by IPv4.GLOBAL Staff
As the scarcity of IPv4 addresses – combined with demand for them – continues to drive up their value, IPv4 buyers have expanded the scope of their searches for these assets. Similarly, sellers have broadened their willingness to consider a wider geographic range of transfers. This has led many buyers to search outside their Regional Internet Registries (RIR) for transfers that satisfy their needs.
Can I Trade My IPv4 Addresses Between RIRs?
So, to the question, “Can I transfer IPv4 addresses between RIRs,” the short answer is yes. Trading and transferring IPv4 addresses between RIRs, often called inter-RIR transfers, is completely legal and has been going on for some time. Based on the RIR, there are different policies, fees, required information, and processing times that IPv4 buyers and sellers will have to account for when transferring IPv4 blocks between different RIRs.
The Registries that permit inter-RIR transfers are ARIN, LACNIC, RIPE and APNIC. The fifth RIR, AFRINIC, doesn’t have a policy allowing inter-RIR transfers.
The approval process for an inter-RIR transfer will vary depending on the RIRs IPv4 addresses are being transferred between, but the broader strokes will be the same. Step-by-step, the approval process looks something like this:
- Pre-Approval: Buyers may apply for pre-approval before the inter-RIR transfer process can be started. This is generally where buyers provide information for proof of a legitimate need for IPv4 space. APNIC, ARIN, and LACNIC justification processes take place before the inter-RIR transfer, while RIPE includes them during the transfer.
- Negotiation: This stage is where the buyer and seller of an inter-RIR IPv4 address transfer will negotiate the terms of the trade through a broker, such as price, date of transfer, choice of escrow agent, etc. A contract called an Asset Purchase Agreement is sometimes used in private transfers. Other transfers are usually governed by the terms of the platform that is facilitating the exchange.
- Transfer Request: At this point, the seller is required to initiate a transfer request online with their local RIR. The RIR may request additional information on the buyer and ultimately have them sign a confirmation form to proceed with the transfer. The seller may have to pay some transfer fees (though this is often borne by the buyer) if they are located in the APNIC, LACNIC, or ARIN regions. Once everything is in order on the seller’s side of the transfer, the seller’s RIR will reach out to the buyer’s RIR with the transfer request.
- Transfer Approval: Now it’s the buyer’s turn to go through the transfer-approval motions. The seller’s RIR will reach out to the buyer to notify them of the IPv4 transfer and confirm that they want to receive it. This is where the RIRs will request justification for the IPv4 space from the buyer (if they haven’t already). Similar to the seller in the previous step, the buyer will likely sign a confirmation form to proceed with the transfer. They may also be charged transfer fees from APNIC, LACNIC, or ARIN. Fees are charged shortly before or after the transfer is complete except in LACNIC, where the fee is partially paid before the process begins, and the remainder before the transfer is completed.
- Transfer Completion: The buyers and sellers will be notified about the approval of both parties, and the respective RIRs will update their registries and databases to reflect the transfer and new allocation of the IPv4 addresses.
There may be some differences depending on the RIR, but these are the essential steps to any inter-RIR IPv4 transfer. These transfers vary in the time they take, but the process at ARIN, RIPE and APNIC can require up to a month or perhaps a little longer to conclude. LACNIC transfers require at least two month and may require up to ten months.
Other than justification from the buyer and transfer confirmations in an inter-RIR IPv4 trade, RIRs will request various documents to confirm the validity of the transfer and the legitimacy of the parties involved with the trade. Depending on the RIR, they can request membership documents, proof of registration, information of the buyer or seller’s organization, company director or equivalent role when necessary, etc.
Additionally, RIPE offers an inter-RIR transfer template which will need to be filled out by the seller. Others may require submission through their portals.
As expected, the amount in membership, transfer and processing fees organizations will be asked to pay varies depending on their respective RIRs transfer policies. The size of the IPv4 block in question can also have an effect on the amount charged.
For information on specific RIR transfer fees, see below:
In addition to the typical intra-RIR restrictions, there are additional factors that may lead to the disqualification of an IPv4 transfer or a breach of contract. This may be obvious, but if transfer fees aren’t paid in full by both parties the inter-RIR trade cannot proceed and could potentially be called off altogether. Additionally, both parties must be sure to update the relevant databases to reflect the new allocation of IPv4 addresses when the transfer is complete for public record, as this can also be considered a disqualification if ignored.
If you want to learn more about inter-RIR transfers or are looking for an IPv4 broker to assist you with one, visit https://ipv4.global/.