ISO 3166-1 alpha-2

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A map of Europe, with ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes in place of the names of countries and other territories

ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest. They are the most widely used of the country codes published by ISO (the others being alpha-3 and numeric), and are used most prominently for the Internet's country code top-level domains (with a few exceptions).[1] They were first included as part of the ISO 3166 standard in its first edition in 1974.

Uses and applications[edit]

The ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are used in different environments and are also part of other standards. In some cases they are not perfectly implemented.

Perfect implementations[edit]

The ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are used in the following standards:

Short nameLong nameComment
ISO 3166-2Country subdivision code[2]
ISO 3901International Standard Recording Code (ISRC)[3]
ISO 4217Currency code[4]
ISO 6166International Securities Identifying Number (ISIN)[5]
ISO 9362Bank Identifier Codes (BIC)also known as SWIFT codes[6]
ISO 13616International Bank Account Number (IBAN)[7]
ISO 15511International Standard Identifier for Libraries and Related Organizations (ISIL)
UN/LOCODEUnited Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locationsimplemented by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe[8]

Imperfect implementations[edit]

Starting in 1985, ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes have been used in the Domain Name System as country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority currently assigns the ccTLDs mostly following the alpha-2 codes, but with a few exceptions.[9] For example, the United Kingdom, whose alpha-2 code is GB, uses .uk instead of .gb as its ccTLD, as UK is currently exceptionally reserved in ISO 3166-1 on the request of the United Kingdom.

The WIPO coding standard ST.3 is based on ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes, but includes a number of additional codes for international intellectual property organizations, which are currently reserved and not used at the present stage in ISO 3166-1.[10]

The European Commission generally uses ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes with two exceptions: EL (not GR) is used to represent Greece, and UK (not GB) is used to represent the United Kingdom.[11] This notwithstanding, the Official Journal of the European Communities specified that GR and GB be used to represent the Greece and United Kingdom respectively.[12] For VAT administration purposes, the European Commission uses EL and GB for Greece and the United Kingdom respectively.

The United Nations uses a combination of ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 and alpha-3 codes, along with codes that pre-date the creation of ISO 3166, for international vehicle registration codes, which are codes used to identify the issuing country of a vehicle registration plate; some of these codes are currently indeterminately reserved in ISO 3166-1.[13]

IETF language tags (conforming to the BCP 47 standard track and maintained in an IANA registry) are also partially derived from ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes (for the region subtags). The full list of ISO 3166-1 codes assigned to countries and territories are usable as region subtags. Also, the "exceptionally reserved" alpha-2 codes defined in ISO 3166-1 (with the exception of UK) are also usable as region subtags for language tags. However, newer stability policies (agreed with ISO) have been implemented to avoid deleting subtags that have been withdrawn in ISO 3166-1 ; instead they are kept and aliased to the new preferred subtags, or kept as subtags grouping several countries. Some other region grouping subtags are derived from other standards. Under the newer stability policies, old assigned codes that have been withdrawn from ISO 3166-1 should no longer be reassigned to another country or territory (like it occurred in the past for "CS").

Current codes[edit]

Decoding table[edit]

The following is a colour-coded decoding table of all ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes.[14]

Click on the cell to see the definition of each code.

Decoding table of ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes
Colour legend
Officially assigned: assigned to a country, territory, or area of geographical interest.
User-assigned: free for assignment at the disposal of users.
Exceptionally reserved: reserved on request for restricted use.
Transitionally reserved: deleted from ISO 3166-1 but reserved transitionally.
Indeterminately reserved: used in coding systems associated with ISO 3166-1.
Not used: not used in ISO 3166-1 in deference to intergovernmental intellectual property organisation names.
Unassigned: free for assignment by the ISO 3166/MA only.

