The ISO 3166 code CS

Doug Ewell dewell at
Tue Aug 5 09:46:07 CEST 2003

John Clews <Scripts2 at sesame dot demon dot co dot uk> wrote:

> Much to my surprise, Serbia and Montenegro requested the use of this
> for Serbia and Montenegro while they still use the code YU, and there
> 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 apparently did not refer to ISO 3166-3 (superseded codes).

In fact, ISO 3166-3 Newsletter I-3 was issued on July 23, announcing the
addition of YU to ISO 3166-3 as a by-product of removing it from ISO
3166-1.  See:

And ISO 3166-1 Newsletter V-8 does specify that "the old entry for
'Yugoslavia' (p. 21)" is to be deleted, so to be fully conformant and
up-to-date with 3166, neither Serbia and Montenegro nor anyone else
should "still use the code YU."

Nevertheless, the choice of CS to represent Serbia and Montenegro, when
that code was used until 1993 (not that long ago) to represent
Czechoslovakia (not that far away), was a serious mistake, regardless of
the perceived mnemonic value of CS ("Crnagora i Srbija"?).

I wish ISO 3166/MA had not felt the need to change the codes YU and YUG
at all, but I guess the purpose of the standard is to represent "names
of countries," not the countries themselves.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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