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ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
Uses and applications
The codes are used in different environments and are also part of other standards. In some cases there are not perfectly implemented.
The two-letter ISO 3166-1 codes form the first two letters of the three-letter ISO 4217 standard codes for currencies.
It is used in International Bank Account Numbers, the ISO 6166 International securities identification numbering (ISIN) system, ISO 7372 , ISO 9375 , the ISO/IEC 7501-1 machine readable travel documents standard, UN/LOCODE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Recommendation 16, for encoding names of ports).
Starting in 1985, the two-letter codes have been used in domain names on the Internet, where they are used to form country code ccTLDs, with some exceptions e.g. United Kingdom, where the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority did not follow the ISO 3166-1 and used UK instead of GB. For a complete list of exceptions, see the country code top-level domain article.
WIPO standard ST.3 (for encoding country which issued a patent or trademark).
Changes to ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 are tracked by ISO 3166-3.
Note that AA, ZZ and the ranges QM-QZ and XA-XZ are reserved for private use. If a country code cannot be found in the list then it is probably obsolete, in which case it should be found in the list of obsolete country codes, further below.
The following is intended to be a complete list of current ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes.
ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 Reserved Code Elements list
Reserved code elements are codes which, while not ISO 3166-1 codes, are in use for some applications in conjunction with the ISO 3166 codes. The ISO 3166 MA therefore reserves them, so that they are not used for new official ISO 3166 codes, thereby creating conflicts between the standard and those applications. The alpha-2 reserved code elements list, as of July 23, 2003, is divided into the following four categories.
A transitional reservation refers to a code which was formerly present in ISO 3166, but which since has been deleted. It will be maintained as a transitional reservation for at least five years, for the sake of users who still need to refer to the former entity or whose systems have not yet been updated to refer to the new code. The transitionally reserved alpha-2 code elements are:
|BU||Burma (now Myanmar, MM)|
|NT||Neutral Zone, partitioned between Saudi Arabia and Iraq in 1983.|
|SF||Finland (now FI)|
|SU||Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (several successor codes; still used as ccTLD)|
|TP||East Timor (now Timor-Leste, TL)|
|YU||Yugoslavia (now Serbia and Montenegro, CS)|
|ZR||Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo, CD)|
The indeterminately reserved alpha-2 code elements are code elements used to identify vehicles under the 1949 and 1968 United Nations Road Traffic Conventions. These codes differ from those used in ISO 3166. The ISO 3166 MA hopes that these codes will eventually be phased out and that ISO 3166-1 codes will be used instead; but in the meantime they are reserved, to avoid conflicts between ISO 3166-1 and the Conventions, and to facilitate any transition from the Convention codes to ISO 3166-1 codes. These codes are as follows:
|LF||Libya Fezzan 2|
|LT||Libya Tripoli 2 (Note that LT has since been reassigned to Lithuania.)|
|ME||Western Sahara 2|
|RC||China (People's Republic of China) 3|
|RU||Burundi 2 (Note that RU has since been reassigned to the Russian Federation.)|
|WL||Saint Lucia 1|
|WV||Saint Vincent 1|
- Code notified to United Nations Secretary-General under 1949 and/or 1968 Road Traffic Conventions
- Code in use for road transport purposes, but not notified to United Nations Secretary-General under 1949 Road Traffic Convention
- Code under 1949 Road Traffic Convention
- Code under 1968 Road Traffic Convention
- This code is in use to refer to both Bolivia and Botswana
Exceptionally reserved alpha-2 code elements are reserved permanently because they are needed for particular purposes. ISO 3166 MA only authorizes their use for the particular purpose for which they were established. The list is as follows:
|AC||Ascension Island - Reserved on request of UPU (also used as ccTLD)|
|CP||Clipperton Island - Reserved on request of ITU|
|DG||Diego Garcia - Reserved on request of ITU|
|EA||Ceuta and Melilla - Reserved on request of WCO to represent area outside EU customs territory|
|EU||European Union - originally requested by ISO 4217 MA to provide country code for Euro; later extended for use in ISO 6166 International Securities Identification Numbering (ISIN) system; later extended by ISO 3166 MA for use for any purposes for which code EU required|
|FX||Metropolitan France - reserved on request of France|
|GG||Guernsey - reserved on request of UPU; also used as ccTLD|
|IC||Canary Islands - reserved on request of WCO to represent area outside EU customs territory|
|IM||Isle of Man - reserved on request of UPU, also used as ccTLD|
|JE||Jersey - reserved on request of UPU, also used as ccTLD|
|TA||Tristan da Cunha - reserved on request of UPU|
|UK||United Kingdom - reserved on request of the United Kingdom, to prevent any other country from using code UK; also used as ccTLD|
In addition, the ISO 3166 MA has undertaken, for the time being, not to use the following alpha-2 codes from WIPO Standard ST.3. However, this undertaking is not classified as an transitional, indeterminate or transitional reservation, since the codes do not refer to countries, dependent areas or other geographic regions or localities:
|AP||African Regional Industrial Property Organization|
|BX||Benelux Trademarks and Design Offices|
|EF||Union of Countries under the European Community Patent Convention|
|EM||European Trademark Office|
|EP||European Patent Organisation|
|GC||Patent Office of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)|
|IB||International Bureau of WIPO|
|OA||Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle or African Intellectual Property Organization|
|WO||World Intellectual Property Organization|
In addition, WIPO Standard ST.3 also uses EA to code the Eurasian Patent Organization. However, ISO 3166 MA has stated it cannot guarantee to reserve the code EA from use, since it is already used for customs purposes to represent Ceuta and Melilla. ISO 3166 MA proposed in 1995 that EV be used by WIPO for the purpose of representing the Eurasian Patent Organization; however, this request was not honoured by WIPO.
Other withdrawn codes
See ISO 3166-3 for a full list of withdrawn codes.
|AI||French Territory of the Afars and the Issas|
|BQ||British Antarctic Territory|
|CT||Canton and Enderbury Islands|
|FQ||French Southern and Antarctic Territories|
|NH||New Hebrides (Vanuatu)|
|NQ||Queen Maud Land|
|NT||Saudi-Iraqi neutral zone|
|PC||Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands|
|PU||various United States Pacific Islands|
|PZ||Panama Canal Zone|
The Kingdom of Fyksland (Fyksian: Vaijskär Kohnäklije) uses the code VK.
These are not part of the real ISO 3166.
- RFC 1394 - Relationship between Internet domain names and telex ID codes
- Official ISO list of countries and the corresponding ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code elements.
- Official ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 decoding table
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