So What Does A GAC Early Warning Really Mean & Where Do Applicants Go From Here

Last night we published the list of the 242 new gTLD’s applications that got hit with a GAC early warning.

The GAC is the Governmental Advisory Group to ICANN.

So what is the effect of receiving an GAC early warning and what happens from here, we look to the new gTLD Guidebook for answers:

The GAC Early Warning is a notice only.

It is not a formal objection, nor does it directly lead to a process that can result in rejection of the application.

However, a GAC Early Warning should be taken seriously as it raises the likelihood that the application could be the subject of GAC Advice on New gTLDs or of a formal objection at a later stage in the process. Refer to section of the Applicant Guidebook for more information on GAC Early Warning.

Instructions if you receive the Early Warning

ICANN strongly encourages you work with relevant parties as soon as possible to address the concerns voiced in the GAC Early Warning.

Asking questions about your GAC Early Warning

If you have questions or need clarification about your GAC Early Warning, please contact As highlighted above, ICANN strongly encourages you to contact as soon as practicable regarding the issues identified in the Early Warning.

Continuing with your application

If you choose to continue with the application, then the “Applicant’s Response” section below should be completed. In this section, you should notify the GAC of intended actions, including the expected completion date. This completed form should then be sent to If your remediation steps involve submitting requests for changes to your application, see the change request process at

In the absence of a response, ICANN will continue to process the application as submitted.

Withdrawing your application

If you choose to withdraw your application within the 21-day window to be eligible for a refund of 80% of the evaluation fee (USD 148,000), please follow the withdrawal process published at

Note that an application can still be withdrawn after the 21-day time period; however, the available refund amount is reduced.

A 70%  refund is still available to all applicants until Initial Evaluations are released next year as the earliest

Comment Policy: welcomes reader comments. Please follow these simple rules:

  • Stay on topic
  • Refrain from personal attacks
  • Avoid profanity
  • Links should be related to the topic of the post
  • No spamming. Listing domains, products, or services will get the comment deleted

We reserve the right to remove comments if we deem it necessary.

Join the Discussion