Niche it!
BobbyGs Info
Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly
Country code top-level domain

Domaining Guide

Country code top-level domain

Home | Up

A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is an Internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for a country or a dependent territory.

ccTLD identifiers are two letters long, and all two-letter top-level domains are ccTLDs. Creation and delegation of ccTLDs is performed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and with certain exceptions noted below corresponds to the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes maintained by the United Nations.

Delegation and management

The IANA (currently contracted to ICANN) is responsible for determining an appropriate trustee for each ccTLD. Administration and control is then delegated to that entity, which is responsible for the policies and operation of the domain; the current delegation can be determined from IANA's list of ccTLDs. Individual ccTLDs may thus have varying requirements and fees for registering subdomains. There may be a local presence requirement (for instance, citizenship or other connection to the ccTLD), as for example the Canadian (ca) and German (de) domains, or registration may be open.

ISO 3166-1 and ccTLDs

ISO 3166-1 codes not used as ccTLDs

The codes EH and KP, although theoretically available as ccTLDs for Western Sahara and North Korea, have never been assigned and do not exist in DNS. Similarly, the code CS (Serbia and Montenegro) is not assigned an operator (cs was previously assigned to Czechoslovakia). TL (post-independence East Timor), is now being introduced to replace TP.

All other current ISO 3166-1 codes have been assigned and do exist in DNS. However, some of these are effectively unused. In particular, the ccTLDs for the Norwegian dependency Bouvet Island (bv) and the designation Svalbard and Jan Mayen (sj) do exist in DNS, but no subdomains have been assigned, and it is Norid policy not to assign any at present. Only one subdomain is still registered in gb (ISO 3166-1 for United Kingdom) and no new registrations are being accepted for it. Sites in the UK generally use uk (see below).

ccTLDs not in ISO 3166-1

Six ccTLDs are currently in use despite not being ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes. Some of these codes were in older ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes (now listed in ISO 3166-3).

  • uk (United Kingdom): The ISO 3166-1 code for the United Kingdom is GB, however the JANET network had already selected uk as a top-level identifier for its pre-existing Name Registration Scheme, and this was incorporated into the top-level domains. gb was assigned with the intention of a transition, but this never occurred and the use of uk is now entrenched.
  • su (the obsolete ISO 3166-1 code for Soviet Union): The su managers stated in 2001 they will commence accepting new su registrations, but it is unclear whether this action is compatible with ICANN policy.
  • ac (Ascension Island): This code is a vestige of IANA's decision in 1996 to allow the use of codes reserved in the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 reserve list for use by the Universal Postal Union. The decision was later reversed, with Ascension Island now the sole outlier. (Three other ccTLDs, gg (Guernsey), im (Isle of Man) and je (Jersey) also fell under this category from 1996 until they received corresponding ISO 3166 codes in March 2006.)
  • eu (European Union): On September 25, 2000, ICANN decided to allow the use of any two-letter code in the ISO 3166-1 reserve list that is reserved for all purposes. Only EU currently meets this criterion. Following a decision by the EU's Council of Telecommunications Ministers in March 2002, progress was slow, but a registry (named EURid) was chosen by the European Commission, and criteria for allocation set: ICANN approved eu as a ccTLD, and it opened for registration on 7 December 2005 for the holders of prior rights. Since 7 April 2006, registration is open to all.
  • tp (the previous ISO 3166-1 code for East Timor): To be phased out in favour of tl during 2005.
  • yu (the previous ISO 3166-1 code for Serbia and Montenegro, when it was still known as Yugoslavia)

Historical ccTLDs

There are two ccTLDs which have been deleted after the corresponding 2-letter code was withdrawn from ISO 3166-1, namely cs (for Czechoslovakia) and zr (for Zaire). There had also been a ccTLD for the GDR, dd, which was never used at all. There may be a significant delay between withdrawal from ISO 3166-1 and deletion from the DNS; for example, ZR ceased to be an ISO 3166-1 code in 1997, but the zr ccTLD was not deleted until 2001. Other ccTLDs corresponding to obsolete ISO 3166-1 have not yet been deleted; in some cases they may never be deleted due to the amount of disruption this would cause for a heavily used ccTLD. In particular, the Soviet Union's ccTLD su remains in use more than a decade after SU was removed from ISO 3166-1.

