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[rpd] Implementation of transfer policy AFPUB-2016-V4-003

Alan Barrett alan.barrett at
Thu Aug 24 15:38:55 UTC 2017

Hi Noah,

I am not a lawyer, and this message has not been checked by AFRINIC’s legal adviser.  It’s my understanding of the situation.

The RSA has a clause that says "this agreement shall at all times be subjected to policies adopted and to be adopted by the AFRINIC Internet Community”.  “This agreement” means the agreement between AFRINIC and the member who signs the RSA.  The member is bound by the RSA that they signed, and the RSA says that the member is also subjected to the policies, so the end result is that the member must simultaneously follow both the RSA and the policies.

The RSA also has a clause that says "except in the event of The Applicant becoming the subject of merger and/or acquisition proceedings, the transfer of number resources is strictly prohibited”.   Even if there’s a policy that allows transfers, the RSA prohibits transfers, and the member has agreed to follow the RSA, so the member may not make a transfer.

The RSA was written at a time when transfers were prohibited, and policies to allow transfers had not even been thought of.  It’s now necessary to change the RSA to allow transfers, provided the transfers are done in accordance with policy.

> If I may, what is the final objective of this exercise?   
> 1. To make the RSA more superior over the policies?  
> 2. To make policies comply to the RSA and keep changing RSA before adopting policies?

The answer is neither 1 nor 2.  The objective is not (1), because members already need to comply with both the RSA and the policies.  (Today, the only way they can comply with both is by never making a transfer.)  The objective is not (2), because changing the RSA before adopting policies would be an unreasonable amount of work.  The objective is to remove a problem in the RSA, and to do so in such a way that future changes in the policies around transfers should not need even more changes to the RSA.

Alan Barrett

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