[cabfpub] ISO 3166-1 country codes

Erwann Abalea erwann.abalea at keynectis.com
Tue Jul 31 15:58:23 UTC 2012

On the same subject, same location, other certificates.

Last year Kosovo deployed biometric passports (ICAO MRTD and EAC) 
obviously for internal use only, and they choosed "KS" as the alpha-2 
country code.
This country code is present in CSCA root certificate and in DS 

"KS" is declared as free for assignment by ISO 3166/MA only.
While they're practically free to use anything they want in their 
private certificates, I don't recommend using "KS" for public facing 
And I'm not in favor of allowing "XK" for EV certificates.


Le 31/07/2012 12:17, William Madell a écrit :
> Agreed -- the CABF can decide to use 'XK' as its user-assigned country 
> code for Kosovo within the context of the BRs (perhaps, also in the 
> context of EV?).
> As Erwann recommends, the CABF should publicly document that decision 
> -- I suggest as either an erratum or appendix to the BRs.
> Bill
> *From:*public-bounces at cabforum.org 
> [mailto:public-bounces at cabforum.org] *On Behalf Of *Erwann Abalea
> *Sent:* 31 July 2012 10:46
> *To:* public at cabforum.org
> *Subject:* Re: [cabfpub] ISO 3166-1 country codes
> Nice question.
> XK being one of the "user-assigned code elements", it can therefore be 
> freely used wherever you want, and it won't be used in any update of 
> the standard.
> http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/country_codes/special-code-elements-iso-3166.htm#Reserved-code-elements 
> is pretty clear on the purpose and limits of the user-assigned codes.
> Faced with such a request, I'd also tend to approve it, publicly 
> document the use of "XK" code to designate "Kosovo", and notify the 
> ISO-3166/MA of the use of this code.
> EU hasn't recognized Kosovo as an independant nation, it's strange 
> that XK is used by the EC.
> -- 
> Erwann ABALEA
> Le 30/07/2012 22:39, Rich Smith a écrit :
>     I've come across an edge case that I'd like to get some discussion on.
>     We have received a request for a customer in Kosovo, which the two
>     jurisdictions to which we are subject (US and UK) recognize as a
>     sovereign country. However because there is still some wrangling
>     going on in the UN, Kosovo does not at this time have an official
>     ISO 3166 country code.
>     I came across some information that the European Commission,
>     Switzerland, and the Deutsche Bundesbank among others are
>     temporarily using XK as a designator for Kosovo.  Any thought as
>     to whether or not doing the same in a certificate would be in
>     compliance with Section 9.2.5 of the BRs?
>     9.2.5      Subject Country Name Field
>     Certificate Field:  subject:countryName (OID:
>     Required/Optional:  Optional
>     Contents:  If the subject:countryName field is present, then the
>     CA SHALL verify the country associated with the Subject in
>     accordance with Section 11.2.5 and use its two-letter ISO 3166-1
>     country code.
>     Since XK is set aside by the ISO as user assigned, I tend to lean
>     toward allowing it, but I also think that we should probably
>     decide as a group so that we all (at least all in jurisdictions
>     which recognize Kosovo) treat Kosovo in a uniform fashion.  Thoughts?

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