.ch Regulations

Requirements & Information

CountrySwitzerland
CodeCH
CurrencyUSD
Available TLDsRequirements
chNR

Additional Information

Acceptable Use Policy for the Use of the Services Whois and Domain Name Search


Enters into effect: March 1, 2003

1. Validity and purpose
SWITCH is obliged by law to install, administer and maintain a publicly accessible subscriber directory service (services Whois and Domain Name Search, hereinafter Services), which allows all interested persons (hereinafter User) access to personal data relating to domain names (Art. 14 of the Decree on Addressing Resources in the Telecommunications Sector, SR 784.104, hereinafter AEFV). With respect to the processing of personal data, SWITCH is subject to the provisions of Art. 16 ff. of the data protection act SR 232.1 (hereinafter DSG). To prevent abuse of the personal data from the Services, SWITCH is also obliged to restrict access to the Services, i.e. to limit internet users to a number of data accesses per unit of time.

This Acceptable Use Policy (hereinafter AUP) governs the conditions for the use of the Services by Users as well as for the processing of personal data which may be requested by Users as part of such use. Requests for and processing of personal data from the Services are subject in particular to article 12ff DSG.

2. Permissible use
The User is allowed to use requests to the Services only for the following purposes:

to check whether a domain name is already registered or not
to examine data on a domain name to identify the holder of the domain name.
3. Unauthorised use
The User is not permitted to use or to process the data from the Services for more far-reaching purposes or purposes other than those mentioned above in Section 2. This includes, in particular commercial purposes such as sale of addresses, advertising purposes, market research, troubling the holders of domain names or for any other abusive purposes.

Processing refers to any operation with the data, regardless of the means and methods used, in particular the acquisition, storage, use, adaptation, disclosure, such as providing access to personal data, allowing inspection, forwarding, reproduction or publication, archiving, deletion or transmission of data to other countries.

4. Access restrictions
For security reasons, the number of accesses to the Services is restricted. Increased access to the Services will be granted to third parties only on the basis of a special agreement and only in so far as increased access is required for activities of the third party in connection with the allocation and administration of domain names.

5. Responsibility / liability
SWITCH does not give any assurance, guarantee or other undertaking with respect to the use of the Services for the purposes of the User. In particular, SWITCH is not liable for formatting suitable for the purposes of the User, the accuracy or completeness of the content of the data, for interruptions in access or for transmission faults.
All other liability of SWITCH, its executives, employees and agents in connection with the Services and this AUP is excluded in so far as permitted by law.

The User acknowledges that unauthorised use (see above Section 3) and/or processing of personal data from the Services is in breach of Art. 2ff DSG and this AUP. Unauthorised use of personal data is an infringement of privacy, which is actionable by the injured party against the offending party pursuant to article 28 - 28l ZGB.

The User is responsible and liable for complying with the data protection regulations when using the Services and processing the relevant personal data. Unsolicited advertising messages sent on the basis of personal data from the Services, either electronically or by mail, are furthermore qualified as unfair competition according to the established practice of the Swiss Unfair Trading Commission (Schweizerische Lauterkeitskommission). In addition, the User of the Services is bound by any other legal provisions.

Under this agreement SWITCH has its own claim in respect of the User to refrain from unauthorised use/processing of the personal data from the Services. SWITCH has the right, in the event of suspicion of misuse of the data in the area of responsibility of the User, to block the latter's access authorisation with immediate effect and without prior notification and without cost implications for SWITCH. The User undertakes to indemnify SWITCH in full against the claims of third parties in the event of unauthorised use and/or processing of the personal data of the Services, including any court and legal costs and any costs incurred by SWITCH in the course of these activities.

6. Applicable law and place of jurisdiction
This AUP is subject to Swiss law. The sole place of jurisdiction for all disputes in connection with or out of this AUP is Zurich.

for the registration and administration of domain names below the domain ".ch" and ".li"
Enters into effect: March 1, 2004 (Version 6.0)
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1 General provisions
1.1
Definitions

1.2 Subject of the GTC
1.3 Contract between SWITCH and the holder
1.4 Conclusion of the contract
1.5 Right of withdrawal of the applicant/holder
1.6 Representation by third parties

2 Registration of domain names
2.1 Principles of registration
2.2 Conditions for registration
2.3 Condition for the use of active domain names
2.4 Request for registration of a domain name
2.5 Denial of registration of domain names

3 Administration of domain names
3.1 Holder's duty of examination
3.2 Holder's duty of data maintenance
3.3 Update requests
3.4 Transfer of a domain name in particular
3.5 Temporary blocking and/or deactivation
3.6 Disputes about domain names

4 Relinquishment and revocation of domain names
4.1 Deletion by relinquishment
4.2 Effect of deletion by relinquishment
4.3 Deletion by revocation
4.4 Effect of deletion by revocation

5 Fees, billing and terms of payment
5.1 Fees
5.2 Billing on registration (1st subscription period)
5.3 Billing for the 2nd subscription period and subsequent years

