L2/05-052R

ISO 4217 Currency Code Issues

M. Davis, 2005-01-27

I propose that L2 forward the following document, with an appropriate introduction, to the appropriate committee with the recommendation that it be a US national body position. As a consortium, we would also urge other organizations and national bodies to support this, so that the ISO 4217 currency lists can be effectively used.


We are gratified to see that the ISO currency codes are now publicly available on http://www.iso.org/iso/en/prods-services/popstds/currencycodeslist.html, as promised in http://www.iso.org/iso/en/commcentre/pressreleases/archives/2003/Ref871.html.

"ISO issues the following statement in response to recently publicized misunderstandings of its current practice and intentions regarding its widely used country, currency and language codes.

... where the currency and language codes are, respectively, publicly available...."

However, at the time of this writing, we see the following problems in the ISO 4217 currency list.

1. Stability. The public ISO currency list needs to follow the same practices as ISO 3166 and ISO 639 have recently put into place to guarantee stability. Stability is fundamental to a use of codes like these, since data in existing databases referring to currencies must maintain the same semantics, even if a code goes out of modern use. This includes the following items:

  1. A public policy that the three-letter currency codes are never reused.
  2. Public availability of the "Minor Units" field from Table A.1
  3. The public availability of all obsoleted codes on the web site (either marked as such or in a different list than the main list on http://www.iso.org/iso/en/prods-services/popstds/currencycodeslist.html). That is, all codes that have ever been defined in ISO 4217 Tables A.1, A.2, or A.3 need to be included in a definitive list, and should also include the Minor Units. See Table 2. Unavailable Codes for a list of these.

2. Complete Country Names. The list of countries should be precisely the same as the ISO 3166 list. There are three ISO 3166 codes missing:

SOUTH GEORGIA AND THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS (GS)
PALESTINIAN TERRITORY, OCCUPIED (PS)
LAND ISLANDS (AX)

Note: other territories are listed with no currency, such as the following:

ANTARCTICA No universal currency

3. Exact Country Names. To prevent mismatches, country names must be precisely as in the ISO 3166 list on
http://www.iso.org/iso/en/prods-services/iso3166ma/02iso-3166-code-lists/list-en1.html. The problem cases are:

IRAN (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF) IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
CONGO, THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE
MICRONESIA (FEDERATED STATES OF) MICRONESIA, FEDERATED STATES OF
SO TOME AND PRINCIPE SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
VIRGIN ISLANDS (BRITISH) VIRGIN ISLANDS, BRITISH
VIRGIN ISLANDS (US) VIRGIN ISLANDS, U.S.

4. Machine-Readable List. In addition, it is strongly recommended that there be a downloadable, semicolon delimited list, such as the ISO 3166 list on http://www.iso.org/iso/en/prods-services/iso3166ma/02iso-3166-code-lists/list-en1-semic.txt. In such a list, the two-letter ISO 3166 country codes should be used instead of country names, to prevent any mismatches as in the last item above.

5. Minor items.

6. Questions.

In ISO 4217:2001(E/F) Sixth edition, 2001-08-15, the English table lists ZRZ as both the Zaire and New Zaire, but the French table lists ZRN and ZRZ as those two currencies. We presume that the French is correct, but need confirmation.

The online ISO-4217 list appears to be wrong: http://www.iso.org/iso/en/prods-services/popstds/currencycodeslist.html

The currency for Togo is XOF, and not TOP. TOP is the currency of Tonga, but the currency display name and numeric codes are correct for Togo and Tonga. The ISO-4217:2001 list is correct, and the online ISO-4217:2004 should change the alphabetic currency code of Togo to XOF.

7. Ambiguous Currency Names. Table 1 below list cases of ambiguous currency names

8. Obsolete Currency Codes. The following are obsolete, but that is not reflected in the ISO tables.

GWP ; Guinea-Bissau Peso ; GW ; GUINEA-BISSAU
http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/1999/pr9943.htm

currency ; MGF ; Malagasy Franc ; MG ; MADAGASCAR
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4142581.stm

While not yet obsolete, the following is being phased out; it would be useful to indicate this in the ISO tables.

currency ; TRL ; old Turkish Lira ; TR ; TURKEY
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4137469.stm


Table 1. Ambiguous Currency Names

Format: <currency code> ; <currency name> ; <country code> ; <country name>

The following are cases where the same currency name is given to two different codes in two different countries. These should be qualified so that names are unique, as is the case for other currencies (eg, Algerian Dinar, Bahraini Dinar, etc.).

