Call To Action

In a bid to create more awareness around COVID-19 Government has called on all .za domain name holders that have an associated website to create a landing page with a visible link to For more details see section 5.1.4 of Regulation No. 43164 published on 26 March 2020.

Launch FAQs

Launch Accreditation is one of the Technical Accreditations available to registrars.
Obtaining Launch Accreditation means that a registrar is technically ready to operate and provision domain names during the Launch Phase of any new namespace that the ZACR is making available.


Not all Launch Accredited registrars can participate in every Launch Phase. Certain Geographic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) require that registrars have additional accreditation from ICANN.
If a registrar has Launch Accreditation and is ICANN Accredited then they may begin provisioning domain names from the inception fo the gTLD Launch.
Registrars who are not ICANN Accredited will either have to work through an ICANN Accredited Registrar as a reseller for them, or use the ZACR Proxy Registrar solution.


To begin the Signup Process, simply press the "Launch Accreditation Signup" button in your Registrar Panel on the right-hand side menu.
This will notify the registry of your signup. The registry will then provision credentials and information regarding the OT&E server for Launch Accreditation.


Once signed up, all the required tests can be tracked by accessing the Launch Accreditation link in the Registrar Panel on the right-hand side. The Launch Accreditation tracking offers additional functionality specific for obtaining Launch Accreditation. This includes:
- Obtaining a Signed Mark Data file: A file containing information related to a prior right to a test label, allowing Sunrise Applications.
- Obtaining a Claims Notice: A file containing information related to a prior claim to a domain name, allowing Landrush Applications that have prior rights associated with them.


During the Launch phase there are 2 types of applications that can be made, namely:
1. Sunrise Applications
These applications include the use of a Validation Token (VT) or a Signed Mark Data (SMD) file. These files show that the applicant for the domain has a prior right associated with the domain, therefore their application should be given a higher priority over all other applications. The applicant would have obtained the VT from the Mark Validation System, or the SMD from the ICANN TMCH.
The applicant will provide the VT or SMD to the registrar and the registrar must use the file in accordance with the Launch technical specification to process the application.
2. Landrush Applications
These applications must be made for domain names where the applicant does not have a prior right (VT or SMD). Such domain names are usually generic names or highly sought-after names. This means that anyone may apply for them.
Applicants must be aware that certain names have got prior rights associated with them. This means that domain names have validated rights in the MVS or TMCH which must be noted. When processing a Landrush Application, registrars might receive a Claims Notice ID. If this happens, it means that there exists a prior right to that domain name. The registrar must obtain a Claims Notice and present it to the applicant. The applicant may choose to acknowledge that they are aware of the prior right and proceeed with the application.


Validation Tokens (VT) and Signed Mark Data (SMD) files are used to demonstrate that an applicant has proven that they have a prior right to a domain name. By using a VT or SMD as part of a Sunrise Application, their application will take priority over all other Landrush Applications.
VTs are acquired from the Mark Validation System (MVS). SMDs are acquired from the ICANN Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). The MVS only applies to the ZACR namespaces, while the TMCH applies to all new ICANN released gTLDs. It must be noted that the TMCH functionality will no longer be applicable after the end of a Launch Phase, while the MVS offers additional functionality and tracking capabilites throughout the lifecycle of a ZACR namespace.


Launches are governed by various policies that are separate from the Published Policies and Procedures that govern the continuous operations of a namespace. These include:
- Launch Policy: Policy governing how the Launch of a namespace will be managed, including timelines, Sunrise Phases, Landrush Phases, possible auctions, and eventual delegation of applications.
- Sunrise Dispute Resolution Policy: Policy governing the process for dispute resolution of Sunrise Applications with prior rights to domain names.
- Auction Policy: Policy governing the allocation and process for any required auctions during the Launch Phase.
- Fee Schedule: The cost of domain name registration during the Launch Phase.


All applications will only be considered for delegation at either the end of a Sunrise Phase or Landrush Phase. During these Phases, registrars may put in as many applications as they would like. If an application is successful based on the namespace's Launch Policy eligibility criteria, the domain name will be delegated and ONLY once delegated will the registrar's account be charged.
Registrars are encouraged to use the Registrar Panel to track their potential costs for a Launch Phase and maintain that amount of available credit in their pre-paid ZACR account. An invoice for the delegated applications will be sent to the registrar on the first Monday following delegations.


Last update: 11-06-2014 08:08:10

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All issues and questions relating to the EPP Registry Registrar System must be raised in the Contact/Support pages through the Registrar Portal. This is to ensure that our support department tracks and addresses all issues. Log in to the Registrar Portal and submit a support request online.


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