Unconventional ccTLD usage

Lenient registration restrictions on certain ccTLDs have resulted in domain names like,, and Other variations of ccTLD usage have been called domain hacks, where the Second-level domain and ccTLD are used together to form one word or one title. This has resulted in domains like of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (gs), of United States of America (us), and of Tonga (to). (Non country code TLDs have also been used, like which uses the .net gTLD, probably the first domain hack ever.)

Vanity ccTLDs

Vanity ccTLDs are TLDs which are used largely for business purposes, usually outside their home countries, because of their name. For example,

  • ad is a ccTLD for Andorra, but has recently been increasingly used by advertising agencies.
  • ag is a ccTLD for Antigua and Barbuda and is sometimes used for agricultural sites.
  • am is a ccTLD for Armenia, but is often used for AM radio stations.
  • cc is a ccTLD for Cocos (Keeling) Islands but is used for a wide variety of sites.
  • cd is a ccTLD for Democratic Republic of Congo but is used for CD merchants and file sharing sites.
  • fm is a ccTLD for the Federated States of Micronesia but it is often used for FM radio stations.
  • gg is a ccTLD for Guernsey but it is often used by the gaming and gambling industry, particularly in relation to horse racing gee-gee.
  • in is a ccTLD for India but is widely used in the internet industry.
  • je is a ccTLD for Jersey but is often used as a diminutive in Dutch (e.g. ""), as "you" ("" = "search ye!"), or as "I" in French (e.g. "")
  • la is a ccTLD for Laos but is marketed as the TLD for Los Angeles.
  • nu is a ccTLD for Niue but marketed as resembling "new" in English and "now" in Nordic/Dutch. Also meaning "nude" in French.
  • sc is a ccTLD for Seychelles but is often used as .Source
  • tv is a ccTLD for Tuvalu but it is used for the tv/entertainment industry purposes.
  • ws is a ccTLD for Samoa (earlier Western Samoa) is marketed as .Website
  • vu is a ccTLD for Vanuatu but means "seen" in French.

List of ccTLDs

*=Foreign registration permitted


  • .ac – Ascension Island *
    .ad – Andorra
    .ae – United Arab Emirates
    .af – Afghanistan
    .ag – Antigua and Barbuda *
    .ai – Anguilla
    .al – Albania
    .am – Armenia *
    .an – Netherlands Antilles
    .ao – Angola
    .aq – Antarctica
    .ar – Argentina
    .as – American Samoa *
    .at – Austria *
    .au – Australia
    .aw – Aruba
    .ax – Aland Islands
    .az – Azerbaijan


  • .ba – Bosnia and Herzegovina
    .bb – Barbados
    .bd – Bangladesh
    .be – Belgium *
    .bf – Burkina Faso
    .bg – Bulgaria
    .bh – Bahrain
    .bi – Burundi *
    .bj – Benin
    .bm – Bermuda
    .bn – Brunei
    .bo – Bolivia *
    .br – Brazil *
    .bs – Bahamas *
    .bt – Bhutan
    .bv – Bouvet Island (not in use; no registrations)
    .bw – Botswana
    .by – Belarus
    .bz – Belize *


  • .ca – Canada
    .cc – Cocos (Keeling) Islands *
    .cd – Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly .zr – Zaire) *
    .cf – Central African Republic
    .cg – Republic of the Congo *
    .ch – Switzerland *
    .ci – Cτte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
    .ck – Cook Islands *
    .cl – Chile
    .cm – Cameroon
    .cn – People's Republic of China *
    .co – Colombia
    .cr – Costa Rica
    .cs – Serbia and Montenegro (formerly .yu – Yugoslavia; Note: on June 3, 2006, Montenegro declared independence, thus dissolving the state union) (.cs code not assigned; no DNS) (.cs code previously used for Czechoslovakia)
    .cu – Cuba
    .cv – Cape Verde
    .cx – Christmas Island *
    .cy – Cyprus
    .cz – Czech Republic


