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Internet Domain Assignments

Last modified: 2004-01-17 by rob raeside
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Internet Domain Assignments

I have been poking around in nationality-codes again. I have, in fact been swimming in an alphabet soup of IANA, ICANN, InterNIC, and more. The first, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, assigns the country-code top-level domain names (ccTLDs). Their website states that they use only codes on the ISO 3166 A-2 list. The same website has a full list of the ccTLDs in use. These include .im for the Isle of Man, .gg for Guernsey and dependencies, and .je for Jersey. Leap to the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency's website for a full list of its A-2 codes, which *does not* include IM, GG, or JE. It uses GB for the United Kingdom, where IANA uses .uk. There may be other discrepancies; I have not made a full comparison. The ISO 3166 MA also warns, all in large capitals, that they have set criteria for what qualifies for a national code, so if you want a new ccTLD so you can use it in an Internet address, just forget it.
John Ayer, 6 February 2001

Since the subject has come up again, I have compared the list of ccTLDs (country code Top Level Domains, the two-letter extensions to URLs) assigned by IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) to the ISO 3166 A2 list of nationality codes assigned by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency under the authority of the International Organization for Standardization. To my previous notes (ISO 3166 uses GB for the United Kingdom where IANA uses UK, and IANA uses GG, IM, and JE for Guernsey and dependencies, the Isle of Man, and Jersey, respectively, which ISO 3166 does not list) I have only one thing to add: IANA lists AC for Ascension Island, which does not appear on the ISO 3166 list. The last time the subject came up (Feb 2001 by the look of things) we were told that the ISO 3166 MA has created a list of reserved codes in addition to the published codes, and AC, GG, IM, and JJ are presumably on this list.
John Ayer, 30 December 2002

When ISO 3166-2 was first released in 1974, there was a debate as to when to begin the list. It was decided to start in 1974, omitting prior nations given the complexity of creating a good functioning list. The ISO 3166-3 list provides codes for no longer extant countries:

In parentheses, the ISO 3166-3 code.

Afars and the Issas - AI, replaced by DJ in 1977 and since reallocated. (AIDJ)
British Antarctic Territory - BQ, replaced by AQ and retired in 1979. (BQAQ)
Burma - BU, replaced in 1979 by MM. (BUMM)
Canton and Enderbury Islands - CT, redesignated in 1984 to KI (CTKI)
Czeckoslovakia - CS, replaced in 1993 by CZ and SK. (CSHH)
East Germany - DD, retired in 1990, now DE. (DDDE)
Dahomey - DY, replaced in 1977 by BJ. (DYBJ)
French Southern and Antarctic Territories - FQ, replaced in 1979 by AQ and TF (FQHH)
Metropolitan France - FX, considered part of FR. No ISO 3166-3 has been announced but it would be FXFR, but since it's still may be considered reserved...
Gilbert and Ellis Islands - GE, no single successor, retired in 1979. ISO 3166-1 rellocated. (GEHH)
Upper Volta/Haute Volta - HV, replaced by BF in 1984 (HVBF)
Johnston Island - JT, redesignated in 1986 (JTUM)
Midway Islands - MI, redesignated in 1986 (MIUM)
New Hebredes - NH, replaced by VU in 1980 (NHVU)
Dronning Maud Land - NQ, retired in 1983 see AQ (NQAQ)
Neutral Territory between Saudi Arabia and Iraq - NT, retired in 1993 (NTHH)
Pacific Islands Trust Territory - PC, retired in 1986. Currently multiple entities (PCHH).
US Misc Pacific Islands - PU, redesignated in 1986 (PUUM)
Panama Canal Zone - PZ, removed in 1980 (PZPA)
Rhodesia - RH, replaced in 1980 by ZW (RHZW)
Sikkim - SK, merged with India in 1975 (SKIN), Code reassigned.
Soviet Union - SU, retired in 1992 (SUHH)
Democratic Republic of Vietnam (S. Vietnam) VD, retired in 1977 (VDVN)
Wake Island - WK, redesignated in 1986 (WKUM)
South Yemen - YD, retired in 1990 (YDYE)
Yugoslavia - YU, redesignated in 1992 (YUCS)
Zaire - ZR, replaced in 1997 (ZRCD)

The first two characters of ISO 3166-3 represent the original ISO, the last two characters the current code. Where the current code is HH there is no successor or no one successor.

Phil Nelson, 27 December 2002

Here is a list of exceptionally reserved codes from ISO 3166-1 for information:

AC - Ascension Island - Reserved on request of UPU (also used as ccTLD)
AX - Åland - Reserved on request of Finland
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 United Kingdom, to prevent any other country from using code UK; also used as ccTLD

Phil Nelson, 31 December 2002

See also: