ISO 4217 is a standard published by International Organization for Standardization, which delineates currency designators, country codes (alpha and numeric), and references to minor units in three tables:
- Table A.1 – Current currency & funds code list
- Table A.2 – Current funds codes
- Table A.3 – List of codes for historic denominations of currencies & funds
The tables, history and ongoing discussion are maintained by SIX Interbank Clearing on behalf of ISO and the Swiss Association for Standardization.
The ISO 4217 code list is used in banking and business globally. In many countries the ISO codes for the more common currencies are so well known publicly that exchange rates published in newspapers or posted in banks use only these to delineate the different currencies, instead of translated currency names or ambiguous currency symbols. ISO 4217 codes are used on airline tickets and international train tickets to remove any ambiguity about the price.
The first two letters of the code are the two letters of the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes (which are also used as the basis for national top-level domains on the Internet) and the third is usually the initial of the currency itself. So Japan's currency code is JPY—JP for Japan and Y for yen. This eliminates the problem caused by the names dollar, franc, peso and pound being used in dozens of different countries, each having significantly differing values. Also, if a currency is revalued, the currency code's last letter is changed to distinguish it from the old currency. In some cases, the third letter is the initial for "new" in that country's language, to distinguish it from an older currency that was revalued; the code sometimes outlasts the usage of the term "new" itself (for example, the code for the Mexican peso is MXN). Other changes can be seen, however; the Russian ruble, for example, changed from RUR to RUB, where the B comes from the third letter in the word "ruble".
In addition to codes for most active national currencies ISO 4217 provides codes for "supranational" currencies, procedural purposes, and several things which are "similar to" currencies:
- Codes for the precious metals gold (XAU), silver (XAG), palladium (XPD), and platinum (XPT) are formed by prefixing the element's chemical symbol with the letter "X". These "currency units" are denominated as one troy ounce of the specified metal as opposed to "USD 1" or "EUR 1".
- The code XTS is reserved for use in testing.
- The code XXX is used to denote a "transaction" involving no currency.
- There are also codes specifying certain monetary instruments used in international finance, e.g. XDR is the symbol for special drawing right issued by the International Monetary Fund.
- The codes for most supranational currencies, such as the East Caribbean dollar, the CFP franc, the CFA franc BEAC and the CFA franc BCEAO. The predecessor to the euro, the European Currency Unit (ECU), had the code XEU.
The use of an initial letter "X" for these purposes is facilitated by the ISO 3166 rule that no official country code beginning with X will ever be assigned. Because of this rule ISO 4217 can use X codes without risk of clashing with a future country code. ISO 3166 country codes beginning with "X" are used for private custom use (reserved), never for official codes. For instance, the ISO 3166-based NATO country codes (STANAG 1059, 9th edition) use "X" codes for imaginary exercise countries ranging from XXB for "Brownland" to XXR for "Redland", as well as for major commands such as XXE for SHAPE or XXS for SACLANT. Consequently, ISO 4217 can use "X" codes for non-country-specific currencies without risk of clashing with future country codes.
The inclusion of EU (denoting the European Union) in the ISO 3166-1 reserved codes list, allows the euro to be coded as EUR rather than assigned a code beginning with X even though it is a supranational currency.
Treatment of minor currency units (the "exponent")
The ISO 4217 standard includes a crude mechanism for expressing the relationship between a major currency unit and its corresponding minor currency unit. This mechanism is called the currency "exponent" and assumes a base of 10. For example, USD (the United States dollar) is equal to 100 of its minor currency unit the "cent". So the USD has exponent 2 (10 to the power 2 is 100, which is the number of cents in a dollar). The code JPY (Japanese yen) is given the exponent 0, because its minor unit, the sen, although nominally valued at 1/100 of a yen, is of such negligible value that it is no longer used. Usually, as with the USD, the minor currency unit has a value that is 1/100 of the major unit, but in some cases (including most varieties of the dinar) 1/1000 is used, and sometimes ratios apply which are not integer powers of 10. Mauritania does not use a decimal division of units, setting 1 ouguiya (UM) equal to 5 khoums, and Madagascar has 1 ariary = 5 iraimbilanja. Some currencies do not have any minor currency unit at all and these are given an exponent of 0, as with currencies whose minor units are unused due to negligible value.
