ISO 3166-1 alpha-2


ISO 3166-1 alpha-2

ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes in the ISO 3166-1 standard to represent countries and dependent territories. They are published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as part of its ISO 3166 standard. They are the most widely used of the country codes published by ISO, and are used most prominently for the Internet's country code top-level domains (with a few changes). They were first included as part of the ISO 3166 standard in its first edition in 1974.

Uses and applications

The codes are used in different environments and are also part of other standards. In some cases they are not perfectly implemented.

Perfect implementations

The two-letter ISO 3166-1 codes are used in:
*ISO 3901 — International Standard Recording Code
*ISO 4217 — Currency codes
*ISO 6166 — International Securities Identifying Number (ISIN) system
*ISO 7372 — Trade data interchange (Trade data elements directory)
*ISO 9362SWIFT codes (Bank Identifier Codes)
*ISO 9375
*ISO 13616 — International Bank Account Numbers
*UN/LOCODE — United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations, implemented by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
*IETF language tags

Imperfect implementations

Starting in 1985, two-letter codes have been used in the domain name system as country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Currently, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority assign the ccTLDs, mostly following the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes, but with a few exceptions (e.g., the United Kingdom requested an exceptional reservation of .uk for their ccTLD instead of their native .gb). [ [http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/index.html IANA – Root Zone Database] , Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.]

The WIPO coding standard ST.3 uses alpha-2 codes for encoding states, other entities and intergovernmental organizations (and their Patent/Trademark Offices), but includes a number of additional codes. For these additional codes, see the section "Codes currently agreed not to use".

NATO country codes are also based on ISO 3166-1 alpha-2.

The European Commission uses ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 with two exceptions: EL (not GR) is used for Greece, and UK (not GB) is used for the United Kingdom. [ [http://publications.europa.eu/code/en/en-370100.htm Publications Office – Interinstitutional style guide – Countries] , European Commission.] This notwithstanding, Commission Regulation (EC) No 2645/98 of 9 December 1998 on the nomenclature of countries and territories for the external trade statistics of the Community and statistics of trade between Member States specified GB for the United Kingdom and GR for Greece. [ [http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:1998:335:0022:0029:EN:PDF Commission Regulation (EC) No 2645/98 of 9 December 1998 on the nomenclature of countries and territories for the external trade statistics of the Community and statistics of trade between Member States (OJ L 335, 10.12.1998, p. 22)] ]

The United Nations uses a combination of ISO 3166 two- and three- letter codes, along with codes that pre-date ISO 3166, for international vehicle registration codes, the codes on the oval stickers used to identify foreign road vehicles.

Changes

Changes to ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 are tracked by ISO 3166-3.

Current codes

Decoding table

Below is a color-coded decoding table of all ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code elements. Click on a cell to see the corresponding entry.

The following three codes were also under exceptional reservation, until the update from 2006-03-29 included them in the standard as official codes:

The following codes have been reassigned:

ources and external links


*International Organization for Standardization (ISO): [http://www.iso.org/iso/country_codes.htm Maintenance Agency]
** [http://www.iso.org/iso/country_codes/iso_3166_code_lists/english_country_names_and_code_elements.htm Official ISO list of countries and the corresponding ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code elements]
*** [http://www.iso.org/iso/iso3166_en_code_lists.txt Text file]
*** [http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_3166-1_list_en.zip XML zipped file]
** [http://www.iso.org/iso/iso-3166-1_decoding_table Official ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 decoding table]
*CIA World Factbook, [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/appendix/appendix-d.html "Appendix D – Cross-Reference List of Country Data Codes"] (public domain)
*Statoids, [http://www.statoids.com/wab.html Country codes]
** [http://www.statoids.com/w3166his.html ISO 3166-1 Change History]
* [http://www.davros.org/misc/iso3166.html Country codes in ISO 3166 (outdated, include withdrawn codes)]


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