|Updated 29 February 2008||By Country Code||By Country Name||Other WTNG pages||Acknowledgements|
|History of Country Codes|
There will be numerous details to be filled in (dates of changes, introductions, circumstances etc). Additional, corrected or updated information to this end would be welcome at wtng(at)wtng.info.
10 December 1995 - inaugural edition 6 June 1996 - updates courtesy Geoff Capp, Ray Chow, Mark Cuccia, Gary Novosielski, Dik Winter - a few more details as they were found 6 June 1997 - corrections from Geoffrey Dyer - changes due to ex-USSR and Czech/Slovak developments with data adapted from an ex-USSR profile (those details courtesy Toby Nixon, ITU, Stentor (Canada), CRTC (Canada), Telecom Digest (including information collected for the country code listings). - Marc Zirnheld - detail on new Monaco country code. 1 April 2000 - Integration of history into the World Telephone Numbering Guide. - Added assignments for International Shared Cost Service (ISCS), International Premium Rate Service (IPRS), Liechtenstein, Palestine, special networks. - Update to European Telephony Numbering Space assignment information. 22 May 2000 - some corrections to order and wording. 25 June 2001 - update East Timor, add +991 (International Telecommunications Public Correspondence Service), some minor corrections and updates. 26 August 2001 - added date at which +969 Yemen Democratic Republic (Aden, Southern Yemen) was discontinued, due to Yemen unification. 23 September 2001 - minor changes/corrections for Andorra +376 and +388 (group of countries code). 14 July 2002 - formatting changes for the document; clean-up of some text 5 January 2003 - corrected a typo spotted by Mark Cuccia 28 August 2004 - a few corrections courtesy Justin Bur
That list went as follows (* represents a code that remains in use in today's country code plan):
00 to 19 - special codes - special routings, semi-automatic services, direct routes between countries, situations where digits of a destination number are not analysed, etc. 20 - Poland 21 - Algeria (Fr.) [* today is 213] 22 - Belgium 23 - Austria 24 - (unassigned) 25 - Finland 26 - Arabia 27 - Cyprus 28 - Bulgaria 29 - Gibraltar 30 - Greece * 31 - Egypt (U.A. Rep.) 32 - (unassigned) 33 - France * 34 - Israel 35 - Hungary 36 - Turkey 37 - Lebanon 38 - Norway 39 - Italy * 40 - Libya 41 - Jordan 42 - Portugal 43 - Malta 44 - Great Britain * 45 - (unassigned) 46 - Sweden * 47 - Rumania 48 - Morocco 49 - Germany * [presumably for West Germany at that time] 50 - Spain 51 - (unassigned) 52 - Ireland 53 - (unassigned) 54 - Syria (U.A. Rep.) 55 - Netherlands 56 - (unassigned) 57 - Czechoslovakia 58 - (unassigned) 59 - Albania 60 - Luxembourg 61 - Denmark 62 - Tunisia 63 - Yugoslavia 64 - Iceland 65 - (unassigned) 66 - Switzerland 67 - (unassigned) 68, 69 - USSR 70 to 79 - European Republics / USSR 80 to 89 - spare codes 90 to 99 - intercontinental traffic
Note from Dik Winter regarding 60-Luxembourg:
"At least this country code has been used in the Netherlands (but at the same time the country code used for Belgium was 32). That must have been in the early sixties indeed. I do not have parts of a phone book showing it, I have only parts of Amsterdam phone books and when direct dialling from Amsterdam to Luxembourg was allowed much later the country code was changed to 352 as it is now, but I have noted it down from another Dutch phone book (presumably that of the province of Zeeland)."
That initial country code list was as follows (country codes not listed were spare at the time):
World Zone 1 - North and Central America (only country code +1)
The following nations were to be included, but some of these were later assigned World Zone 5 country codes:
Bahamas, Bermuda, British Honduras [now Belize], Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Antilles, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, USA, US Virgin Islands.