There is also a three-digit code number assigned to each currency, in the same manner as there is also a three-digit code number assigned to each country as part of ISO 3166. This numeric code is usually the same as the ISO 3166-1 numeric code. For example, USD (United States dollar) has code 840 which is also the numeric code for the US (United States).
Position of ISO 4217 code in amounts
The ISO standard does not regulate either the spacing, prefixing or suffixing in usage of currency codes. According however to the European Union's Publication Office, in English, Irish, Latvian and Maltese texts, the ISO 4217 code is to be followed by a fixed space and the amount:
- a sum of EUR 30
In Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish the order is reversed; the amount is followed by a fixed space and the ISO 4217 code:
- une somme de 30 EUR
Note that, as illustrated, the order is determined not by the currency, but by the native language of the document context.
In 1973, the ISO Technical Committee 68 decided to develop codes for the representation of currencies and funds for use in any application of trade, commerce or banking. At the 17th session (February 1978), the related UN/ECE Group of Experts agreed that the three-letter alphabetic codes for International Standard ISO 4217, "Codes for the representation of currencies and funds", would be suitable for use in international trade.
Over time, new currencies are created and old currencies are discontinued. Frequently, these changes are due to the formation of new governments, treaties between countries standardizing on a shared currency, or revaluation of an existing currency due to excessive inflation. As a result, the list of codes must be updated from time to time. The ISO 4217 maintenance agency (MA), SIX Interbank Clearing, is responsible for maintaining the list of codes.
The following is a list of active codes of official ISO 4217 currency names.
USD/USS/USN, three currency codes belonging to the US
The US dollar has two codes assigned: USD and USN (next day). The USS (same day) code is not in use any longer, and was removed from the list of active ISO 4217 codes in March 2014.
According to UN/CEFACT recommendation 9, paragraphs 8–9 ECE/TRADE/203, 1996, available online:
- 8. In applications where monetary resources associated with a currency (i.e. funds) need not be specified and where a field identifier indicating currency is used, the first two (leftmost) characters are sufficient to identify a currency—example: US for United States dollars for general, unspecified purposes where a field identifier indicating currency is present. (A field identifier can be a preprinted field heading in an aligned document or a similarly-agreed application in electronic transmission of data.)
- 9. In applications where there is a need to distinguish between different types of currencies, or where funds are required as in the banking environment, or where there is no field identifier, the third (rightmost) character of the alphabetic code is an indicator, preferably mnemonic, derived from the name of the major currency unit or fund—example: USD for general, unspecified purposes; USN for United States dollar next-day funds, and USS for funds which are immediately available for Federal Reserve transfer, withdrawal in cash or transfer in like funds (same-day funds). Since there is no need for such a distinction in international trade applications, the funds codes have not been included in the Annex to the present Recommendation.
Non ISO 4217 currencies
Currencies without ISO 4217 currency codes
A number of currencies are not included in ISO 4217, because these currencies are: (a) minor currencies pegged 1:1 to a larger currency, even if independently regulated (b) a legal tender only issued as commemorative banknotes or coinage, or (c) a currency of an unrecognized or partially recognized state. These currencies include:
- Alderney pound (1:1 pegged to the pound sterling)
- Cook Islands dollar (1:1 pegged to the New Zealand dollar)
- Faroese króna (1:1 pegged to the Danish krone)
- Guernsey pound (1:1 pegged to the pound sterling)
- Isle of Man pound (1:1 pegged to the pound sterling)
- Jersey pound (1:1 pegged to the pound sterling)
- Kiribati dollar (1:1 pegged to the Australian dollar)
- Maltese scudo (1:0.24 pegged to the euro)
- Sahrawi peseta of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in Western Sahara, sometimes given the code "EHP" but this has not been assigned by the ISO
- Somaliland shilling (state of issue is viewed as de jure part of Somalia, exchange rate not fixed)
- Transnistrian ruble (state of issue is viewed as de jure part of Moldova)
- Tuvaluan dollar (1:1 pegged to the Australian dollar)
See Category:Fixed exchange rate for a list of all currently pegged currencies.