XOF ; CFA Franc BCEAO ; SN ; SENEGAL
TOP ; CFA Franc BCEAO ; TG ; TOGO

XAF ; CFP Franc ; PF ; FRENCH POLYNESIA
XPF ; CFP Franc ; NC ; NEW CALEDONIA

BEC ; Convertible Franc ; BE ; BELGIUM
LUC ; Convertible Franc ; LU ; LUXEMBOURG

BEL ; Financial Franc ; BE ; BELGIUM
LUL ; Financial Franc ; LU ; LUXEMBOURG

MWK ; Kwacha ; MW ; MALAWI
ZMK ; Kwacha ; ZM ; ZAMBIA

ARY ; Peso ; AR ; ARGENTINA
BOP ; Peso ; BO ; BOLIVIA

BAD ; Dinar ; BA ; BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
HRD ; Dinar ; HR ; CROATIA

In addition, the following currency names are ambiguous within the same country. These should be treated like other cases in ISO 4217, with one of them qualified, such as "Old Dong".

AFA ; Afghani ; AF ; AFGHANISTAN
AFN ; Afghani ; AF ; AFGHANISTAN

BRB ; Cruzeiro ; BR ; BRAZIL
BRE ; Cruzeiro ; BR ; BRAZIL

EQE ; Ekwele ; GQ ; EQUATORIAL GUINEA
GQE ; Ekwele ; GQ ; EQUATORIAL GUINEA

AOA ; Kwanza ; AO ; ANGOLA
AOK ; Kwanza ; AO ; ANGOLA

MAF ; Mali Franc ; ML ; MALI
MLF ; Mali Franc ; ML ; MALI

MXN ; Mexican Peso ; MX ; MEXICO
MXP ; Mexican Peso ; MX ; MEXICO

RUB ; Russian Ruble ; RU ; RUSSIAN FEDERATION
RUR ; Russian Ruble ; RU ; RUSSIAN FEDERATION

PEH ; Sol ; PE ; PERU
PES ; Sol ; PE ; PERU

GNE ; Syli ; GN ; GUINEA
GNS ; Syli ; GN ; GUINEA

UGS ; Uganda Shilling ; UG ; UGANDA
UGX ; Uganda Shilling ; UG ; UGANDA

YUM ; Yugoslavian Dinar ; YU ; YUGOSLAVIA
YUN ; Yugoslavian Dinar ; YU ; YUGOSLAVIA

PLN ; Zloty ; PL ; POLAND
PLZ ; Zloty ; PL ; POLAND

The following case should also be resolved to eliminate the ambiguity.

RHD ; Rhodesian Dollar ; RH ; SOUTHERN RHODESIA
ZWC ; Rhodesian Dollar ; ZW ; ZIMBABWE

Table 2. Unavailable Codes

The following are codes not contained in the public list. The format is the same as the above, with an additional <status> field at the end. The status is "I" for those introduced, then obsoleted, between the issuance of ISO 4217:2001(E/F) and the availability of the public list on http://www.iso.org/iso/en/prods-services/popstds/currencycodeslist.html. The status is "O" for those obsolete as of ISO 4217:2001(E/F), and "X" for those listed in table A.3, but as "Non-ISO codes". This list is sorted first by status, then by country name.