World Zone 2 - Africa
+20 - United Arab Republic +21 - Maghreb (integrated numbering plan): Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia +220 - Gambia +221 - Senegal +222 - Mauritania +223 - Mali +224 - Guinea +225 - Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire) +226 - Upper Volta +227 - Niger +228 - Togolese Republic +229 - Dahomey +231 - Liberia +232 - Sierra Leone +233 - Ghana +234 - Nigeria +235 - Chad +236 - Central African Republic +237 - Cameroon +238 - Cape Verde Island +239 - St Thomas & Prince +241 - Gabon +242 - Congo (Brazzaville) +243 - Congo (Leopoldville) +244 - Angola +245 - Portuguese Guinea +249 - Sudan +250 - Rwanda +251 - Ethiopia +252 - Somalia +253 - French Somaliland +254 - Kenya +255 - Tanzania +256 - Uganda +257 - Burundi +258 - Mozambique +260 - Northern Rhodesia +261 - Malagasy Republic +262 - Reunion +263 - Southern Rhodesia +264 - Territory of SW Africa +265 - Malawi +266 - Basutoland +267 - Bechuanaland +268 - Swaziland +269 - Comores +27 - South AfricaWorld Zone 3 & 4 - Europe
+30 - Greece +31 - Netherlands +32 - Belgium +33 - France +34 - Spain +350 - Gibraltar +351 - Portugal +352 - Luxembourg +353 - Ireland +354 - Iceland +356 - Malta +357 - Cyprus +36 - Turkey +37 - (unassigned in 1964; assignment to East Germany took effect in 1966) +38 - Yugoslavia +39 - Italy +401 - Finland +402 - Hungary +403 - Bulgaria +404 - Romania +405 - Albania +41 - Switzerland +42 - Czechoslovakia +43 - Austria +44 - Great Britain +45 - Denmark +46 - Sweden +47 - Norway +48 - Poland +49 - Germany (West)World Zone 5 - South America
+50, +51, +52 - (unassigned in 1964) +53 - Cuba +54 - Argentina +55 - Brazil +56 - Chile +57 - Colombia +58 - Venezuela +591 - Bolivia +592 - British Guiana +593 - Ecuador +594 - French Guiana +595 - Paraguay +596 - Peru +597 - Surinam (Netherlands) +598 - UruguayZone 6 - Oceania, Australia, etc.
+60 - Malaysia +61 - Australia +62 - Indonesia +63 - Philippines +64 - New Zealand +65 - (unassigned in 1964 - Singapore was part of Malaysia) +66 - Thailand +672 - Portuguese Timor +675 - Papua New Guinea +676 - Tonga +677 - British Solomon Isles +678 - New Hebrides +679 - Fiji +682 - Guam +683 - Western Samoa +684 - American Samoa +685 - Cook Islands +687 - New Caledonia +688 - Niue +689 - French Polynesia +69 - (unassigned in 1964)World Zone 7 - USSR (only country code +7)
World Zone 8 - Eastern Asia
+80 - (unassigned in 1964) +81 - Japan +82 - Korea +83 - (unassigned in 1964) +84 - Vietnam +852 - Hong Kong +853 - Macao +855 - Cambodia +856 - Laos +86 - China +87 - (unassigned in 1964) +88 - (unassigned in 1964) +89 - (unassigned in 1964)World Zone 9 - Western Asia, Middle East
+90 - (unassigned in 1964) +91 - India +92 - Pakistan +93 - Afghanistan +94 - Ceylon +95 - Burma +961 - Lebanon +962 - Jordan +963 - Syria +964 - Iraq +965 - Kuwait +966 - Saudi Arabia +967 - Yemen +969 - Aden +972 - Israel +975 - Hadramut +977 - Nepal +98 - Iran +99 - (unassigned in 1964)
+1 - Antigua (territory added) - Barbados (territory added) - British Virgin Islands (territory added) - Cayman Islands (territory added) - Dominica (territory added) - Grenada (territory added) - Montserrat (territory added) - St Kitts (territory added) - St Lucia (territory added) - St Pierre & Miquelon (territory added) - St Vincent (territory added) x Guatemala (CHANGED to country code +500) x Mexico (CHANGED to country code +52) x Netherlands Antilles (CHANGED to country code +599) +240 - Equatorial Guinea (NEW) +243 - Congo (Dem. Rep. of the) (Name change) +259 - Zanzibar (NEW) +260 - Zambia (Name Change) +263 - Rhodesia (Name Change) +266 - Lesotho (Name Change) +267 - Botswana (Name Change) +269 - Comoro Islands (Name Change) +355 - Albania (NEW - changed from +405) +358 - Finland (NEW - changed from +401) +359 - Bulgaria (NEW - changed from +403) +36 x Turkey (CHANGED to +90) +36 - Hungary (NEW - changed from +402) +37 - East Germany (added - announced in ITU Notification #980 of 10 March 1966) +40 - Romania (NEW - changed from +404) +500 - Guatemala (NEW - changed from +1) +52 - Mexico (NEW - changed from +1) +599 - Netherlands Antilles (NEW - changed from +1) +65 - Singapore (NEW - became independent of Malaysia +60 code) +681 - Wallis and Futuna (NEW) +686 - Gilbert & Ellice Islands (NEW) +90 - Turkey (NEW - changed from +36) +968 - Sultanate of Muscat & Oman (NEW) +969 - Southern Yemen (Name Change) +971 - Trucial States (NEW) +973 - Bahrain (NEW) +974 - Qatar (NEW) +976 - Mongolia (NEW)[Notes: ITU Notifications 992, 995 and 998 of 1967 announced the new country codes +968 (Muscat & Oman), +971 (Trucial States), +974 (Qatar); ITU Notification #984 of 10 July 1966 announced +973 (Bahrain). No official reasons were found for the many country changes between 1964 and 1968 information.]
World Zone 1: +1 x British Honduras (CHANGED to +501) x Costa Rica (CHANGED to +506) x El Salvador (CHANGED to +503) x Honduras (CHANGED to +504) x Nicaragua (CHANGED to +505) x Panama (CHANGED to +507) +20 - Egypt (Name Change 1971) +21 x 'Maghreb' integrated numbering plan divided into separate country code assignments that follows ... +210 - Morocco +211 - Morocco +212 - Morocco [only this country code used today for Morocco] +213 - Algeria [only this country code used today for Algeria] +214 - Algeria +215 - Algeria +216 - Tunisia [only this country code used today for Tunisia] +217 - Tunisia +218 - Libya [only this country code used today for Libya] +219 - Libya +243 - Zaire (Name Change) +253 - Afars Alssas (Fr. Terr) (Name Change) +500 x (CHANGED to +502) +501 - British Honduras (NEW - was in +1) +502 - Guatemala (NEW - changed from +500) +503 - El Salvador (NEW - was in +1) +504 - Honduras (NEW - was in +1) +505 - Nicaragua (NEW - was in +1) +506 - Costa Rica (NEW - was in +1) +507 - Panama (NEW - was in +1) +51 - Peru (NEW - changed from +596) +596 x Peru (CHANGED to +51) +671 - Guam (NEW - changed from +682) +682 x Guam (CHANGED to +671)
+248 - Seychelles (NEW) +509 - Haiti (NEW) +590 - Guadeloupe (NEW) +596 - Martinique (NEW - originally assigned to Peru) +673 - Brunei (NEW) +674 - Nauru (NEW) +87x - (NEW - reserved for mobile/maritime assignments) +880 - Bangladesh (NEW) +978 - Dubai (UAE) (NEW) +979 - Abu Dhabi (UAE) (NEW)
+253 - Djibouti (Name Change) +672 x (Portuguese Timor DELETED - presumably merged into +62) +682 - Cook Islands (NEW - originally assigned to Guam) +683 x Western Samoa (CHANGED to +685) +683 - Niue (NEW - changed from +688) +685 x Cook Islands (CHANGED to +682) +685 - Western Samoa (NEW - changed from +683) +686 - Gilbert Is. (Ellice withdrew from the single British colony of Gilbert & Ellice in 1975 - see also +688) +688 x Niue (CHANGED to +683) +688 - Tuvalu (NEW - Ellice Is. withdrew from Gilbert & Ellice in 1975, then became independent Tuvalu 1 Oct 1978 - see also +686) +960 - Maldives (NEW) +978 x (Dubai DELETED - presumably merged into +971) +979 x (Abu Dhabi DELETED - presumably merged into +971)[Notes: Few reasons were found for shuffling the +6xx series country codes. Regarding deletions of +978 (Dubai) and +979 (Abu Dhabi), these probably became part of +971 (UAE, originally listed as "Trucial States").
