- ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter
country codes in the ISO 3166-1standard to represent countries and dependent territories. They are published by the International Organization for Standardization(ISO) as part of its ISO 3166standard. 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.
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 9362— SWIFT codes (Bank Identifier Codes)
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
Starting in 1985, two-letter codes have been used in the
domain name systemas country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Currently, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authorityassign the ccTLDs, mostly following the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes, but with a few exceptions (e.g., the United Kingdomrequested an exceptional reservation of .ukfor 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/ TrademarkOffices), 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.
European Commissionuses 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)] ]
United Nationsuses 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 to ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 are tracked by
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
2006-03-29included 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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