Do not rely on the FTP Registry Transfer Report

Registrars that want to stay up to date on outgoing transfers and would like to give their registrars a timely chance to cancel stop pending transfer requests should not rely on the daily FTP reports provided by the Registry.

There are three methods available for obtaining information about the status of incoming & outgoing transfers:

  1. Transfer Reports from the registry FTP-Server
  2. EPP polling messages
  3. EPP Transfer Status Queries
  4. Transfer email messages

Most older registrar systems will rely solely on the FTP reports, which are not always published by the registry on times and have been delayed by several hours over the past years on several occasions. Considering that a transfer often takes five business days to complete, the user experience is already a bad one, so any additional delay should be avoided. Imagine an anxious registrant who is in the process of transferring their domain receiving an empty response from your whois server, since your system has not yet noticed that the transfer actually completed.

Experiences with most of the major registries have shown that it may not be a sound decision in a registrar implementation to rely on one only just one of the methods above. For .COM and .NET domains the Email Notifications are the most immediate and reliable method of receiving information about transfers. We recommend to poll these messages at least once an hour. Since email cannot be considered reliable today, we also recommend using the FTP report on top of the email notifications, which should be checked at least once daily. For full EPP registries, the polling notifications are the most direct information available.