[Well, looks like ICANN actually had a similar provision in its 2009 RAA, just in a different section. Sorry about that.] One of the big improvements in the proposed 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) over the 2009 version is the ability for ICANN to suspend registrars.
Previously, if a registrar was in breach of contract, ICANN only had the “nuclear option” – to terminate the domain registrar.
Many in the ICANN community felt this was why ICANN would wait so long before sending a breach notice to some registrars. ICANN wanted the registrar to comply, but terminating their accreditation seemed like overkill for minor infractions. Thus, ICANN wouldn’t do anything at all.
The new RAA will let ICANN suspend a registrar rather than terminate its accreditation. It may suspend a registrar from registering new domain names or accepting inbound transfers for up to 12 months.
Threatening to suspend a registrar will certainly get its attention, yet without threatening all of its existing customers with a change of registrar.
The suspension terms are in section 5.7 of of the new agreement.
overdue obvious change.