Officially assigned code elements[edit]

The following is a complete list of the 249 current officially assigned ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes, with the following columns:

CodeCountry nameYearccTLDISO 3166-2Notes
Andorra1974.adISO 3166-2:AD
AEUnited Arab Emirates1974.aeISO 3166-2:AE
AFAfghanistan1974.afISO 3166-2:AF
AGAntigua and Barbuda1974.agISO 3166-2:AG
AIAnguilla1983.aiISO 3166-2:AIAI previously represented French Afar and Issas
ALAlbania1974.alISO 3166-2:AL
AMArmenia1992.amISO 3166-2:AM
AOAngola1974.aoISO 3166-2:AO
AQAntarctica1974.aqISO 3166-2:AQCovers the territories south of 60° south latitude
Code taken from name in French: Antarctique
ARArgentina1974.arISO 3166-2:AR
ASAmerican Samoa1974.asISO 3166-2:AS
ATAustria1974.atISO 3166-2:AT
AUAustralia1974.auISO 3166-2:AUIncludes the Ashmore and Cartier Islands and the Coral Sea Islands
AWAruba1986.awISO 3166-2:AW
AXÅland Islands2004.axISO 3166-2:AXAn autonomous province of Finland
AZAzerbaijan1992.azISO 3166-2:AZ
BABosnia and Herzegovina1992.baISO 3166-2:BA
BBBarbados1974.bbISO 3166-2:BB
BDBangladesh1974.bdISO 3166-2:BD
BEBelgium1974.beISO 3166-2:BE
BFBurkina Faso1984.bfISO 3166-2:BFName changed from Upper Volta (HV)
BGBulgaria1974.bgISO 3166-2:BG
BHBahrain1974.bhISO 3166-2:BH
BIBurundi1974.biISO 3166-2:BI
BJBenin1977.bjISO 3166-2:BJName changed from Dahomey (DY)
BLSaint Barthélemy2007.blISO 3166-2:BL
BMBermuda1974.bmISO 3166-2:BM
BNBrunei Darussalam1974.bnISO 3166-2:BNISO country name follows UN designation (common name: Brunei)
BOBolivia, Plurinational State of1974.boISO 3166-2:BOISO country name follows UN designation (common name and previous ISO country name: Bolivia)
BQBonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba2010.bqISO 3166-2:BQConsists of three Caribbean "special municipalities", which are part of the Netherlands proper: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba (the BES Islands)
Previous ISO country name: Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba
BQ previously represented British Antarctic Territory
BRBrazil1974.brISO 3166-2:BR
BSBahamas1974.bsISO 3166-2:BS
BTBhutan1974.btISO 3166-2:BT
BVBouvet Island1974.bvISO 3166-2:BVBelongs to Norway
BWBotswana1974.bwISO 3166-2:BW
BYBelarus1974.byISO 3166-2:BYCode taken from previous ISO country name: Byelorussian SSR (now assigned ISO 3166-3 code BYAA)
Code assigned as the country was already a UN member since 1945[16]
BZBelize1974.bzISO 3166-2:BZ
CACanada1974.caISO 3166-2:CA
CCCocos (Keeling) Islands1974.ccISO 3166-2:CC
CDCongo, the Democratic Republic of the1997.cdISO 3166-2:CDName changed from Zaire (ZR)
CFCentral African Republic1974.cfISO 3166-2:CF
CGCongo1974.cgISO 3166-2:CG
CHSwitzerland1974.chISO 3166-2:CHCode taken from name in Latin: Confoederatio Helvetica
CICôte d'Ivoire1974.ciISO 3166-2:CI
CKCook Islands1974.ckISO 3166-2:CK
CLChile1974.clISO 3166-2:CL
CMCameroon1974.cmISO 3166-2:CM
CNChina1974.cnISO 3166-2:CN
COColombia1974.coISO 3166-2:CO
CRCosta Rica1974.crISO 3166-2:CR
CUCuba1974.cuISO 3166-2:CU
CVCabo Verde1974.cvISO 3166-2:CV
CWCuraçao2010.cwISO 3166-2:CW
CXChristmas Island1974.cxISO 3166-2:CX
CYCyprus1974.cyISO 3166-2:CY
CZCzech Republic1993.czISO 3166-2:CZ
DEGermany1974.deISO 3166-2:DECode taken from name in German: Deutschland
Code used for West Germany before 1990 (previous ISO country name: Germany, Federal Republic of)
DJDjibouti1977.djISO 3166-2:DJName changed from French Afar and Issas (AI)