5.4 Payment obligation
5.5 Part payments for several domain names
5.6 Payment period
5.7 Currency and forms of payment
5.8 Details of credit card payment
5.9 Default and reminder
5.10 Consequences of default

6 Guarantee and liability
6.1 Guarantee
6.2 Liability

7 Force majeure

8 Personal data
8.1 Purpose and scope of processing personal data by SWITCH
8.2 Removal of personal data
8.3 Rights of the contact persons
8.4 Passwords

9 Whois service

10 Concluding provisions
10.1 Communication
10.2 Contract elements, legal bases and contract updates
10.3 Transfer of contractual rights and obligations
10.4 Saving clause
10.5 Applicable law and jurisdiction

Annex 1
Annex 2

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1 General provisions

1.1 Definitions
The definitions used in these GTC also apply to the other contract elements according to section 10.2.1.


Account The User ID assigned to a contact person and the associated password, plus the underlying contact details of the contact person concerned.
ACE string ASCII Compatible Encoding String: a string of characters composed by algorithms (e.g. xn--bcher-kva.ch) consisting only of characters according to Annex 1. The domain name is entered in the SWITCH database and where applicable in the zonefile in the form of the ACE string.
Active domain name Domain name, to which at least two name servers are assigned, which respond to requests from the DNS.
Administration Administration of the registered domain name.
AEFV Decree on Addressing Resources in the Telecommunications Sector dated 6 October 1997, SR 784.104 (governs domain names below the domain ".ch").
Applicant The private person or legal entity or a general or limited partnership submitting a request (for registration, updating, transfer or deletion) for a domain name to SWITCH.
Billing contact The private person or legal entity or a general or limited partnership, to which SWITCH sends the bill for the fees.
Contact person Either the applicant, the holder, the billing contact, the technical contact or the hostmaster or all these together.
Database Internal database of SWITCH used to provide the Whois service and other services. The database is not publicly accessible and there is no subscriber directory as defined in Art. 21 of the Law on Telecommunications (LTC).
Deletion Cancellation of the registration of the domain name on the basis of relinquishment by the previous holder in response to a confirmed request or on the basis of revocation by SWITCH.
Domain A top-level domain such as .ch or .li. (The AEFV refers to the domain as internet domain.)
Domain name A domain name below the domain ".ch" or ".li" without the ending ".ch" or ".li" (second-level domain).
Holder The private person or legal entity or a general or limited partnership which has registered a domain name on request and is the contract partner of SWITCH. (The TAR describes holder as property right owner.)
Hostmaster A private person or legal entity or a general or limited partnership, which provides and operates the name server.
Inactive domain name Domain name, to which at least two functioning name servers are not assigned and which is therefore not accessible.
Interface A specification made available by SWITCH to the contact persons with a large number of domain names, with which requests (for registration, updating, transfer or deletion) can be made.
IP address A numeric address used for addressing a computer on the internet.
Name server
Service on the internet which answers requests with appropriate information from the zonefile.
Office of Communications Regulatory authority of the Principality of Liechtenstein responsible for regulation of second level domain names below the domain ".li".
OFCOM Swiss Federal Office of Communications, regulatory authority for second-level domain names below the domain ".ch".
Recognised Partner A service provider acting in respect of SWITCH in its own name and for its own account, which applies for, registers and administers domain names below the domain .ch and .li with SWITCH for its customers on the basis of a partner agreement concluded between it and SWITCH.
Registration Entry of the domain name in the zonefile (active) or in the database (inactive). (The AEFV describes registration as allocation.)
Relinquishment Request by the holder to SWITCH for deletion of the domain name and a corresponding written confirmation by the holder.
Request Request refers to a request for registration, update, transfer or deletion. (The TAR describe request as application.)
Revocation Unilateral cancellation of the registration of a domain name to the holder by SWITCH (Art. 11 AEFV).
Subscription period The period of 12 months, starting from the first day of the next month following registration.
TAR Technical and administrative regulations on the registration and administration of domain names below the domain ".ch", 2002, SR 784.101.113/2.13.
Technical contact The private person or legal entity or a general or limited partnership, which is available to SWITCH and the holder in the event of technical problems connected with a domain name.
Transfer Transfer of a specific domain name from the previous holder to a new one, for which SWITCH simultaneously deletes and re-registers this domain name.
Unicode Code Points Numerical value indicating the position of a character within the Unicode character set.
User ID User ID assigned to a contact person by SWITCH.
Whois service Publicly accessible part of the SWITCH database as defined in Art. 14h AEFV, which is not a list of subscribers as defined in Art. 21 LTC.
Zonefile Document required by the name server, which contains the information about the domain name, name server and IP addresses.

1.2 Subject of the GTC
These GTC regulate the conditions of SWITCH for the registration and administration of domain names and their associated ACE string below the domain ".ch" or ".li".


