Re: Those customs stickers on cars

From: Kent Karlsson (
Date: Fri Jun 13 1997 - 13:30:56 EDT

Frank da Cruz wrote:
> Having nothing to do with Unicode, and not much to do with plain text...
> But still this seems an appropriate group:
> You know those white oval stickers on cars that contain 1, 2, or 3 letters
> denoting the country in which the car is registered, having something to do
> with customs and border-crossing?
> These are country abbreviations that are not the same as the 2-letter or
> 3-letter ISO ones (e.g. D for Deutschland, F for France -- only one letter).
> I believe these are the same abbreviations that are used in continental
> European postal codes, e.g. B-nnnn, D-nnnnn, F-nnnnn, NL-nnnn XX, FIN-nnnn,
> etc.
> Does anybody know the registration authority for these abbreviations, and
> where to find a complete list of them?

No, I don't. But Posten Sverige (the Swedish Mail) says in its
1996 catalogue of Swedish postal codes:

"Ange alltid landets nationalitetskod före postnumret. Internationella
standardiseringsorganisationen (ISO) har ändrat en del beteckningar.
Sverige anger du t ex numera med SE."

(Rough translation: "Always write the county code before the zip code.
ISO has changed a few of the country codes. For Sweden, for instance,
should now use SE [instead of S]." I am not sure if this is

Then follows a table of two letter codes for several countries, having
ÅL for Åland with a side remark saying that that one is not an
official ISO country code. (I haven't cheched the correctness of the
list, but it doesn't list all counties having a two-letter code.)

I.e., the Swedish mail now recommends using the two-letter ISO codes
before the "zip code" in international mail. Looking at the surrounding
pages in that catalogue, it is apparent that mail to the U.K. and
to the U.S.A. (and possibly Canada) are exceptions. I *assume* that
this recommendation stems from international postal agreements.

                        /kent k

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