DKDenmark1974.dkISO 3166-2:DK
DMDominica1974.dmISO 3166-2:DM
DODominican Republic1974.doISO 3166-2:DO
DZAlgeria1974.dzISO 3166-2:DZCode taken from name in Kabyle: Dzayer
ECEcuador1974.ecISO 3166-2:EC
EEEstonia1992.eeISO 3166-2:EECode taken from name in Estonian: Eesti
EGEgypt1974.egISO 3166-2:EG
EHWestern Sahara1974.ehISO 3166-2:EHPrevious ISO country name: Spanish Sahara (code taken from name in Spanish: Sahara español)
EREritrea1993.erISO 3166-2:ER
ESSpain1974.esISO 3166-2:ESCode taken from name in Spanish: España
ETEthiopia1974.etISO 3166-2:ET
FIFinland1974.fiISO 3166-2:FI
FJFiji1974.fjISO 3166-2:FJ
FKFalkland Islands (Malvinas)1974.fkISO 3166-2:FK
FMMicronesia, Federated States of1986.fmISO 3166-2:FMPrevious ISO country name: Micronesia
FOFaroe Islands1974.foISO 3166-2:FO
FRFrance1974.frISO 3166-2:FRIncludes Clipperton Island
GAGabon1974.gaISO 3166-2:GA
ISO 3166-2:GBCode taken from Great Britain (from official name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)[17]
.uk is the primary ccTLD of the United Kingdom instead of .gb (see code UK, which is exceptionally reserved)
GDGrenada1974.gdISO 3166-2:GD
GEGeorgia1992.geISO 3166-2:GEGE previously represented Gilbert and Ellice Islands
GFFrench Guiana1974.gfISO 3166-2:GFCode taken from name in French: Guyane française
GGGuernsey2006.ggISO 3166-2:GGa British Crown dependency
GHGhana1974.ghISO 3166-2:GH
GIGibraltar1974.giISO 3166-2:GI
GLGreenland1974.glISO 3166-2:GL
GMGambia1974.gmISO 3166-2:GM
GNGuinea1974.gnISO 3166-2:GN
GPGuadeloupe1974.gpISO 3166-2:GP
GQEquatorial Guinea1974.gqISO 3166-2:GQCode taken from name in French: Guinée équatoriale
GRGreece1974.grISO 3166-2:GR
GSSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands1993.gsISO 3166-2:GS
GTGuatemala1974.gtISO 3166-2:GT
GUGuam1974.guISO 3166-2:GU
GWGuinea-Bissau1974.gwISO 3166-2:GW
GYGuyana1974.gyISO 3166-2:GY
HKHong Kong1974.hkISO 3166-2:HK
HMHeard Island and McDonald Islands1974.hmISO 3166-2:HM
HNHonduras1974.hnISO 3166-2:HN
HRCroatia1992.hrISO 3166-2:HRCode taken from name in Croatian: Hrvatska
HTHaiti1974.htISO 3166-2:HT
HUHungary1974.huISO 3166-2:HU
IDIndonesia1974.idISO 3166-2:ID
IEIreland1974.ieISO 3166-2:IE
ILIsrael1974.ilISO 3166-2:IL
IMIsle of Man2006.imISO 3166-2:IMa British Crown dependency
INIndia1974.inISO 3166-2:IN
IOBritish Indian Ocean Territory1974.ioISO 3166-2:IO
IQIraq1974.iqISO 3166-2:IQ
IRIran, Islamic Republic of1974.irISO 3166-2:IRISO country name follows UN designation (common name: Iran)
ISIceland1974.isISO 3166-2:ISCode taken from name in Icelandic: Ísland
ITItaly1974.itISO 3166-2:IT
JEJersey2006.jeISO 3166-2:JEa British Crown dependency
JMJamaica1974.jmISO 3166-2:JM
JOJordan1974.joISO 3166-2:JO
JPJapan1974.jpISO 3166-2:JP
KEKenya1974.keISO 3166-2:KE
KGKyrgyzstan1992.kgISO 3166-2:KG
KHCambodia1974.khISO 3166-2:KHCode taken from former name: Khmer Republic
Previous ISO country name: Kampuchea
KIKiribati1979.kiISO 3166-2:KI
KMComoros1974.kmISO 3166-2:KMCode taken from name in Comorian: Komori
KNSaint Kitts and Nevis1974.knISO 3166-2:KNPrevious ISO country name: Saint Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla
KPKorea, Democratic People's Republic of1974.kpISO 3166-2:KPISO country name follows UN designation (common name: North Korea)
KRKorea, Republic of1974.krISO 3166-2:KRISO country name follows UN designation (common name: South Korea)
KWKuwait1974.kwISO 3166-2:KW