1.3 Contract between SWITCH and the holder
The parties to the contract on the registration and administration of a domain name are Foundation SWITCH - Teleinformatikdienste für Lehre und Forschung – The Swiss Education & Research Network, Limmatquai 138, Postfach, 8021 Zürich (referred to below as SWITCH) of the first part and the holder of the domain name concerned of the second part.

The holder of a domain name may be a private person or legal entity or a general or limited partnership.


1.4 Conclusion of the contract
In submitting a request for registration of a domain name to SWITCH, the applicant recognises the present GTC as binding on himself and the holder. The contract on the registration and administration of the domain name applied for by the applicant is only concluded, however, with dispatch of the confirmation by SWITCH to the holder mentioned in the request, stating that registration of the domain name for the holder has taken place. The confirmation of registration should not be confused with the confirmation of the opening of an account in the SWITCH database or with the confirmation of receipt of the registration request.


1.5 Right of withdrawal of the applicant/holder
The applicant can delete his application for registration of a domain name through an entry to that effect on the SWITCH website without cost implications, as long as the request on the SWITCH website is still displayed as pending. From the conclusion of the contract with SWITCH according to paragraph 1.4 the holder has 10 days within which to relinquish the domain name (according to paragraph 4.1, 4.2 and 10.12) without cost implications by confirmation of a request for deletion and thus to withdraw from the contract.


1.6 Representation by third parties
Third parties, in particular but not only the applicant, the billing contact, the technical contact and the hostmaster, are responsible for being empowered and authorised to act for the holder of the domain name. Otherwise the third party is liable to SWITCH for all activities, costs, expenses and losses resulting from unauthorised action. The holder of the domain name must accept responsibility for the actions and/or negligence of third parties brought in by him as for his own behaviour and is liable to SWITCH for this.

Recognised Partners which apply for, register and administer domain names for their customers with SWITCH under the partner agreement concluded with SWITCH, are not considered third parties within the meaning of this clause, but are contracting partners of SWITCH in respect of the relevant domain names. For customers of a Recognised Partner these GTC only apply under the conditions and to the extent provided for in the agreement between SWITCH and the Recognised Partner. Basically the customers of the Recognised Partner must contact the Recognised Partner in connection with the domain names registered for the customers concerned.


2 Registration of domain names

2.1 Principles of registration

2.1.1 Equal treatment
Unless provided otherwise in these GTC and in the applicable law, SWITCH will handle requests for registration on the same conditions, in accordance with the same rules and principles.


2.1.2 First come, first served
Registration of a domain name for which several valid requests are received according to paragraph 2.4 will be based on chronological order (first come, first served) of receipt via the SWITCH website and interface.


2.1.3 Legitimacy
A request for registration of a domain name represents to SWITCH the binding assurance of the applicant and/or holder that the registration to the holder of the domain name indicated in the request can be made legally and that the holder is entitled to use the domain name. SWITCH does not carry out a check on the holder's entitlement to register and use the domain name, and accepts no responsibility in that respect through the registration and administration of the domain name for the holder (Art. 14f para. 2 AEFV).

The holder undertakes to indemnify SWITCH in respect of all costs and expenses and against claims for compensation by third parties in full, including costs of proceedings and lawyers, which may result for SWITCH from or in connection with an illegal registration and/or use of a domain name.

The holder entered in the database is considered legally responsible to and authorised for the use of the domain name.


2.1.4 Indefinite registration
The registration of domain names to the various holders is essentially for an indefinite period. The registration of the domain name ends with the holder's relinquishment according to para. 4.1 and 4.2, transfer according to para. 3.4 or revocation by SWITCH according to para. 4.3 and 4.4.


2.2 Conditions for registration

2.2.1 Opening an account
In order to apply for a domain name, the applicant must record the contact details for the holder and other contact persons according to para. 2.4 letter a, that is he must open an account for the contact persons via the SWITCH website or interface, unless this has already been done. On creation of an account, each contact person will receive from SWITCH his own User ID and his own password assigned to this User ID. These details will allow the contact person to undertake the processing of the address and the contact details himself.


2.2.2 Valid request and lack of grounds for denial of registration
If the conditions in paragraph 2.2.1 are met and if the request for registration has been made correctly according to paragraph 2.4, SWITCH will register the domain name for the holder according to the registration principles in paragraph 2.1, in so far as there is no ground for denial of registration according to paragraph 2.5. With the registration SWITCH makes the corresponding entry in the database, the Whois service and, if applicable, in the zonefile.


2.3 Condition for the use of active domain names
For active use of a domain name, SWITCH must be given at least two functional name servers with the request for registration or by means of an update request in accordance with para. 3.3 ff. The name servers require a permanent connection to the internet and must be notified to SWITCH in advance with the fully completed forms supplied by SWITCH via its website or another interface designated by it in its database. The name server names may consist only of characters in accordance with Annex 1. The stated name servers are checked for functionality with the DNS. If the result is positive, the request will be accepted. The domain names and name server details will generally be transferred to the zonefile within the following 24 hours, after which the domain name will become active. SWITCH can also check the functionality of the name servers again later at any time.


