EUR registration

From: John Clews (
Date: Tue Oct 21 1997 - 16:44:12 EDT

Misha Wolf <> had written on
Tue, 21 Oct 1997 (Re: Euro currency sign)

> ISO 3166 is not the source of currency codes. ISO 4217 is. It is true
> that most currency codes allocated by ISO 4217 have a ISO 3166 country code
> as their first two characters. This is not, however, universally so.

In message <> Lars Mathiesen
(University of Copenhagen CS Dep) <> wrote

> Unless I missed some, all the exceptions to that rule (prior to the
> registration of EUR) were of the form "Xab", where "a" is a letter
> that is more or less mnemonic of the area using the currency, and "b"
> is the first letter of the name of the currency (as usual).
> Examples:
> XEU ECU (E for European Community, U for Unit)
> XAF Central African Franc (A for Africa, F for Franc)
> As far as I am informed, the ISO 3166 standard specifically reserves
> the codes beginning with X as a sort of private use area. (And IMO,
> this shows admirable forethought on the part of the WG defining 3166).
> ISO 4217 is thus not in conflict with ISO 3166, since the entities
> denoted by X? codes are not registered in the latter.
> In this system, the Euro might have been registered as XEE.
> The registration of EUR, however, arrogates the registrable 3166 code
> EU, and ignores the first-letter-of-currency-name guideline as well.
> Which only goes to show that the Commision is about as powerful as
> Bill Gates.

It would also seem to indicate that any registration of EUR has not
been made to the maintenance agency for ISO 4127. What registration
has been made and with who? I have yet to be told that, despite
variou queries. I'd be glad to see EUR as the three-letter code for
the Euro, but as far as I can see, this is an assumption rather than
an ISO registration.

I hope that somebody can tell me different, with appropriate chapter
and verse.

John Clews

John Clews (Character Set Development)     tel: +44 (0) 1423 888 432
SESAME Computer Projects, 8 Avenue Road    
Harrogate, HG2 7PG, United Kingdom         email:

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