Format: <currency code> ; <currency name> ; <country code> ; <country name> ; <status>
BYB ; Belarus Ruble ; BY ; BELARUS ; I
ECS ; Sucre ; EC ; ECUADOR ; I
MAF ; Mali Franc ; ML ; MALI ; I
TJR ; Tajik Ruble ; TJ ; TAJIKISTAN ; I
AFA ; Afghani ; AF ; AFGHANISTAN ; O
ADP ; Andorran Peseta ; AD ; ANDORRA ; O
AOK ; Kwanza ; AO ; ANGOLA ; O
AON ; New Kwanza ; AO ; ANGOLA ; O
AOR ; Kwanza Reajustado ; AO ; ANGOLA ; O
ARA ; Austral ; AR ; ARGENTINA ; O
ARP ; Peso Argentino ; AR ; ARGENTINA ; O
ATS ; Schilling ; AT ; AUSTRIA ; O
BEC ; Convertible Franc ; BE ; BELGIUM ; O
BEF ; Belgian Franc ; BE ; BELGIUM ; O
BEL ; Financial Franc ; BE ; BELGIUM ; O
BOP ; Peso ; BO ; BOLIVIA ; O
BAD ; Dinar ; BA ; BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA ; O
BRB ; Cruzeiro ; BR ; BRAZIL ; O
BRC ; Cruzado ; BR ; BRAZIL ; O
BRE ; Cruzeiro ; BR ; BRAZIL ; O
BRN ; New Cruzado ; BR ; BRAZIL ; O
BRR ; Cruzeiro Real ; BR ; BRAZIL ; O
BGL ; Lev ; BG ; BULGARIA ; O
BUK ; N.A. ; BU ; BURMA ; O
HRD ; Dinar ; HR ; CROATIA ; O
CSK ; Koruna ; CSHH ; CZECHOSLOVAKIA ; O
TPE ; Timor Escudo ; TP ; EAST TIMOR ; O
ECV ; Ecuadoran Constant Value Unit ; EC ; ECUADOR ; O
EQE ; Ekwele ; GQ ; EQUATORIAL GUINEA ; O
GQE ; Ekwele ; GQ ; EQUATORIAL GUINEA ; O
XEU ; European Currency Unit (E.C.U) ; -- ; EUROPEAN MONETARY CO-OPERATION FUND (EMCF) ; O
FIM ; Markka ; FI ; FINLAND ; O
FRF ; French Franc ; FR ; FRANCE ; O
GEK ; Georgian Coupon ; GE ; GEORGIA ; O
DDM ; Mark der DDR ; DD ; GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC ; O
DEM ; Deutsche Mark ; DE ; GERMANY ; O
GRD ; Drachma ; GR ; GREECE ; O
GNS ; Syli ; GN ; GUINEA ; O
GWE ; Guinea Escudo ; GW ; GUINEA-BISSAU ; O
IEP ; Irish Pound ; IE ; IRELAND ; O
ILP ; Pound ; IL ; ISRAEL ; O
ITL ; Italian Lira ; IT ; ITALY ; O
LVR ; Latvian Ruble ; LV ; LATVIA ; O
LSM ; Maloti ; LS ; LESOTHO ; O
LTT ; Talonas ; LT ; LITHUANIA ; O
LUC ; Convertible Franc ; LU ; LUXEMBOURG ; O
LUF ; Luxembourg Franc ; LU ; LUXEMBOURG ; O
LUL ; Financial Franc ; LU ; LUXEMBOURG ; O
MLF ; Mali Franc ; ML ; MALI ; O
MTP ; Maltese Pound ; MT ; MALTA ; O
MXP ; Mexican Peso ; MX ; MEXICO ; O
MZE ; Mozambique Escudo ; MZ ; MOZAMBIQUE ; O
NLG ; Netherlands Guilder ; NL ; NETHERLANDS ; O
NIC ; Cordoba ; NI ; NICARAGUA ; O
PEI ; Inti ; PE ; PERU ; O
PES ; Sol ; PE ; PERU ; O
PLZ ; Zloty ; PL ; POLAND ; O
PTE ; Portuguese Escudo ; PT ; PORTUGAL ; O
RUR ; Russian Ruble ; RU ; RUSSIAN FEDERATION ; O
ZAL ; Financial Rand ; ZA ; SOUTH AFRICA ; O
RHD ; Rhodesian Dollar ; RH ; SOUTHERN RHODESIA ; O
ESA ; Spanish Peseta (A Account) ; ES ; SPAIN ; O
ESB ; Spanish Peseta (convertible Peseta Accounts) ; ES ; SPAIN ; O
ESP ; Spanish Peseta ; ES ; SPAIN ; O
SDP ; Sudanese Pound ; SD ; SUDAN ; O
SRG ; Suriname Guilder ; SR ; SURINAME ; O
UGS ; Uganda Shilling ; UG ; UGANDA ; O
UAK ; Karbovanet ; UA ; UKRAINE ; O
SUR ; Rouble ; SU ; UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS ; O
UYP ; Uruguayan Peso ; UY ; URUGUAY ; O
YDD ; Yemeni Dinar ; YE ; YEMEN, DEMOCRATIC ; O
YUD ; New Yugoslavian Dinar ; YU ; YUGOSLAVIA ; O
YUM ; Yugoslavian Dinar ; YU ; YUGOSLAVIA ; O
YUN ; Yugoslavian Dinar ; YU ; YUGOSLAVIA ; O
ZRN ; New Zare ; ZR ; ZAIRE ; O
ZRZ ; Zare ; ZR ; ZAIRE ; O
ZWC ; Rhodesian Dollar ; ZW ; ZIMBABWE ; O
XRE ; RINET Funds Code ; -- ; (no country) ; O
ALK ; Old Lek ; AL ; ALBANIA ; X
ARY ; Peso ; AR ; ARGENTINA ; X
BGJ ; Lev A/52 ; BG ; BULGARIA ; X
BGK ; Lev A/62 ; BG ; BULGARIA ; X
CNX ; Peoples Bank Dollar ; CN ; CHINA ; X
CSJ ; Krona A/53 ; CSHH ; CZECHOSLOVAKIA ; X
GNE ; Syli ; GN ; GUINEA ; X
ISJ ; Old Krona ; IS ; ICELAND ; X
ILR ; Old Shekel ; IL ; ISRAEL ; X
LAJ ; Kip Pot Pol ; LA ; LAO ; X
MVQ ; Maldive Rupee ; MV ; MALDIVES ; X
MAF ; Mali Franc ; ML ; MALI ; X
PEH ; Sol ; PE ; PERU ; X
ROK ; Leu A/52 ; RO ; ROMANIA ; X
UGW ; Old Shilling ; UG ; UGANDA ; X
UYN ; Old Urugay Peso ; UY ; URUGUAY ; X
VNC ; Old Dong ; VN ; VIETNAM ; X