ISO 3166-1 alpha-3
ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes are three-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 allow a better visual association between the codes and the country names than the two-letter alpha-2 codes (the third set of codes is numeric and hence offers no visual association). They were first included as part of the ISO 3166 standard in its first edition in 1974.
- 1 Uses and applications
- 2 Current codes
- 3 Deleted codes
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Sources and external links
Uses and applications
The ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes are used most prominently in ISO/IEC 7501-1 for machine-readable passports, as standardized by the International Civil Aviation Organization, with a number of additional codes for special passports; some of these codes are currently reserved and not used at the present stage in ISO 3166-1.
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.
Officially assigned code elements
The following is a complete list of the current officially assigned ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes, using the English short country names officially defined by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (ISO 3166/MA):
User-assigned code elements
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-3 codes can be user-assigned: AAA to AAZ, QMA to QZZ, XAA to XZZ, and ZZA to ZZZ.
- EUE is used for the European Union laissez-passer
- XOM is used to represent the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
- XPO is used for Interpol travel documents
- XXA is used to represent a stateless person, as defined in Article 1 of the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons
- XXB is used to represent a refugee, as defined in Article 1 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees as amended by the 1967 Protocol
- XXC is used to represent a refugee, other than as defined above
- XXX is used to represent a person of unspecified nationality
- WSA is used for the World Service Authority World Passport (The World Service Authority World Passport contains "WSA" as the authority code. It has been filed with the International Civil Aviation Organization, but does not appear in official ICAO documents as valid.)
NATO STANAG 1059 INT is built upon ISO alpha-3 codes, but also defines alpha-2 codes incompatible with ISO 3166-1. It introduces several private use codes for fictional countries and organizational entities:
- XXB "Brownland"
- XXG "Greyland"
- XXI "Indigoland"
- XXL "Limeland"
- XXP "Purpleland"
- XXR "Redland"
- XXW "Whiteland"
- XXY "Yellowland"
- XXE SHAPE
- XXM NATO
- XXN NATO "Blue" Command
- XXS SACLANT
NATO also continues to use reserved codes for continents:
- ABB Asia
- EEE Europe
- FFF Africa
- NNN North America
- SRR South America
- UUU Oceania
- NTT NATO countries
There are also three differences:
- FYR vs. MKD Macedonia
- MAL vs. MLI Mali
- TZA vs. TZN Tanzania
Reserved code elements
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-3 codes can be divided into the following four categories: exceptional reservations, transitional reservations, indeterminate reservations, and codes currently agreed not to use.
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-3 codes are currently exceptionally reserved:
- ASC Ascension Island – Reserved on request of Universal Postal Union (UPU), also used by International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
- CPT Clipperton Island – Reserved on request of ITU
- DGA Diego Garcia – Reserved on request of ITU
- FXX France, Metropolitan Reserved on request of France; Officially assigned before being deleted from ISO 3166-1
- SUN USSR – From June 2008; Transitionally reserved from September 1992; Officially assigned before being deleted from ISO 3166-1
- TAA Tristan da Cunha – Reserved on request of UPU
The following alpha-3 codes were previously exceptionally reserved, but are now officially assigned:
- GGY Guernsey – Reserved on request of UPU
- IMN Isle of Man – Reserved on request of UPU
- JEY Jersey – Reserved on request of UPU
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-3 codes are currently transitionally reserved:
- ANT Netherlands Antilles – From December 2010
- BUR Burma – From December 1989
- BYS Byelorussian SSR – From June 1992
- CSK Czechoslovakia – From June 1993
- NTZ Neutral Zone – From July 1993
- ROM Romania – From February 2002; Code changed to ROU
- SCG Serbia and Montenegro – From September 2006
- TMP East Timor – From May 2002
- YUG Yugoslavia – From July 2003
- ZAR Zaire – From July 1997
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-3 codes are currently indeterminately reserved:
- ADN Aden
- BDS Barbados
- BRU Brunei
- CDN Canada