2.4 Request for registration of a domain name
A valid request for registration of a domain name must comply with the following conditions:

The request contains full details about: holder, billing contact and the technical contact. The contact details for the holder contain the data according to para. 9 letters b-e and for the technical contact and the other contact persons those according to para. 9 letter f, while the details of the billing contact and the following details are not published in the Whois service: telephone and fax number, the correspondence language and the communication medium for confidential notifications to the relevant contact persons according to para. 10.1.1.
The request was made via the SWITCH website or interface.
The request for an active domain name must contain details of at least two name servers according to para. 2.3. The request for an inactive domain name does not require details of name servers.
As a general rule the registration of a domain name takes place within 10 working days after receipt of the valid request by SWITCH, provided there are no queries or other reasons leading to a delay.


2.5 Denial of registration of domain names
Registration of a domain name may be denied by SWITCH if:

the domain name contains characters other than those according to Annex 1 and/or 2 (capital letters are displayed as corresponding lower case letters);
the domain name contains hyphens as the first, as the third combined with the fourth and/or as the last character (e.g. "-hallo.ch", "ha--llo.ch", "hallo-.ch");
the domain name contains fewer than 3 or the ACE string more than 63 characters, subject to statutory exceptions or exceptions approved by the Office of Communications;
the domain name is identical to a domain name already registered or to one requested previously but not yet registered;
the domain name in question has been reserved by OFCOM or the Office of Communications, unless the conditions for registration defined by OFCOM/Office of Communications for the relevant category are met;
important technical reasons or compliance with international standards require it;
the applicant does not meet the conditions relating to the registration request in para. 2.2 and 2.4 or the request contains incorrect details;
the fees are not paid, or in the event of doubtful solvency, in particular if:
the holder and/or billing contact is in default with the payment of fees to SWITCH and has been reminded without success or if outstanding accounts for non-payment of the fees exist against him for domain names already revoked, unless all outstanding amounts are paid at the latest within an appropriate period set by SWITCH;
the holder and/or billing contact is insolvent (Art. 83 Law of Contract), unless the fees due in connection with registration of the domain name requested (cf. para. 5.1) have been paid within a period set by SWITCH;
the same applicant and/or holder and/or billing contact applies for registration of domain names, for which the fees exceed the sum of CHF 500.00 and the fees due in connection with the pending requests (cf. para. 5.1) are not paid in advance within an appropriate period set by SWITCH;
there is an evident risk that SWITCH could make itself legally liable owing to the registration of the domain name. In these cases the denial takes place in consultation with OFCOM;
the applicant cannot be contacted for queries, or does not reply within 10 working days (receipt of the answer by SWITCH).
Notification of denial of a registration of a domain name will generally be given within 10 working days from receipt of the request by SWITCH to all the contact persons named in that registration request. With the denial of registration the request in question will be rejected and the relevant domain name will become available.


3 Administration of domain names

3.1 Holder's duty of examination
The holder is obliged to examine all notifications and processed requests from SWITCH and check for their correctness immediately. If the holder fails to perform this examination, he loses any liability claims and other claims against SWITCH in connection with any errors in the relevant notifications and/or processings.


3.2 Holder's duty of data maintenance
The holder is responsible for ensuring that all data listed in the SWITCH database for the domain names registered for the holder, in particular of the contact persons, are kept up to date, complete and correct during the whole period of registration. For SWITCH only the data listed in its database are authoritative. SWITCH is not obliged to consider data other than those notified via the SWITCH website or interface or to undertake its own investigations with a view to correcting these data.

If the data are found to be incomplete, incorrect or not up to date, particularly as the result of information from a third party, and if this means that the identity of the holder cannot be determined without great effort, or if notifications from SWITCH to the holder and/or to the billing contact cannot be delivered, SWITCH has the right to revoke the relevant domain name of that holder.

SWITCH for its part can merge several accounts of one contact person.


3.3 Update requests

3.3.1 Subject of update requests
Update requests can only update data recorded in connection with a domain name in the database, the Whois service and, if applicable, the zonefile of SWITCH, but not the domain name itself and/or the User ID.


3.3.2 Processing and form of update requests
Update requests can be made at any time and are generally processed within 10 working days from their receipt at SWITCH. The form of update requests is based on paragraph 10.1.2.


3.3.3 Update authorisation
A contact person can update the data relating to them (address data, communication medium for confidential notifications and correspondence language) at any time via the SWITCH website or interface. The holder can submit requests for replacement of the contact persons assigned to the domain name by others, for updating the name server and for updating the status of the domain name (active/inactive). If update requests reserved for the holder are submitted by third parties and/or other contact persons, SWITCH will send the holder a confirmation form, which must in any case be returned to SWITCH within 10 days according to para. 10.1.2 (receipt by SWITCH). The billing contact and the technical contact can request deletion of their data, i.e. replacement by the holder contact, up to 30 days before the start of the new subscription period, if they can show in writing that their contract with the holder has been terminated or if they issue a disclaimer of liability in respect of SWITCH. The hostmaster can require the deletion of its name servers, that is deactivation of the domain name, if it shows in writing that its contract with the holder has been terminated or issues a disclaimer of liability in respect of SWITCH.