KYCayman Islands1974.kyISO 3166-2:KY
KZKazakhstan1992.kzISO 3166-2:KZPrevious ISO country name: Kazakstan
LALao People's Democratic Republic1974.laISO 3166-2:LAISO country name follows UN designation (common name: Laos)
LBLebanon1974.lbISO 3166-2:LB
LCSaint Lucia1974.lcISO 3166-2:LC
LILiechtenstein1974.liISO 3166-2:LI
LKSri Lanka1974.lkISO 3166-2:LK
LRLiberia1974.lrISO 3166-2:LR
LSLesotho1974.lsISO 3166-2:LS
LTLithuania1992.ltISO 3166-2:LT
LULuxembourg1974.luISO 3166-2:LU
LVLatvia1992.lvISO 3166-2:LV
LYLibya1974.lyISO 3166-2:LYPrevious ISO country name: Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
MAMorocco1974.maISO 3166-2:MACode taken from name in French: Maroc
MCMonaco1974.mcISO 3166-2:MC
MDMoldova, Republic of1992.mdISO 3166-2:MDISO country name follows UN designation (common name and previous ISO country name: Moldova)
MEMontenegro2006.meISO 3166-2:ME
MFSaint Martin (French part)2007.mfISO 3166-2:MFThe Dutch part of Saint Martin island is assigned code SX
MGMadagascar1974.mgISO 3166-2:MG
MHMarshall Islands1986.mhISO 3166-2:MH
MKMacedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of1993.mkISO 3166-2:MKISO country name follows UN designation (due to Macedonia naming dispute; official name used by country itself: Republic of Macedonia)
Code taken from name in Macedonian: Makedonija
MLMali1974.mlISO 3166-2:ML
MMMyanmar1989.mmISO 3166-2:MMName changed from Burma (BU)
MNMongolia1974.mnISO 3166-2:MN
MOMacao1974.moISO 3166-2:MOPrevious ISO country name: Macau
MPNorthern Mariana Islands1986.mpISO 3166-2:MP
MQMartinique1974.mqISO 3166-2:MQ
MRMauritania1974.mrISO 3166-2:MR
MSMontserrat1974.msISO 3166-2:MS
MTMalta1974.mtISO 3166-2:MT
MUMauritius1974.muISO 3166-2:MU
MVMaldives1974.mvISO 3166-2:MV
MWMalawi1974.mwISO 3166-2:MW
MXMexico1974.mxISO 3166-2:MX
MYMalaysia1974.myISO 3166-2:MY
MZMozambique1974.mzISO 3166-2:MZ
NANamibia1974.naISO 3166-2:NA
NCNew Caledonia1974.ncISO 3166-2:NC
NENiger1974.neISO 3166-2:NE
NFNorfolk Island1974.nfISO 3166-2:NF
NGNigeria1974.ngISO 3166-2:NG
NINicaragua1974.niISO 3166-2:NI
NLNetherlands1974.nlISO 3166-2:NL
NONorway1974.noISO 3166-2:NO
NPNepal1974.npISO 3166-2:NP
NRNauru1974.nrISO 3166-2:NR
NUNiue1974.nuISO 3166-2:NU
NZNew Zealand1974.nzISO 3166-2:NZ
OMOman1974.omISO 3166-2:OM
PAPanama1974.paISO 3166-2:PA
PEPeru1974.peISO 3166-2:PE
PFFrench Polynesia1974.pfISO 3166-2:PFCode taken from name in French: Polynésie française
PGPapua New Guinea1974.pgISO 3166-2:PG
PHPhilippines1974.phISO 3166-2:PH
PKPakistan1974.pkISO 3166-2:PK
PLPoland1974.plISO 3166-2:PL
PMSaint Pierre and Miquelon1974.pmISO 3166-2:PM
PNPitcairn1974.pnISO 3166-2:PN
PRPuerto Rico1974.prISO 3166-2:PR
PSPalestine, State of1999.psISO 3166-2:PSPrevious ISO country name: Palestinian Territory, Occupied
Consists of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
PTPortugal1974.ptISO 3166-2:PT
PWPalau1986.pwISO 3166-2:PW
PYParaguay1974.pyISO 3166-2:PY
QAQatar1974.qaISO 3166-2:QA
RERéunion1974.reISO 3166-2:RE
RORomania1974.roISO 3166-2:RO
RSSerbia2006.rsISO 3166-2:RSCode taken from official name: Republic of Serbia (see Serbian country codes)
RURussian Federation1992.ruISO 3166-2:RUISO country name follows UN designation (common name: Russia)
RWRwanda1974.rwISO 3166-2:RW
SASaudi Arabia1974.saISO 3166-2:SA
SBSolomon Islands1974.sbISO 3166-2:SBCode taken from former name: British Solomon Islands
SCSeychelles1974.scISO 3166-2:SC
SDSudan1974.sdISO 3166-2:SD
SESweden1974.seISO 3166-2:SE
