Transfers still a hot policy topic in 2017

By on 18 Dec 2017

Category: Policy

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The APNIC policy community was not the only RIR community to consider proposals relating to IPv4 transfers in 2017. Each of the regions had plenty of proposals or implementations during the year as people come to grips with IPv4 exhaustion.


Starting with prop-050, the APNIC region has been talking about IPv4 transfer policies since 2007. That’s more than ten years ago.

The implementation date for that proposal was February 2010, but discussion about inter-regional transfers started less than a year later and by August 2011 prop-095 was implemented and APNIC Members could transfer between APNIC Members and other regions (though at that time no other regions had a policy that allowed it).

There have been some policy tweaks over the past years, but in 2017 transfer discussions were again prominent, with three proposals considered at the Open Policy Meetings. These proposals sought to remove demonstrated need, while introducing temporary transfers, and ‘hold-time’ limits for restricted address blocks contributing to lively discussions.


Transfer policy discussions were not so lively in the RIPE NCC service region in 2017.

A proposal to publish statistics on Intra-RIR legacy resources, which are not currently logged by the RIPE NCC, was withdrawn and the only proposal to reach consensus was an editing task to bring all the transfer-related policies into a single, easy-to-access document.


At AFRINIC, it was a big year for transfers, but on the implementation side of the equation.

The first IPv4 transfer policy, allowing resource transfers between AFRINIC Members, but not other regions, was implemented in July 2017 after reaching consensus in December 2016. The proposal was only successful after a full inter-RIR policy was unable to reach consensus and was withdrawn a month prior.


Like AFRINIC, the LACNIC policies allow intra-regional transfers among LACNIC Members, but the inter-regional proposals have been unsuccessful so far. A proposal to allow incoming only transfers is still under discussion on the mailing list.

A one-way transfer policy would not conflict with the inter-regional transfer policies at the RIPE NCC, or with the APNIC region, but they would fall foul of the ARIN transfer policies that require RIRs to share “reciprocal, compatible, needs-based policies”.


Meanwhile, the ARIN region considered or implemented almost ten transfer-related proposals. On some issues, authors came from opposite points of view, such as proposals to either remove or to strengthen the reciprocity requirements of ARIN’s inter-RIR policy.

Other proposals were intended to clarify existing policy language, such as the proposal confirming there is no needs assessment for M&A transfers, or to deal with corner cases, such as the proposal to remove ‘hold-time’ limits for organizations that might find their out-of-region needs changed and want to move addresses to their off-shore subsidiaries.

What’s in store for 2018?

In 2018, with two remaining transfer policies still under discussion after the Taichung meeting, APNIC 45 could start off another year of transfer policy discussions in the APNIC region as the community responds to the changing needs of the Asia Pacific community.

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