3.4 Transfer of a domain name in particular

3.4.1 On confirmed request by the holder
The current holder can transfer domain names to a third party as new holder provided the current holder submits a request for transfer and SWITCH deletes the domain name for the previous holder while simultaneously re-registering for the designated new holder. This requires that the conditions in accordance with para. 2 ff. above are met in respect of the third party concerned and that there are no grounds for denial of registration according to para. 2.5.

After receipt of the request for transfer to a third party, SWITCH will send the holder a confirmation form, which must be returned to SWITCH by the holder within 10 days according to para. 10.1.2 (receipt by SWITCH). SWITCH may make the transfer of the domain name conditional on the requirement that the third party takes over from the transferring holder payment to SWITCH of any outstanding fees payable in connection with the registration and administration of the relevant domain name. The transfer of a domain name will generally take place within 10 working days after receipt of the valid confirmation by SWITCH.


3.4.2 On the basis of a decision or settlement
SWITCH will transfer a domain name from the holder to a third party if it is presented with a decision of a court or court of arbitration enforceable in Switzerland, a similar decision of a Swiss criminal prosecution, administrative or regulatory authority, an expert's decision of the dispute resolution service for .ch and .li domain names or a settlement concluded in or out of court by both parties, according to which SWITCH, without being a party to the corresponding proceedings, is immediately instructed to transfer the domain name to the third party or in which the consent to be given by the holder is contained or by which that consent is replaced. The third party must provide SWITCH with a certificate on the enforceability of the decision.


3.5 Temporary blocking and/or deactivation
As a temporary measure SWITCH is legally obliged to block a domain name, i.e. to block the transfer of a domain name to a new holder according to para. 3.4 until further notice, if the following conditions are met:

SWITCH is instructed to do so by a decision of a court or court of arbitration enforceable in Switzerland, without SWITCH being a party to the corresponding proceedings, or
a Swiss criminal prosecution, administrative or regulatory authority makes a corresponding binding and enforceable order, or
a third party is proved to have lodged a plea to the court or court of arbitration or proceedings before the dispute resolution service for .ch and .li domain names against the current holder for deletion/revocation or transfer of the domain name, without SWITCH being a party to the corresponding proceedings.
In addition to or instead of blocking, the court or court of arbitration concerned or the relevant authority can also order that an active domain name be made inactive.

Reservations are also made for other measures ordered by courts, courts of arbitration or responsible authorities.


3.6 Disputes about domain names
SWITCH generally does not judge who may have a better right to a domain name. If the parties cannot agree, a dispute resolution service is available to them, for which costs are payable.

Any expert's decisions by the dispute resolution service are binding for holders of domain names even if they are not involved in the dispute resolution proceedings, provided that the holder concerned:

has registered the relevant domain name after or on 1. 3. 2004, or
has renewed the subscription period for the relevant domain name after or on 1. 3. 2004.
The dispute resolution proceedings are subject to the relevant rules of procedure in the current version.

In any case the legal route of the state courts remains available to both the holder and for third parties.


4 Relinquishment and revocation of domain names

4.1 Deletion by relinquishment
The holder can relinquish his domain name at any time, by confirming a request for deletion of the domain name in writing. Deletion requests may be submitted by the holder or by third parties. The request must in any case be confirmed by the holder in writing within 10 days. For this SWITCH sends the holder, generally after 10 working days from receipt of the request, a confirmation form, which must be returned to SWITCH by the holder within a further 10 days according to para. 10.1.2 (receipt by SWITCH).


4.2 Effect of deletion by relinquishment
On deletion the domain name is deleted from the Whois service and the zonefile. Deletion on the basis of relinquishment ends the contract between SWITCH and the holder and the domain name is generally available for re-registration 14 days after relinquishment (the "on-hold period").

The domain name is deleted either as soon as possible or only at the end of the current subscription period, according to the holder's wishes.


4.3 Deletion by revocation
SWITCH must revoke the registration of domain names if SWITCH is presented with a decision of a court or of a court of arbitration enforceable in Switzerland, or a similar decision by a Swiss criminal prosecution, administrative or regulatory authority, an expert decision of the dispute resolution service for .ch and .li domain names, or a settlement concluded in or out of court by both parties is presented, according to which SWITCH is directly instructed to revoke the domain name, without SWITCH being a party to the corresponding proceedings, or which contains the required holder's consent to revocation or by which that consent is replaced. The third party must submit a certificate of the enforceability of the decision.

SWITCH can revoke the registration of domain names, if:

the holder breaches the applicable law;
the holder breaches the contract with SWITCH and does not correct the breach within a period set by SWITCH;
the holder or his representative does not pay the fees due according to para. 5.8 to 5.10 below;
the holder breaches the duty to maintain data according to para. 3.2;
there is an evident risk that SWITCH could make itself legally liable owing to the registration and/or use of the domain name. In that case the revocation takes place in consultation with OFCOM;
other important reasons such as international recommendations, standards or harmonisation require it. In that case the revocation takes place in consultation with OFCOM;
the holder has died or has been deleted from the register of commerce as a result of bankruptcy or liquidation and if no successor in title is present.