SGSingapore1974.sgISO 3166-2:SG
SHSaint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha1974.shISO 3166-2:SHPrevious ISO country name: Saint Helena
SISlovenia1992.siISO 3166-2:SI
SJSvalbard and Jan Mayen1974.sjISO 3166-2:SJConsists of two arctic territories of Norway: Svalbard and Jan Mayen
SKSlovakia1993.skISO 3166-2:SKSK previously represented Sikkim
SLSierra Leone1974.slISO 3166-2:SL
SMSan Marino1974.smISO 3166-2:SM
SNSenegal1974.snISO 3166-2:SN
SOSomalia1974.soISO 3166-2:SO
SRSuriname1974.srISO 3166-2:SR
SSSouth Sudan2011.ssISO 3166-2:SS
STSao Tome and Principe1974.stISO 3166-2:ST
SVEl Salvador1974.svISO 3166-2:SV
SXSint Maarten (Dutch part)2010.sxISO 3166-2:SXThe French part of Saint Martin island is assigned code MF
SYSyrian Arab Republic1974.syISO 3166-2:SYISO country name follows UN designation (common name: Syria)
SZSwaziland1974.szISO 3166-2:SZ
TCTurks and Caicos Islands1974.tcISO 3166-2:TC
TDChad1974.tdISO 3166-2:TDCode taken from name in French: Tchad
TFFrench Southern Territories1979.tfISO 3166-2:TFCovers the French Southern and Antarctic Lands except Adélie Land
Code taken from name in French: Terres australes françaises
TGTogo1974.tgISO 3166-2:TG
THThailand1974.thISO 3166-2:TH
TJTajikistan1992.tjISO 3166-2:TJ
TKTokelau1974.tkISO 3166-2:TK
TLTimor-Leste2002.tlISO 3166-2:TLName changed from East Timor (TP)
TMTurkmenistan1992.tmISO 3166-2:TM
TNTunisia1974.tnISO 3166-2:TN
TOTonga1974.toISO 3166-2:TO
TRTurkey1974.trISO 3166-2:TR
TTTrinidad and Tobago1974.ttISO 3166-2:TT
TVTuvalu1979.tvISO 3166-2:TV
TWTaiwan, Province of China1974.twISO 3166-2:TWCovers the current jurisdiction of the Republic of China except Kinmen and Lienchiang
ISO country name follows UN designation (due to political status of Taiwan within the UN)[17]
TZTanzania, United Republic of1974.tzISO 3166-2:TZISO country name follows UN designation (common name: Tanzania)
UAUkraine1974.uaISO 3166-2:UAPrevious ISO country name: Ukrainian SSR
Code assigned as the country was already a UN member since 1945[16]
UGUganda1974.ugISO 3166-2:UG
UMUnited States Minor Outlying Islands1986.umISO 3166-2:UMConsists of nine minor insular areas of the United States: Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Palmyra Atoll, and Wake Island
USUnited States1974.usISO 3166-2:US
UYUruguay1974.uyISO 3166-2:UY
UZUzbekistan1992.uzISO 3166-2:UZ
VAHoly See (Vatican City State)1974.vaISO 3166-2:VACovers Vatican City, territory of the Holy See
Previous ISO country name: Vatican City State (Holy See)
VCSaint Vincent and the Grenadines1974.vcISO 3166-2:VC
VEVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic of1974.veISO 3166-2:VEISO country name follows UN designation (common name and previous ISO country name: Venezuela)
VGVirgin Islands, British1974.vgISO 3166-2:VG
VIVirgin Islands, U.S.1974.viISO 3166-2:VI
VNViet Nam1974.vnISO 3166-2:VNISO country name follows UN designation (common name: Vietnam)
VUVanuatu1980.vuISO 3166-2:VUName changed from New Hebrides (NH)
WFWallis and Futuna1974.wfISO 3166-2:WF
WSSamoa1974.wsISO 3166-2:WSCode taken from former name: Western Samoa
YEYemen1974.yeISO 3166-2:YEPrevious ISO country name: Yemen, Republic of
Code used for North Yemen before 1990
YTMayotte1993.ytISO 3166-2:YT
ZASouth Africa1974.zaISO 3166-2:ZACode taken from name in Dutch: Zuid-Afrika
ZMZambia1974.zmISO 3166-2:ZM
ZWZimbabwe1980.zwISO 3166-2:ZWName changed from Southern Rhodesia (RH)

User-assigned code elements[edit]

User-assigned code elements are codes at the disposal of users who need to add further names of countries, territories, or other geographical entities to their in-house application of ISO 3166-1, and the ISO 3166/MA will never use these codes in the updating process of the standard. The following alpha-2 codes can be user-assigned: AA, QM to QZ, XA to XZ, and ZZ. For example:

Reserved code elements[edit]

Reserved code elements are codes which have become obsolete, or are required in order to enable a particular user application of the standard but do not qualify for inclusion in ISO 3166-1. To avoid transitional application problems and to aid users who require specific additional code elements for the functioning of their coding systems, the ISO 3166/MA, when justified, reserves these codes which it undertakes not to use for other than specified purposes during a limited or indeterminate period of time. The reserved alpha-2 codes can be divided into the following four categories: exceptional reservations, transitional reservations, indeterminate reservations, and codes currently agreed not to use.

Exceptional reservations[edit]

Exceptionally reserved code elements are codes reserved at the request of national ISO member bodies, governments and international organizations, which are required in order to support a particular application, as specified by the requesting body and limited to such use; any further use of such code elements is subject to approval by the ISO 3166/MA. The following alpha-2 codes are currently exceptionally reserved:

CodeArea name or country nameccTLDNotes
ACAscension Island.acReserved on request of UPU for stamp issuing area
CPClipperton IslandReserved on request of ITU for location of certain telecommunications installations
DGDiego GarciaReserved on request of ITU for location of certain telecommunications installations
EACeuta, MelillaReserved on request of WCO for area not covered by European Union Customs arrangements
Part of Spanish North Africa (Spanish: África Septentrional Española)
EUEuropean Union.euReserved on request of ISO 4217/MA for the European monetary unit Euro
Extended for ISO 6166 "Securities – International securities identification numbering system (ISIN)" in March 1998
Extended for any application needing to represent the name European Union in August 1999
FXFrance, MetropolitanReserved on request of France
Officially assigned before deleted from ISO 3166-1 (now assigned ISO 3166-3 code FXFR)
ICCanary IslandsReserved on request of WCO for area not covered by European Union Customs arrangements.
Code taken from name in Spanish: Islas Canarias
SUUSSR.suFrom June 2008; Transitionally reserved from September 1992
Officially assigned before deleted from ISO 3166-1 (now assigned ISO 3166-3 code SUHH)
Official name: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (common name: Soviet Union)
TATristan da CunhaReserved on request of UPU for stamp issuing area
UKUnited Kingdom.ukReserved on request of the United Kingdom lest UK be used for any other country
Also used by the European Commission
United Kingdom is officially assigned the alpha-2 code GB

The following alpha-2 codes were previously exceptionally reserved, but are now officially assigned:

CodeArea name or country nameNotes
AXÅlandReserved on request of Finland
GGGuernseyReserved on request of UPU for stamp issuing area
IMIsle of ManReserved on request of UPU for stamp issuing area
JEJerseyReserved on request of UPU for stamp issuing area

Transitional reservations[edit]

Transitional reserved code elements are codes reserved after their deletion from ISO 3166-1. These codes may be used only during a transitional period of at least five years while new code elements that may have replaced them are taken into use. These codes may be reassigned by the ISO 3166/MA after the expiration of the transitional period. The following alpha-2 codes are currently transitionally reserved:

CodeFormerly used country nameDate of reservationccTLDISO 3166-2ISO 3166-3Notes
ANNetherlands Antilles2010-12.anISO 3166-2:ANANHH
CSSerbia and Montenegro2006-09(.yu)ISO 3166-2:CSCSXXCode taken from name in Serbian: Srbija i Crna Gora
.yu was the ccTLD of Serbia and Montenegro, as name was changed from Yugoslavia (YU)
CS previously represented Czechoslovakia (.cs never assigned to Serbia and Montenegro)
NTNeutral Zone1993-07NTHH
SFFinland1995-09Previously used in international postal codes and vehicle registration codes to represent Finland (code was not officially assigned)
Code taken from name in Finnish and Swedish combined: Suomi Finland
Finland is officially assigned the alpha-2 code FI
TPEast Timor2002-05.tpISO 3166-2:TPTPTLCode taken from previous ISO country name: Portuguese Timor
YUYugoslavia2003-07.yuISO 3166-2:YUYUCSCode used for the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia before 1992 and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia after 1992

The following alpha-2 code was previously transitionally reserved, but was later reassigned to another country as its official code:

CodeFormerly used country nameDate of reservationccTLDISO 3166-2ISO 3166-3Notes
CSCzechoslovakia1993-06.csCSHHCode reassigned to Serbia and Montenegro

For each deleted alpha-2 code, an entry for the corresponding former country name is included in ISO 3166-3. Each entry is assigned a four-letter alphabetic code, where the first two letters are the deleted alpha-2 code.

Indeterminate reservations[edit]

Indeterminately reserved code elements are codes used to designate road vehicles under the 1949 and 1968 United Nations Conventions on Road Traffic but differing from those contained in ISO 3166-1. These code elements are expected eventually to be either eliminated or replaced by code elements within ISO 3166-1. In the meantime, the ISO 3166/MA has reserved such code elements for an indeterminate period. Any use beyond the application of the two Conventions is discouraged and will not be approved by the ISO 3166/MA. Moreover, these codes may be reassigned by the ISO 3166/MA at any time. The following alpha-2 codes are currently indeterminately reserved:

CodeArea name or country nameNotes
DYBenin[note 1]
EWEstonia[note 1]
FLLiechtenstein[note 2]
JAJamaica[note 3]
LFLibya Fezzan[note 2]
PIPhilippines[note 3]
RAArgentina[note 3]
RBBolivia [cf. Botswana: identical code element][note 2]
RBBotswana [cf. Bolivia: identical code element][note 3]
RCChina[note 3]
RHHaiti[note 1]
RIIndonesia[note 3]
RLLebanon[note 3]
RMMadagascar[note 3]
RNNiger[note 4]
RPPhilippines[note 4]
WGGrenada[note 1]
WLSaint Lucia[note 1]
WVSaint Vincent[note 1]
YVVenezuela[note 1]

The following alpha-2 codes were previously indeterminately reserved, but have been reassigned to another country as its official code:

CodeArea name or country nameNotesCode reassigned to
LTLibya Tripoli[note 2]Lithuania
MEWestern Sahara[note 2]Montenegro
RUBurundi[note 2]Russian Federation
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Code notified to United Nations Secretary-General under 1949 and/or 1968 Road Traffic Conventions
  2. ^ a b c d e f Code in use for road transport purposes, but not notified to United Nations Secretary-General under 1949 Road Traffic Convention
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Code under 1949 Road Traffic Convention
  4. ^ a b Code under 1968 Road Traffic Convention

Codes currently agreed not to use[edit]

In addition, the ISO 3166/MA will not use the following alpha-2 codes at the present stage, as they are used for international intellectual property organizations in WIPO Standard ST.3:

CodeOrganization name
APAfrican Regional Industrial Property Organization
BXBenelux Trademarks and Design Offices
EFUnion of Countries under the European Community Patent Convention
EMEuropean Trademark Office
EPEuropean Patent Organization (Union of countries under the European Patent Convention)
EVEurasian Patent Organization
GCPatent Office of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)
IBInternational Bureau of WIPO
OAAfrican Intellectual Property Organization
WOWorld Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Standard ST.3 actually uses EA, instead of EV, to represent the Eurasian Patent Organization. However, EA was already exceptionally reserved by the ISO 3166/MA to represent Ceuta and Melilla for customs purposes. The ISO 3166/MA proposed in 1995 that EV be used by WIPO to represent the Eurasian Patent Organization; however, this request was not honoured by WIPO.

