The ISO 3166 code CS

Mark Davis mark.davis at
Tue Aug 5 01:54:21 CEST 2003

This is a very serious problem, and needs to be taken up by each of
the national bodies (and will be taken up by the US L2 committee at
its next meeting).

The major computer systems and standards around the world, including
most operating systems, use the two letter country codes. These codes
must be stable and unique or data corruption will occur. Simply
because a country ceases to exist does *not* mean that data for that
country ceases to exist, nor that new data referring to that previous
country cannot be created. The fact that the country no longer exists
does not mean that it never existed!

The appropriate actions are for the registration authority to retract
the assignment of the ambiguous codes, and to institute a stability
policy for 2-letter country (region) codes: never reassigning codes to
different countries.

►  “Eppur si muove” ◄

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Clews" <Scripts2 at>
To: <ietf-languages at>
Cc: <Scripts2 at>
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2003 07:38
Subject: The ISO 3166 code CS

> I'd be interested in views about ISO 3166 maintenance,
> and the unprecedented reuse by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency
> of previous codes.
> No proposal to reuse codes was made at the ISO/TC46/WG2 (Country
> Codes) meeting in Rome, when it met earlier in 2003.
> The nature of the problem is as follows:
> CS was previously Czechoslovakia in ISO 3166, and CS was added to
> ISO 3166-3 (superseded codes) when the Czech Republic and Slovakia
> were allocated CZ and SK instead of CS.
> Much to my surprise, Serbia and Montenegro requested the use of this
> for Serbia and Montenegro while they still use the code YU, and
> is no indication that YU is deprecated, or that it will be added to
> ISO 3166-3.
> More to my surprise, the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (maintained
> within ISO HQ itself, in Switzerland) granted this request, and
> apparently did not refer to ISO 3166-3 (superseded codes).
> 1. What implications are there for the consistent use of YU, CS,
>    CZ and SK in relation to RFC 3066 and other codes which also use
>    ISO 3166 normatively?
> 2. Is there any actions or representations that should be
> I look forward to comments.
> Best wishes
> John Clews
> --
> John Clews,
> Keytempo Limited (Information Management),
> 8 Avenue Rd, Harrogate, HG2 7PG
> Tel:    +44 1423 888 432
> mobile: +44 7766 711 395
> Email:  scripts2 at
> Web:
> _______________________________________________
> Ietf-languages mailing list
> Ietf-languages at

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list