4.4

Effect of deletion by revocation
On revocation the domain name is deleted from the Whois service and the zonefile. Deletion on the grounds of revocation ends the contract between SWITCH and the holder and the domain name will be available for re-registration after expiry of the following periods:

If the revocation was based on the first paragraph of 4.3, the domain name will be available for re-registration at the time stated in the decision or agreed in the settlement between the parties, or if no such time is set, as soon as possible.
If the revocation took place for other reasons, the domain name will generally be available for re-registration 14 days after revocation (the "on-hold" period).


5 Fees, billing and terms of payment

5.1 Fees
The fees consist of a registration fee for the registration of a domain name and a recurrent annual fee for a subscription period. Among other things the annual fees cover the costs of an unlimited number of update requests (cf. para. 3.3 ff above). SWITCH reserves the right to charge costs for certain updates. The annual fees are payable in full for every subscription period or part thereof in which the domain name is registered. There is no refund of fees for domain names which are transferred, deleted or revoked before expiry of the current subscription period. On the transfer of a domain names, the fees charged to the new holder are those for a new registration. If a domain name is on-hold according to Section 4.2 para. 1 or 4.4 letter b, a registration fee is payable for a renewed registration in addition to the unpaid fees. The current fees in Swiss francs, including any value added taxes, can be seen on the SWITCH website.


5.2 Billing on registration (1st subscription period)
Once the entries in the database, the Whois service and, where applicable, the zonefile have been made, a bill for the registration fee and the annual fee for the first subscription period is sent to the billing contact entered in the SWITCH database.


5.3 Billing for the 2nd subscription period and subsequent years
After this a bill for the next subscription period is issued to the billing contact generally 30 days before the end of the current subscription period. Generally 14 days before billing SWITCH sends an advance notification to the holder and the billing contact listing the domain names for which fees are payable and the subscription period. If no bill has been received 20 days before the end of the subscription period, the holder and/or the billing contact should make inquiries to SWITCH about the billing.


5.4 Payment obligation
The holder of the domain name is obliged to pay SWITCH the fees in full. Nomination of a third part as billing contact represents an agreement on the billing address and does not represent a transfer of the payment obligation for the registration and annual fees payable to SWITCH to the billing contact which discharges the holder (cf. para. 1.6).

If the holder relinquishes his domain name (according to para. 4.1 and 4.2) 30 days before the start of the new subscription period, he will no longer owe the annual fee for the following subscription period.


5.5 Part payments for several domain names
In the event of part payment of a bill relating to several domain names, SWITCH has the right to decide for which of the domain names in question payment is deemed to have been made. Any instructions to the contrary from the holder or billing contact cannot be considered in the context of the automatic processes performed by SWITCH and are therefore insignificant for SWITCH, subject to para. 5.8.


5.6 Payment period
The fees must be paid in full without deduction within 30 days from the date of invoice. SWITCH has the right to offset the sums invoiced by it against any prepayments made and securities.


5.7 Currency and forms of payment
Valid payment is only possible in Swiss francs (CHF). Payment may be made by credit card or, for payments inside Switzerland, using a payment slip. Other forms of payment (e.g. cheques) are not permissible. An exception is made for payment from abroad, which can be made by bank transfer, if payment by credit card proves impossible, and provided that the payer accepts all expenses.


5.8 Details of credit card payment
The fees can be settled by credit card both before receipt of a bill and after billing. On request the applicant will receive an online receipt, showing the payment due. The billing contact will receive confirmation of payment. With credit card payment, part payment by means of debit order for a corresponding domain name via the website is possible. The credit card holder authorises SWITCH with the credit card payment to collect the registration and annual fee from the credit card firm indicated. If the credit card organisation refuses to credit SWITCH, the payment is deemed not to have been made. In the event of misuse, the domain name will be revoked by SWITCH.


5.9 Default and reminder
If no payment or only incomplete payment is received by the end of the normal payment period, the holder will automatically be in default. SWITCH will then send a maximum of two reminders. From the start of default of the holder, SWITCH can enforce statutory interest on late payment, debt enforcement costs and if applicable collection costs, including court and lawyers' costs. The reminders are sent only to the billing contact listed in the database at the time in question. As an added precaution, in the case of a second reminder a notification is also sent to the holder of the domain name, containing the information that the domain name will be revoked unless payment is made within the period set by SWITCH in the second reminder.


5.10 Consequences of default
If payment of the fees due (including any interest on late payment, debt enforcement costs, collection and other costs) is not made promptly, in full, and in accordance with the terms of payment, this will lead to revocation of the domain name.