Note from Dik Winter regarding Dubai and Abu Dhabi:
"I have information from a British phone book of 1982, at that time the UK still used +978 and +979 for Dubai and Abu Dhabi. And given the area codes at that time (according to that information) integration would have been impossible. Integration within +971 came later together with area code changes."]
+1 x St Pierre & Miquelon (CHANGED to +508) +246 - Diego Garcia (NEW) +298 - Faroe Islands (Denmark) (NEW) +299 - Greenland (Denmark) (NEW) +500 - Falkland Islands (NEW - originally assigned to Guatemala) +508 - St Pierre and Miquelon (NEW - was in +1) +670 - Marianna Islands, including Saipan (NEW) +672 - Australian Territories (NEW - originally assigned to Portuguese Timor) +680 - Palau (NEW) +690 - Tokelau (NEW) +691 - Federated States of Micronesia (NEW) +692 - Marshall Islands (NEW) +850 - North Korea (NEW - South Korea retains +82)
Currently, country codes are presently assigned under Recommendation E.164 (formerly E.163, in turn E.161/Q.11, in turn E.29).
Note that some changes listed here took effect before the 1984 lists. This may be due to various factors such as UN recognition of nations, official country name changes, the process of updating the Recommendation, or perhaps overlooking a change listed in a CCITT book prior to 1984.
+226 - Burkina Faso (Name Change on 4 Aug 1984) +229 - Benin (Name Change from Dahomey upon 1975 independence from France) +230 - Mauritius (NEW - year of introduction unknown - this has appeared in the late 1970s) +239 - Sao Tome & Principe (Name Change or use of domestic language form) +245 - Guinea-Bissau (Name Change as of 1974 independence) +247 - Ascension (NEW - year of introduction unknown - ca. 1984-87) +259 - Zanzibar (although assigned in 1968, routing via Tanzania country code +255 had been in effect for many years, and may still be in effect) +261 - Madagascar (Name Change from Malagasy Rep.) +263 - Zimbabwe (Name Change from Rhodesia as of 18 Apr 1980) +264 - Namibia (Name Change from Territory of SW Africa as of 21 Mar 1990) +269 - Comoros & Mayotte (Name Change - Geoff Capp noted that Mayotte is part of the Comoro island group. Mayotte alone chose to remain French when the other islands chose independence 1974-75. Mayotte was the first of the islands to become direct-dialable, and took +269. For Canada, at least, the other Comoros were assigned a 0XX Mark code until they became diallable in the late 1980s/early 1990s.) +290 - St Helena (NEW - year of introduction unknown - late 1980s) +291 - Eritrea (NEW - seceded from Ethiopia in 1993) +295 - San Marino (NEW then CHANGED - was assigned, but became +378) +296 - Trinidad/Tobago (apparently assigned then removed) +297 - Aruba (NEW - became autonomous of Netherlands Antilles as of 1 Jan 1986 - dates of country code assignment and implementation are unknown) +37 - East Germany (DELETED - with German reunification, numbers are under country code +49 as of mid-1991) +370 - Lithuania (NEW - split from +7 announced Jan. 1993) +371 - Latvia (NEW - split from +7 announced Jan. 1993) +372 - Estonia (NEW - split from +7 announced Jan. 1993) +373 - Moldova (NEW - split from +7 announced Jan. 1993) +374 - Armenia (NEW - announced Jan. 1995, in effect 1 May 1995; this was split from country code +7) +375 - Belarus (NEW - announced Jan. 1995, in effect 16 Apr 1995; this was split from country code +7) +376 - Andorra (Principality of) (NEW - in effect 17 Dec 1994; formerly reached via numbering plans of France (+33) and Spain (+34)) +377 - Monaco (Principality of) (NEW - in effect by 21 June 1996; formerly reached via France (+33)) +378 - San Marino (NEW - split