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IPv4 Assignment vs Temporary transfer – RIPE NCC


Within the RIPE NCC service region, there are three ways to record the leased subnet:

  • Assignment. Assignments refer to the lessees’ end-users. They are made by the subnet holder.
  • Sub-allocation. Sub-allocations refer to lessees or intermediaries. From sub-allocations, intermediaries or lessees can create assignments for their end-users. Sub-allocations are made by the subnet holder.
  • Temporary Transfer. Temporary transfers allow changing the holder of the IPv4 subnet to the lessee for a limited period. Temporary transfers are operated by RIPE NCC.

In this article, we’re going to compare Assignment (or Sub-Allocation) and Temporary Transfer.

IPv4 Assignment or Sub-Allocation:


  1. Flexibility: IPv4 assignments or sub-allocations provide a more flexible solution for organizations with short-term lease or monthly payment requirements.
  2. Subnet control by Lessor: For lessors, it’s easier to stop providing leasing services if the customer violates the contract terms. The lessor can delete/update the assignment within a couple of minutes.
  3. Adaptability: Assignments enable lessees upon the agreement with lessors to adjust their address space according to changing needs. This flexibility is particularly advantageous for projects with temporary or seasonal demands.
  4. Fast setup: Assignments can be made within a couple of minutes.


  1. Limited management by Lessee: While the lessee can manage the assignment with mnt-by, mnt-routes, mnt-domains rights, RPKI records are still managed by the lessor.
  2. Lessor always shown as subnet Holder: Even if the lessee has their ORG in the IPv4 assignment/sub-allocation, the parent object always shows the owner’s ORG.
  3. Dependence on the Lessor: The lessor can stop providing the subnet at any time by deleting the assignment and updating RPKI records.

Terms to Make an Assignment/Sub-allocation:

  • The lessor shall log in at and then create an object under their maintainer here:
  • The assignment/sub-allocation can not be made from the ASSIGNED PI inetnum.
  • The created object shall reflect the contract and lessees’ details.

Temporary transfer


  1. Stability: The lessee receives the subnet for a period limited by the transfer agreement, and the lessor cannot withdraw it earlier.
  2. White label: The lessee is shown as the subnet holder.
  3. Full management by Lessee: The lessee manages all records, including RPKI, themselves.
  4. BYOIP solution: The lessee meets the criteria of several BYOIP service providers to have its own allocation.


  1. No Early Termination: It’s impossible to revoke the subnet earlier than the transfer agreement termination date. Therefore, for temporary transfers, a full advance payment for the whole transfer period is recommended.
  2. No Abuse Control: All abuse mails will go to the lessee, and the lessor loses the possibility to stop illegal activity.
  3. Risk of Scam: Since there’s no record in the RIPE database indicating if the allocation is a result of a temporary transfer, there’s a risk that the receiving party can pretend to be the subnet holder.

Terms to Make a Temporary Transfer:

The sourcing and receiving party shall sign the Transfer Agreement. Then, the sourcing party opens a ticket with RIPE NCC. Two years shall pass from the subnet’s last transfer/allocation date.

Temporary Transfer in Other RIRs:

As of 2023, RIPE NCC is the sole RIR with a concept of temporary transfer. An attempt to implement temporary transfers was also made in APNIC as prop-119, but the proposal was withdrawn in 2018.


Determining whether IPv4 Assignment or Temporary Transfer is better depends on the specific needs and preferences of the organization.

IPv4 Assignment or Sub-Allocation offers flexibility and quick adaptability, making it suitable for projects with temporary or seasonal demands. However, the trade-off involves limited management control for lessees and potential dependence on the lessor.

On the other hand, Temporary Transfer provides stability, full lessee management, and a white-label solution, making it attractive for longer-term commitments. Yet, the inability for early termination, potential loss of abuse control, and the risk of scams due to the lack of a distinct record in the RIPE database are factors to consider.

Ultimately, the better choice depends on factors such as lease duration, management preferences, and the organization’s risk tolerance. Careful consideration of these aspects will guide organizations to choose the option that aligns best with their specific operational requirements and strategic goals.

Author: Anastasia Kleiman