6 Guarantee and liability

6.1 Guarantee
In the performance of its services as registry, SWITCH will take the appropriate care, according to the legal requirements, which can be expected of it taking into account the large number of requests to be processed. Beyond that SWITCH does not accept a guarantee for the availability of its services and systems and for the error-free nature of the results achieved with these.


6.2 Liability
SWITCH will not be liable for any damages, except those caused by intention or gross negligence. In particular, SWITCH will not be liable for damages or disruptions in service:

which are caused or partly caused by the fact that the holder or a contact person fails to comply with the conditions of these GTC and/or other contract elements,
which are caused on the basis of failure of use, interruptions of operation, power failure, faults such as denial-of-service attacks and other hacker attacks, sabotage, terrorism, vandalism and capacity fluctuations etc. in connection with telecommunications networks and/or the internet and/or in connection with software employed by the holder and third parties for use of the internet,
consisting of indirect or consequential damages, such as loss of profits, savings not realised or claims of third parties,
in connection with compliance with an expert's decision in the dispute resolution proceedings,
regardless of whether a contractual claim, a claim for unauthorised action (including negligence) or any other claim is involved; this also applies if SWITCH has been informed about the possibility of such damages. SWITCH reserves the right to appeal on the grounds of shared responsibility by the injured party in any case. Any compensation obligation by SWITCH, its employees, its agents and any third parties brought in by SWITCH, is limited in each case to a maximum value of CHF 500.00 per incident, in so far as permitted by law and independently of the legal grounds.


7 Force majeure
In cases of force majeure, i.e. if SWITCH is prevented from complying with one or more obligations under this contract for reasons which cannot reasonably be controlled by itself and by any third parties brought in by it, such as in particular natural events, mobilisation, war, rebellion, epidemics, accidents, sabotage, terrorism, serious operating malfunctions, interruption of telecommunication connections, in particular those of the internet, labour disputes or official measures, for the period during which the case of force majeure continues, and during an appropriate start-up period thereafter, it is exempt from compliance with the obligation(s) concerned and is not liable for any direct or indirect damages resulting for the holder from non-performance of the obligation(s) concerned.


8 Personal data

8.1 Purpose and scope of processing of personal data by SWITCH
SWITCH will collect and process personal data of the contact persons in the context of compliance with its tasks as registry according to the AEFV, the TAR, the Data Protection Act (DSG) and the following special provisions. SWITCH can also process personal data for other purposes or pass them on to third parties, in so far as the contact person concerned has given his permission for this, or this can be concluded to exist.

The applicant and/or the holder are responsible for ensuring that with regard to personal data listed by them in the request for registration or in later update requests, the consent of the persons concerned is given for notification to SWITCH and for processing by the latter.


8.2 Removal of personal data
With the deletion or revocation of the domain name, the personal data of the contact persons are removed from the Whois service, provided that they are not entered in the database as holder or as contact person in connection with further domain names. SWITCH, however, has the right and is legally obliged to store data relating to domain names in the database in its activity journal for at least 10 years.


8.3 Rights of the contact persons
Each contact person has a right of information and correction for the data relating to them in the SWITCH database and where appropriate in the Whois service. This right can be exercised in that the contact has access to the data relating to them via the SWITCH website and can correct them if necessary via their account.


8.4 Passwords
The contact person is responsible for keeping the password assigned to him for his account by SWITCH confidential and is responsible and liable for any misuse of the password. The passwords assigned by SWITCH must be replaced immediately by new ones by the relevant contact persons. The new password should not be a trivial password. The holder and the contact persons have no liability claims or other claims against SWITCH, if owing to careless keeping of the password or because of its disclosure to third parties, unauthorised update requests are made and processed by SWITCH, in particular the domain name is transferred to another holder, deleted or revoked.


9 Whois service
SWITCH is legally obliged to publish the following data on the internet:

designation of the registered domain name and of the ACE string;
full name of the holder of the domain name concerned;
postal address of the place of residence or business premises of the holder, stating the street name or a P.O. Box number, the town, the post code, the State or Province (the Canton for Switzerland) and the country;
if the holder is a legal entity, a general or limited partnership, the names of the private persons entrusted with their representation;
e-mail address of the holder;
name, e-mail address and postal address of the technical contact, stating the street name or a P.O. Box number, the town, the post code, the State or Province (the Canton for Switzerland) and the country;
the dates of registration of the domain name concerned, the last update of that registration and the language in which the registration agreement was drawn up.
SWITCH has the right and is legally obliged to make direct access to the Whois service available to third parties. As standard this is limited to a certain number of inquiries, though in the event of a proven need, in particular in the case of activities of a third party in connection with the registration and administration of domain names, the access limit can be increased. In that case SWITCH assigns to the third party the obligation to take measures to prevent the abuse of data from the Whois service.


10 Concluding provisions

10.1 Communication

10.1.1 Communication by SWITCH to the contact persons
For notifications of a confidential nature, such as dispatch of the password and the User ID, SWITCH will choose the type of communication selected by the contact person for confidential notifications (fax or e-mail). For other notifications SWITCH is free to use other means of communication such as fax, e-mail, post or courier.


