Terminology owner/maintenance organisationName, contact details, website
ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency
Formal name of the code system
|ISO 3166 Country Codes|
Short name or abbreviation of the code system name
|Technical identifier/s for the code system|
(Note: These should be used for both the 2 and 3 character formats)
Scope/domain statement for the code system
(Official or from HTA)
|The purpose of ISO 3166 is to define internationally recognised codes of letters and/or numbers that we can use when we refer to countries and subdivisions. However, it does not define the names of countries – this information comes from United Nations sources (Terminology Bulletin Country Names and the Country and Region Codes for Statistical Use maintained by the United Nations Statistics Divisions). |
SO 3166 has three parts: codes for countries, codes for subdivisions and formerly used codes (codes that were once used to describe countries but are no longer in use).
Link to information about the code system - including how to obtain the content
Arrangement or agreements with HL7 for use of content
|2019-10-14: Patricia Cook from ISO Central Secretariat (responsible for 3166): "You don’t need any permission to include the ISO 3166 country codes in lists or software, this is fine."|
|Version management - timing and identification of versions||ISO 3166 is regularly updated to reflect changes in country names and subdivisions. These changes are done by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (ISO3166/MA).|
IP Information and Licensing Information
ISO Maintains the copyright on the country codes, and controls it's use carefully.
HL7 users of this information - which HL7 products use this link (if known)
|HL7-v2.x, HL7-v3.x, HL7-FHIR|
Process to request content change
Following notification from the United Nations (UN), the ISO 3166 maintenance agency assigns alpha-2 and alpha-3 country code elements to new UN member states. The numeric country code is assigned by the UN.
Other useful Information
|A few country codes have been reused (e.g. CS). If a version is needed, simply use the year of publication e.g. 1998.|
Country Codes Collection:
It allows you to download (CHF. 300,00) the most recent, official lists of country codes and/or subdivisions not to mention formerly used codes in one convenient location.
The collection contains the codes from parts 1, 2 and 3 of ISO 3166 in 3 different formats: .xml, .csv, and .xls for easy integration into your own systems. You will be notified when changes are made so you can download the latest versions. In this way, you can be sure that your database is always using the most up-to-date information from ISO.
The service is automatically renewed every year, which means that you will keep receiving updates until you stop the auto renewal on your account.
Information current as at (date)