the TLD are registered to, and maintained by, Registry Operator for the exclusive use of Registry Operator or its Affiliates,
  • (ii) Registry Operator does not sell, distribute or transfer control or use of any registrations in the TLD to any third party that is not an Affiliate of Registry Operator, and
  • (iii) application of this Code of Conduct to the TLD is not necessary to protect the public interest."[4]

CIR Review

After the CIR is submitted, it is checked for completeness and subject to a substantive review. Although ICANN processes CIRs by their priority number, any problems or errors found will result in a more lengthy CIR process and follow up procedure.[3]

Sample CIR

The CIR requires the following information:

  1. Signatory Information - Name, Contact info
  2. Point of Contact Information - Name, Contact info
  3. File Attachments - includes Redlines of Registry Agreement
  4. Special Circumstances
    1. Spec. 9, Code of Conduct - Indicate if a Spec. 9 Code of Conduct Exemption is desired, if so, attach relevant request
    2. Unique Designations - Indicate whether the applicant is a Governmental/IGO applicant and/or a Community Priority Applicant
    3. Changes of Registry Agreement - Indicate whether you are submitting changes to the Registry Agreement, and, if so, whether these changes are based on a prior agreement with ICANN
  5. Contracting Point of Contact - Name, Contact info
  6. Additional Information
    1. Indicate whether the Contracting POC is the same as Primary contact
    2. Confirm that authorized signatory was named in Question 11 of the original application
    3. Indicate Notices POC, to receive all general notices from ICANN
    4. Indicate whether or not you intend to provide additional Registry Services - Those services are to be identified in Exhibit A of the Registry Agreement, any addition services to be offered must align with responses in your application, such as the response to question 23.
    5. Confirm that your COI is in compliance with Spec. 8 of the Registry Agreement
    6. Indicate if there are changes to applicant data that have no been previously communicated to ICANN. If so, follow the official Change Request Process.