- EAK Kenya
- EAT Tanganyika [Part of Tanzania, United Republic of]
- EAU Uganda
- EAZ Zanzibar [Part of Tanzania, United Republic of]
- GBA Alderney
- GBG Guernsey
- GBJ Jersey
- GBM Isle of Man
- GBZ Gibraltar
- GCA Guatemala
- HKJ Jordan
- MAL Malaysia
- RCA Central African Republic
- RCB Congo, People's Republic of
- RCH Chile
- RMM Mali
- RNR Zambia
- ROK Korea, Republic of
- RSM San Marino
- RSR Southern Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe]
- SLO Slovenia
- SME Surinam
- TMN Turkmenistan
- WAG Gambia
- WAL Sierra Leone
- WAN Nigeria
- ZRE Zaire
The following alpha-3 code was previously indeterminately reserved, but has been reassigned to another country as its official code:
Codes currently agreed not to use
In addition, the ISO 3166/MA will not use the following alpha-3 codes at the present stage, as they are used in ISO/IEC 7501-1 for special machine-readable passports:
- GBD identifies a British Passport holder who is a British Overseas Territories citizen
- GBN identifies a British Passport holder who is a British National (Overseas)
- GBO identifies a British Passport holder who is a British Overseas citizen
- GBP identifies a British Passport holder who is a British protected person
- GBS identifies a British Passport holder who is a British subject
- UNA is used as a substitute for nationality where the holder is an Official of a Specialized Agency of the UN Organization
- UNK identifies Kosovo residents to whom travel documents were issued by the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK)
- UNO is used to designate the UN Organization as the issuer and used as a substitute for nationality where the holder is an Official of the UN Organization
Besides the codes currently transitionally reserved and two other codes currently exceptionally reserved (FXX for France, Metropolitan and SUN for USSR), the following alpha-3 codes have also been deleted from ISO 3166-1:
- AFI French Afar and Issas
- ATB British Antarctic Territory
- ATN Dronning Maud Land
- CTE Canton and Enderbury Islands
- DDR German Democratic Republic
- DHY Dahomey
- GEL Gilbert and Ellice Islands
- HVO Upper Volta
- JTN Johnston Island
- MID Midway Islands
- NHB New Hebrides
- PCI Pacific Islands, Trust Territory of the
- PCZ Panama Canal Zone
- PHI Philippines – Code changed to PHL
- PUS U.S. Miscellaneous Pacific Islands
- RHO Southern Rhodesia
- SKM Sikkim
- VDR Viet-Nam, Democratic Republic of
- WAK Wake Island
- YMD Yemen, Democratic
- List of IOC country codes, used by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
- List of FIFA country codes, used by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
- Comparison of IOC, FIFA, and ISO 3166 country codes
- "ISO 3166 – FAQs – General questions". International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
- "Appendix 7 to Section IV – Three-letter codes" (PDF). Doc 9303, Machine Readable Travel Documents, Part I – Machine Readable Passports, Volume I – Passports with Machine Readable Data Stored in Optical Character Recognition Format. International Civil Aviation Organization. pp. IV–43–IV–46.
- "Distinguishing signs used on vehicles in international traffic" (PDF). United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
- "Country names and code elements". ISO.
- "European Union laissez-passer (video at 0:47)". Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- http://www.icao.int/publications/Documents/9303_p2_cons_en.pdf, page III-1-4
- ISO International Organization for Standardization, ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (1 February 2002). "RE: Change of alpha-3 Code Element" (PDF). ISO 3166-1 NEWSLETTER No. V-3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
Description of change: Change of the alpha-3 Code element for Romania from ROM to ROU following a request of the Government of Romania.
- Clive Feather (2003-07-25). "Country codes in ISO 3166 (Table 2: codes withdrawn from use)".
- ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency, International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- Reserved code elements under ISO 3166-1 "Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions – Part 1: Country codes", available on request from ISO 3166/MA
- Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use, United Nations Statistics Division
- Countries or areas, codes and abbreviations – list of alpha-3 and numeric codes (a few territories officially assigned codes in ISO 3166-1 are not included in this list)
- The World Factbook (public domain), Central Intelligence Agency
- Appendix D – Cross-Reference List of Country Data Codes – comparison of FIPS 10, ISO 3166, and STANAG 1059 country codes
- Administrative Divisions of Countries ("Statoids"), Statoids.com