Deleted codes[edit]

Besides the codes currently transitionally reserved and two other codes currently exceptionally reserved (FX for France, Metropolitan and SU for USSR), the following alpha-2 codes have also been deleted from ISO 3166-1:[25]

CodeFormerly used country nameISO 3166-3Notes
AIFrench Afar and IssasAIDJCode later reassigned to Anguilla
BQBritish Antarctic TerritoryBQAQCode later reassigned to Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
CTCanton and Enderbury IslandsCTKI
DDGerman Democratic RepublicDDDECode taken from name in German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik
Common name: East Germany
DYDahomeyDYBJName changed to Benin (BJ)
The code is now indeterminately reserved.
FQFrench Southern and Antarctic TerritoriesFQHH
GEGilbert and Ellice IslandsGEHHCode later reassigned to Georgia
HVUpper VoltaHVBFCode taken from name in French: Haute-Volta
JTJohnston IslandJTUM
MIMidway IslandsMIUM
NHNew HebridesNHVU
NQDronning Maud LandNQAQPart of Norwegian Antarctic Territory
PCPacific Islands, Trust Territory of thePCHH
PUU.S. Miscellaneous Pacific IslandsPUUMConsisted of Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef, and Palmyra Atoll
PZPanama Canal ZonePZPA
RHSouthern RhodesiaRHZWName used by country itself: Rhodesia (Southern Rhodesia was the colonial name)
SKSikkimSKINCode later reassigned to Slovakia
VDViet-Nam, Democratic Republic ofVDVNCommon name: North Vietnam
WKWake IslandWKUM
YDYemen, DemocraticYDYECommon name: South Yemen

For each deleted alpha-2 code, an entry for the corresponding former country name is included in ISO 3166-3. Each entry is assigned a four-letter alphabetic code, where the first two letters are the deleted alpha-2 code.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ISO 3166 – FAQs – General questions". International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Archived from the original on 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2014-12-08. 
  2. ^ "ISO 3166-2". ISO. 
  3. ^ "The International Standard Recording Code". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. 
  4. ^ "ISO 4217 currency names and code elements". ISO. 
  5. ^ "ISO6166 - an outline of the standard". Association of National Numbering Agencies. 
  6. ^ "About BIC". Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. 
  7. ^ "IBAN Registry". Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. 
  8. ^ a b "UN/LOCODE Manual". United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. 
  9. ^ "IANA – Root Zone Database". Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. 
  10. ^ "Standard ST.3 – Recommended standard on two-letter codes for the representation of states, other entities and intergovernmental organizations". Handbook on Industrial Property Information and Documentation. World Intellectual Property Organization. April 2007. pp. 3.3.1–3.3.9. 
  11. ^ "Publications Office – Interinstitutional style guide – Countries". European Union. 
  12. ^ "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". Official Journal of the European Communities, L 335. European Union. 1998-12-10. pp. 22–29. 
  13. ^ "Distinguishing signs used on vehicles in international traffic". United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. 
  14. ^ "ISO 3166-1 decoding table". ISO. 
  15. ^ "Country names and code elements". ISO. 
  16. ^ a b "Codes to history: Code for formerly used names of countries completes the trilogy of country codes". ISO Bulletin. ISO. April 2000. pp. 10–12. 
  17. ^ a b "ISO 3166 – FAQs – Specific". ISO. 
  18. ^ Mark Davis. "Unicode Technical Standard #35: Unicode Locale Data Markup Language (LDML)". Unicode Consortium. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ SWIFT: IBAN Registry, Release 50, September 2014
  23. ^ "‘XK’ country code for Kosovo". GeoNames Blog. 8 March 2010. 
  24. ^ "Agreement between the Nordic Patent Institute and the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization". World Intellectual Property Organization. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  25. ^ Clive Feather (2003-07-25). "Country codes in ISO 3166 (Table 2: codes withdrawn from use)". 

Sources and external links[edit]