The announcement will not come as a surprise for network operators - IPv4 runout has long been anticipated and planned for by the RIPE community. In fact, it is due to the community's responsible stewardship of these resources that RIPE NCC have been able to provide many thousands of new networks in it service region with /22 allocations after they reached IANA/RIPE last /8 in 2012.
Even though RIPE NCC have run out of IPv4, they will continue to recover IPv4 addresses in the future. These will come from organisations that have gone out of business or are closed, or from networks that return addresses they no longer need. These addresses will be allocated to members (LIRs) according to their position on a new waiting list that is now active.
While we therefore expect to be allocating IPv4 for some time, these small amounts will not come close to the many millions of addresses that networks in RIPE region need today. Only LIRs that have never received an IPv4 allocation from the RIPE NCC (of any size) may request addresses from the waiting list, and they are only eligible to receive a single /24 allocation.