Unofficial currency codes
Despite having no official recognition in ISO 4217, the following non-ISO codes are sometimes used locally or commercially.
|Code||Num||E||Currency||Locations using this currency|
|CNH||-||2||Chinese yuan (when traded offshore)||Hong Kong|
|CNT||-||2||Chinese yuan (when traded offshore)||Taiwan|
|IMP||–||2||Isle of Man pound also Manx pound||Isle of Man|
|PRB||–||2||Transnistrian ruble||Transnistria (The code conflicts with ISO-4217 because PR stands for Puerto Rico. X should have been used for the first letter.)|
Recently, cryptocurrencies have unofficially used ISO codes used on various cryptocurrency exchanges, for instance LTC for Litecoin, NMC for Namecoin and XRP for Ripples. SIX Interbank Clearing is currently studying the impact and role of cryptocurrencies and other independent currencies on ISO 4217.
|BTC, XBT||–||8||Bitcoin||BTC conflicts with ISO-4217 because BT stands for Bhutan.|
|ETH||_||2||Ether||ETH code conflicts with ISO-4217 because ET stands for Ethiopia.|
Historical currency codes
A number of currencies were official ISO 4217 currency codes and currency names until their replacement by the euro or other currencies. The table below shows the ISO currency codes of former currencies and their common names (which do not always match the ISO 4217 names). These codes were first introduced in 1989 after a request from the reinsurance sector in 1988 was accepted.
|XFU||...||.||UIC franc (special settlement currency)||?||2013-11-07||EUR|
|BAD||070||2||Bosnia and Herzegovina dinar||1992-07-01||1998||BAM|
|SML||...||0||San Marinese lira||1864||1998-12-31||EUR|
|XEU||954||.||European Currency Unit||1979-03-13||1998-12-31||EUR|
|AON||024||0||Angolan new kwanza||1990-09-25||1995-06-30||AOR|
|AOR||982||0||Angolan kwanza readjustado||1995-07-01||1999-11-30||AOA|
|ARL||...||2||Argentine peso ley||1970-01-01||1983-05-05||ARP|
|ARP||032||2||Argentine peso argentino||1983-06-06||1985-06-14||ARA|
|BGL||100||2||Bulgarian lev A/99||1962||1999-07-05||BGN|
|BRB||...||2||Brazilian cruzeiro A/86||1970||1986-02-28||BRC|
|BRC||076||2||Brazilian cruzado A/89||1986-02-28||1989-01-15||BRN|
|BRN||076||2||Brazilian cruzado novo A/90||1989-01-16||1990-03-15||BRE|
|BRE||076||2||Brazilian cruzeiro A/93||1990-03-15||1993-08-01||BRR|
|BRR||987||2||Brazilian cruzeiro real A/94||1993-08-01||1994-06-30||BRL|
|DDM||278||East German mark||1948-06-21||1990-07-01||DEM|
|ECV||983||.||Ecuador Unidad de Valor Constante (funds code)||1993||2000-01-09||—|
|GQE||...||Equatorial Guinean ekwele||1975||1985||XAF|
|ESA||996||Spanish peseta (account A)||?||1978 to 1981||ESP|
|ESB||995||Spanish peseta (account B)||?||1994-12||ESP|
|ILP||...||3, 2||Israeli lira||1948||1980||ILR|
|MKN||...||Old Macedonian denar A/93||?||1993||MKD|
|PEH||...||Peruvian old sol||1863||1985-02-01||PEI|
|PLZ||616||Polish zloty A/94||1950-10-30||1994-12-31||PLN|
|TPE||626||Portuguese Timorese escudo||1959||1976||IDR|
|ROL||642||Romanian leu A/05||1952-01-28||2005||RON|
|RUR||810||2||Russian ruble A/97||1992||1997-12-31||RUB|
|SDP||...||Sudanese old pound||1956||1992-06-08||SDD|
|SUR||...||Soviet Union ruble||1961||1991||RUR|
|TRL||792||0||Turkish lira A/05||?||2005||TRY|
|UGS||...||Ugandan shilling A/87||?||1987||UGX|
|USS||998||2||United States dollar (same day) (funds code)||?||2014-03-28||—|
|UYN||...||Uruguay new peso||1975-07-01||1993-03-01||UYU|
|XFO||...||Gold franc (special settlement currency)||1803||2003||XDR|
|YDD||720||South Yemeni dinar||?||1996-06-11||YER|
|YUD||...||2||Yugoslav dinar A/1989||1966-01-01||1989-12-31||YUN|