10.1.2 Communication from the contact persons to SWITCH
Registration, update, transfer and deletion requests can only be activated via the SWITCH website or interface. SWITCH is not obliged to consider requests which are not made via the website or interface. For applications requiring a written confirmation from the holder, SWITCH will send the holder a confirmation form, which must be printed by the holder, signed by hand and, if necessary for the legal validity of the signature, accompanied by the company stamp or evidenced by letterhead and delivered to SWITCH within the appropriate period (receipt at SWITCH). If the confirmation arrives after expiry of the period, it will not be considered and the request will be rejected. Notifications to SWITCH which do not contain any requests can be delivered by fax, e-mail, post or courier.


10.1.3 Language
SWITCH offers registration of domain names in German, French, Italian and English.

The language chosen for opening an account determines that of the contract between SWITCH and the holder, regardless of any later updates in the details of the holder. For the existing contractual relationships for domain names before version 5.0 of the GTC entered into force, English is the authoritative language for the contract.

The correspondence language can be changed as required for each account during the contractual relationship. SWITCH cannot guarantee compliance with the correspondence language for all its communications to the contact person concerned, but will endeavour to comply with this.


10.2 Contract elements, legal bases and contract updates

10.2.1 Contract elements and statutory boundary conditions
The following conditions apply to the registration and administration of domain names, which are elements of the contract between SWITCH and the holder:

these GTC in their current version,
the information according to the registration request and later updates,
the current fees of SWITCH and
the user regulations of SWITCH for the use of the Whois service in their current version.
The registration and administration of second-level domain names below the domain ".ch" and ".li" are also governed by the rules of procedure for the dispute resolution service in the current version, and the definitive statutory conditions, in particular ".ch" is governed by the Law on Telecommunications of 30 April 1997 (LTC, SR 784.10), the Decree on Addressing Resources in the Telecommunications Sector of 6 October 1997 (AEFV, status 27 February 2002, SR 784.104), OFCOM's administrative and technical regulations on the allocation and administration of second-level domain names below the domain ".ch" (TAR, SR 784.101.113/2.13) and the Data Protection Act of 19 June 1992 (DSG, SR 235.1) and the associated Decree of 14 June 1993 (VDSG, SR 235.11).

No General Terms and Conditions (GTC) other than those of SWITCH apply. Other GTC, e.g. those of the applicant and/or of the holder, will not be a contract element, unless these have been expressly accepted in writing by SWITCH.


10.2.2 Contract updates
SWITCH has the right at any time to alter the GTC, the fees and the user regulations for use of the Whois service.

If the holder does not agree with the new or updated provisions, he has the option of relinquishing his domain name at the latest 10 days before the new provisions come into force, otherwise the updated provisions will become valid for the holder. The holder's payment obligation for any annual fees for a subscription period that has already begun will not be affected by this.


10.2.3 Publication of contract updates
The contract updates come into force on the date they are published on the SWITCH website, with any transitional provisions that may be necessary. The contract elements are permanently available on the SWITCH website under www.switch.ch. The contract update takes place through publication on the SWITCH website. The publication is agreed as sufficient announcement.


10.3 Transfer of contractual rights and obligations
SWITCH has the right to transfer the contract with the holder, and the resulting rights and obligations, without the latter's consent to OFCOM or a third party, which will take on the tasks and obligations of the registry.


10.4 Saving clause
If individual provisions of the contract including these GTC should be wholly or partly invalid, this shall not affect the validity of the other provisions or parts of such provisions. The invalid provision will be replaced by a provision which comes as close as legally possible to the intention of the invalid provision.


10.5 Applicable law and jurisdiction
Only substantive Swiss law applies to the registration and administration of domain names and in particular to the contract between SWITCH and the holder of the domain name, to the exclusion of UN Law of Purchase. The sole place of jurisdiction is Zürich.




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Annex 1
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Annex 2
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General Terms and Conditions 5.0
Domain Name Policy 04
Fees 04.1

Dispute Resolution Service
Disputes between the holder and a third party
When registering and administering domain names, SWITCH is fundamentally not obliged to check whether the holder is entitled to the domain name. Instead, it is up to the holder to make sure, prior to registration, that he/she is not violating any distinctive sign rights of third parties. SWITCH provides a non-exhaustive list of directories to this end.

In the event of disputes concerning a domain name, SWITCH is a party to neither the civil action nor the dispute resolution proceedings. This also applies when it is solely a matter of ensuring that judgements or rulings are enforced.

Means of recourse for the third party
If a third party raises a claim against the domain name holder, then this is a matter for the former and the latter which is to be settled through civil action or through these dispute resolution proceedings.

The present dispute resolution proceedings are mandatory for domain name holders who register a new domain name as of 1 March 2004, for domain name holders who renew their subscription after 1 March 2004 and for domain name holders who submitted by participating in the proceedings.

They are designed as simple, rapid and inexpensive proceedings.

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