from Italy +39; formerly assigned +295) +379 - Vatican City (NEW - implementation dates/details unknown; formerly reached via Italy (+39)) +38 - Yugoslavia (DELETED - 1 Oct 1993, due to Yugoslav break-up) +380 - Ukraine (NEW - announced Jan. 1995; in effect 16 Apr 1995; this was split from country code +7) +381 - Serbia and Montenegro (former Yugoslav areas) (NEW - formed from old Yugoslav country code +38 - in effect 1 Oct. 1993) +385 - Croatia (NEW - split from old Yugoslav country code +38 - in effect 1 Oct. 1993) +386 - Slovenia (NEW - split from old Yugoslav country code +38 - in effect 1 Oct. 1993) +387 - Bosnia (NEW - split from old Yugoslav country code +38 - in effect 1 Oct. 1993) +389 - Macedonia (NEW - split from old Yugoslav country code +38 - in effect 1 Oct. 1993) +41 - Liechtenstein (probably always was part of Switzerland system (country code +41). Liechtenstein posts and ports were handled by Austria until 1921.) +42 - (Czech & Slovak Republics now separate - country code remains until 1997) +501 - Belize (Name Change - was British Honduras until ca. 1972) +592 - Guyana (Name Change - was British Guiana until 1966 independence) +678 - Vanuatu (Name Change - was New Hebrides until 30 July 1980 indep.) +686 - Kiribati (Name Change - was Gilbert Is. until 1979; not listed as such in ITU list until 1984 book) +800 - International freephone services (NEW - as of 1995; service became active internationally as of 1997) +870 - Inmarsat 'SNAC' (single number access code) service (NEW - as of late 1995; no word on when this service will become/has become active) +871 - Inmarsat Atlantic East (NEW - assignment date unknown - originally assigned to all of Atlantic) +872 - Inmarsat Pacific (NEW - assignment date unknown) +873 - Inmarsat Indian (NEW - assignment date unknown) +874 - Inmarsat Atlantic West (NEW - assignment date unknown - formed from split of +871 Atlantic) +878 - Reserved for national mobile purposes (NEW) +879 - Reserved for national mobile purposes (NEW) +886 - Taiwan (Mainland China has reserved +86-6 for access to Taiwan; however Taiwan given +886 for access, while +86 routes to mainland) +94 - Sri Lanka (Name Change - was Ceylon until 22 May 1972) +95 - (Current regime refers to itself as Myanmar; some nations only recognise it as Burma.) +967 - Yemen Arab Republic (Name Change?) +968 - Oman (Name Change - shortened from Muscat & Oman as of July 1970) +969 - Yemen Democratic Republic (DELETED - service discontinued as of 1 December 1994 due to Yemen unification. +967 became the sole country code for Yemen. The former Yemen Democratic Republic was formerly called Aden. The Aden capital was found to have country code +967 ca. 1991) +971 - United Arab Emirates (Name Change - Trucial States merged 2 Dec 1971 to become U.A.E.) +975 - Bhutan (NEW - date of country code assignment unknown - was assigned to Hadramut which joined South Yemen) +994 - Azerbaijan (NEW - country code assignment announced late 1992; in service by 1994 - split from former USSR (country code +7)) +995 - Georgia (NEW - country code assigned around 1994 - split from former USSR (country code +7)) +996 - Kyrgyz Republic (NEW - country code assigned 1995, in service by 1997 - split from former USSR (country code +7))Note from Ray Chow regarding 975-Bhutan (formerly Hadramut):
"Hadramut (or Qu'aiti State in Hadhramaut as printed on its stamps) was a state which later joined Aden to form South Yemen (the "People's Democratic Republic of Yemen"). Bhutan is a small country between India and Tibet (east of Nepal and Sikkim). Evidently it got country code +975 some time after Hadramut became part of South Yemen."
