ADR procedure

Alternative dispute resolution procedure
Working in conjunction with the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation, known as CEPINA (, has developed an Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure (ADR) to deal with disputes relating to .be domain names. This procedure runs quite quickly (average of 55 days) and is carried out entirely in writing. It also involves relatively low costs.
The procedure is set out in detail in article 10 of the General Terms and Conditions. A summary of the procedure follows. If the summary should conflict with what is contained in article 10, the General Terms and Conditions will apply.
Any party with an interest can lodge an application for the alternative dispute resolution with CEPINA to settle a dispute about a .be domain name. The dispute is assessed by an independent Third-Party Decision-Maker, who is a legal expert in the matter. The Third-Party Decider may decide to delete the domain name or to transfer the name to the complainant. Under normal circumstances, the domain name holder is able to reply once in writing to the complainant's arguments.
Admissibility and legitimacy of domain name disputes
A complaint from a third party against a .be registrant will be taken up by CEPINA on condition that the complaint is lodged in accordance with standard conditions and after depositing the procedural costs of € 1,750 into CEPINA's account.
In order to obtain the transfer of the domain name, all three of these conditions must be demonstrated:
  • the registrant's domain name is identical to or display significant similarity to a brand, trade name, registered name or company name, a geographic indication, a personal name or designation of a geographic entity to which the complainant has a right; and
  • the registrant has no rights or legitimate interests with regard to the domain name; and
  • the registrant's domain name has been registered or used in bad faith
  • The application to transfer the domain name in question must, of course, be expressly included in the complaint.
Length of the procedure (average)
You can find details of the official procedure at the CEPINA website.
  • lodging the complaint
  • the registrant is notified within 7 days that a complaint has been lodged
  • the registrant has 21 days to respond
  • the mediators must be appointed at the latest 7 days later
  • the decision must be announced 14 days later
  • 15 days after receiving the ruling, will put it into effect, unless an appeal has been lodged with CEPINA within this period. The 15-days execution period starts to count the day after was informed of Cepina's ruling and the 15th day fully counts; will thus carry out the decision on the 16th day after the day was informed and at the earliest at noon.
(In this case, "days" means "calendar days")
In some cases some of these periods can be extended.
Costs for the procedure
The fee charged for the procedure is € 1,750, which is paid by the complainant at the beginning of the procedure. If the Third-Party Decider rules that the complaint is justified, will refund the total of the costs to the complainant. will then claim this amount back from the previous, unlawful registrant.
Appeal procedure
Regardless of the option to submit the dispute to an ordinary court, all parties have the right to lodge an appeal with CEPINA within 15 days of the ruling handed down by the Third-Party Decider. The appeal term counts as an expiry term, which means that when the term has gone by, no appeal can be lodged any more against the Cepina ruling.
The application for appeal must be lodged with CEPINA in accordance with the standard requirements mentioned above and payment of € 4,050.00.
The defending party then has a period of 7 days to respond to the arguments submitted by the other party.
After this, an Appeal Panel of three Third-Party Deciders will be appointed by CEPINA. This panel must take a decision within 30 calendar days of the case being submitted to it. Rulings by the Appeal Panel cannot be appealed any higher.
ADR cases
The domain names subject to the ADR procedure with CEPINA can be found here.
An overview of all cases can also be found on the CEPINA website.
Comparison of the ADR procedure and the Procedure act of 26th june 2003