|YUN||890||2||Yugoslav dinar A/1992||1990-01-01||1992-06-30||YUR|
|YUR||...||2||Yugoslav dinar A/1993-09||1992-07-01||1993-09-30||YUO|
|YUO||...||2||Yugoslav dinar A/1993-12||1993-10-01||1993-12-31||YUG|
|YUG||...||2||Yugoslav dinar A/1994||1994-01-01||1994-01-23||YUM|
|YUM||891||2||Yugoslav dinar A/2003||1994-01-24||2003-07-02||CSD|
|ZAL||991||.||South African financial rand (funds code)||1985-09-01||1995-03-13||—|
|ZRN||180||2||Zaïrean new zaïre||1993||1997||CDF|
|ZWD||716||2||Zimbabwean dollar A/06||1980-04-18||2006-07-31||ZWN|
|ZWN||942||2||Zimbabwean dollar A/08||2006-08-01||2008-07-31||ZWR|
|ZWR||935||2||Zimbabwean dollar A/09||2008-08-01||2009-02-02||ZWL|
- List of circulating currencies
- Tables of historical exchange rates
- List of international trade topics
- SWIFT codes
- Current currencies & funds
- Current funds
- Historic denominations
- "Currency Code Services – ISO 4217 Maintenance Agency". Retrieved 2013-03-25.
- Rules for expressing monetary units
- Number of digits after the decimal separator.
- "Unidad de valor real (UVR) – Banco de la República de Colombia" [Unit of Real Value (UVR)]. Banco de la República (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- According to Article 4 of the 1994 Paris Protocol . The Protocol allows the Palestinian Authority to adopt additional currencies. In West Bank the Jordanian dinar is widely accepted and in Gaza Strip the Egyptian pound is often used.
- The Malagasy ariary and the Mauritanian ouguiya are technically divided into five subunits (the iraimbilanja and khoum respectively) the coins display "1/5" on their face and are referred to as a "fifth" (Khoum/cinquième); These are not used in practice, but when written out, a single significant digit is used. E.g. 1.2 UM.
- "Amendment of ISO 4217" (PDF). 17 October 2010.
- "Amendment of ISO 4217" (PDF). 7 April 2011.
- "The Order of Malta, A little history". Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- "China's currency: the RMB, CNY, CNH...". Retrieved 30 April 2015.
- "Taiwan Signs Yuan Clearing Deal With China". Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Hammett, Mike (2001). Dictionary of International Trade Finance Terms. Canterbury: Financial World Publishing. p. 176. ISBN 978-085297-576-3. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- SIX Interbank ISO 4217: A controversial standard
- Nermin Hajdarbegovic (7 October 2014). "Bitcoin Foundation to Standardise Bitcoin Symbol and Code Next Year". CoinDesk. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- Romain Dillet (9 August 2013). "Bitcoin Ticker Available On Bloomberg Terminal For Employees". TechCrunch. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- "Fate of Paper Money". GoldSeek.com. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- "Current currency & funds code list". Swiss Association for Standardization. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "Banco Central del Uruguay - Cambios de Unidad Monetaria - 1° de julio de 1975".
- Bank of Zambia - Zambian Currency History
- The official list of ISO 4217 alphabetic and numeric codes
- ISO 4217 Maintenance Agency
- An older list of ISO 4217 alphabetic codes that contains some history of ISO 4217 (PDF file)
- Another list of numeric and alphabetic ISO 4217 currency codes
- A C++ library for handling ISO currencies
- Position of the ISO code or euro sign in amounts
- Typing a Euro symbol on a non-European keyboard. Several methods are shown for the Euro and other special characters.