Note from Ray Chow regarding former USSR territories (+7, +3xx, +9xx):
"It's interesting that of the three Caucasus republics that split from code +7, only Armenia got a "European" (+3xx) code. Georgia and Azerbaijan are also in Europe (at least according to my maps), but telephonically are in Asia. For that matter, I see from your list that Turkey, a small part of which is in Europe, started with a European code and ended up with an Asian one."
Bob Goudreau's response to above:
"Actually, according to the geography texts and maps I've seen (e.g., the recent _National_Geographic_ map of Europe), the usual definition of the boundary between Europe and Asia in the Caucasus is the ridge-line of the northernmost range of mountains. Thus, almost all of this area is geographically part of Asia. Georgia and Azerbaijan have small bits that lie in Europe (as, surprisingly, does Kazakhstan (note new post-Soviet spelling)), but Armenia lies entirely in Asia. It is thus ironic that it is the only one of the three that received a European country code."
+388 - European Telephony Numbering Space (expected to be officially assigned, if not already - in use by January 1999) +42 x Czechoslovakia (DELETED - 28 February 1997; split to +420, +421 reflecting the now-separate Czech and Slovak Republics) +420 - Czech Republic (NEW - split from +42 on 28 February 1997) +421 - Slovak Republic (NEW - split from +42 on 28 February 1997) +878 - Universal Personal Telecommunications (NEW - replaces code that was reserved for national mobile purposes) +881 - Global Mobile Satellite System (NEW - for services such as Iridium and Globalstar - shared by various carriers) +888 - reported unavailable for assignment - reason not widely known although it is speculated that this reflects recent use of +1 888 for toll-free services in North America +992 - Tajikistan (NEW - split from former USSR (country code +7). Assigned 1996-7?) +993 - Turkmenistan (NEW - split from former USSR (country code +7), generally in service by 3 Jan 1997). +998 - Uzbekistan (NEW - split from former USSR (country code +7), Assigned 1996?)
+388 - Code for groups of countries: the first service on this country code is the European Telephony Numbering Space (ETNS) for European-wide services (+388 3). Other groups of countries would be able to establish services under +388. Field trials for ETNS were reported in service as of April 1999. Official service began after March 2000. ITU Study Group 2 had approved this country code assignment during a meeting in San Francisco in January 1996 (according to OFTEL Numbering Bulletin (UK)) +423 - Liechtenstein - in service 5 April 1999; replaces access via +41 Switzerland +670 x Northern Marianas (DELETED 1 July 1998 - replaced by +1 670) +671 x Guam (DELETED 1 July 1998 - replaced by +1 671) +808 - International Shared Cost Service - calls charged at national rates - expected to commence service in 2001 +882 - special networks - in service as of 1999? +970 - Palestine - official service date unknown, although Matav carrier in Hungary, and the national telecom carrier in Egypt reported implementing this country code in 1999. +970 replaces access via Israel +972. +979 - International Premium Rate Service - calls charged at premium rates - expected to commence service in 2001
+670 - East Timor - following independence from Indonesia (1999-2000), this country code was assigned by ITU approximately January 2000. It was implemented at some unknown time (likely late 2000), replacing a temporary usage of the +672 Australian External Territories country code. Reconstruction of the telecommunications network since 1999-2000 was made with assistance from Australian telecom interests. +991 - International Telecommunications Public Correspondence Service, assigned mid-2000. No specific details are known, although the terminology suggests special maritime facilities.
Kazakhstan is the only ex-USSR republic that does not have a known separate country code assignment at this writing. Russia will likely retain country code +7.