  • .de – Germany
    .dj – Djibouti *
    .dk – Denmark *
    .dm – Dominica
    .do – Dominican Republic
    .dz – Algeria


  • .ec – Ecuador
    .ee – Estonia
    .eg – Egypt
    .eh – Western Sahara (not assigned; no DNS)
    .er – Eritrea
    .es – Spain *
    .et – Ethiopia
    .eu – European Union (code "exceptionally reserved" by ISO 3166-1)


  • .fi – Finland
    .fj – Fiji *
    .fk – Falkland Islands
    .fm – Federated States of Micronesia *
    .fo – Faroe Islands
    .fr – France


  • .ga – Gabon
    .gb – United Kingdom (Reserved domain by IANA; deprecated – see .uk)
    .gd – Grenada
    .ge – Georgia
    .gf – French Guiana
    .gg – Guernsey
    .gh – Ghana
    .gi – Gibraltar
    .gl – Greenland *
    .gm – Gambia
    .gn – Guinea
    .gp – Guadeloupe
    .gq – Equatorial Guinea
    .gr – Greece *
    .gs – South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands *
    .gt – Guatemala
    .gu – Guam
    .gw – Guinea-Bissau
    .gy – Guyana


  • .hk – Hong Kong *
    .hm – Heard Island and McDonald Islands *
    .hn – Honduras *
    .hr – Croatia
    .ht – Haiti
    .hu – Hungary *


  • .id – Indonesia
    .ie – Ireland
    .il – Israel *
    .im – Isle of Man *
    .in – India *
    .io – British Indian Ocean Territory *
    .iq – Iraq
    .ir – Iran *
    .is – Iceland
    .it – Italy


  • .je – Jersey
    .jm – Jamaica
    .jo – Jordan
    .jp – Japan


  • .ke – Kenya
    .kg – Kyrgyzstan
    .kh – Cambodia
    .ki – Kiribati
    .km – Comoros
    .kn – Saint Kitts and Nevis
    .kp – North Korea (not assigned; no DNS)
    .kr – South Korea
    .kw – Kuwait
    .ky – Cayman Islands
    .kz – Kazakhstan *


  • .la – Laos *
    .lb – Lebanon
    .lc – Saint Lucia
    .li – Liechtenstein *
    .lk – Sri Lanka
    .lr – Liberia
    .ls – Lesotho
    .lt – Lithuania
    .lu – Luxembourg
    .lv – Latvia *
    .ly – Libya *


  • .ma – Morocco
    .mc – Monaco
    .md – Moldova *
    .me – Montenegro
    .mg – Madagascar
    .mh – Marshall Islands
    .mk – Republic of Macedonia
    .ml – Mali
    .mm – Myanmar
    .mn – Mongolia *
    .mo – Macau
    .mp – Northern Mariana Islands *
    .mq – Martinique
    .mr – Mauritania
    .ms – Montserrat *
    .mt – Malta
    .mu – Mauritius *
    .mv – Maldives
    .mw – Malawi *
    .mx – Mexico *
    .my – Malaysia
    .mz – Mozambique


  • .na – Namibia *
    .nc – New Caledonia
    .ne – Niger
    .nf – Norfolk Island *
    .ng – Nigeria
    .ni – Nicaragua
    .nl – Netherlands * (first ccTLD registered)
    .no – Norway
    .np – Nepal
    .nr – Nauru *
    .nu – Niue *
    .nz – New Zealand *


  • .om – Oman


  • .pa – Panama
    .pe – Peru
    .pf – French Polynesia
    .pg – Papua New Guinea
    .ph – Philippines *
    .pk – Pakistan *
    .pl – Poland *
    .pm – Saint Pierre and Miquelon
    .pn – Pitcairn Islands *
    .pr – Puerto Rico *
    .ps – Palestine *
    .pt – Portugal *
    .pw – Palau
    .py – Paraguay


  • .qa – Qatar


  • .re – Rιunion
    .ro – Romania *
    .rs – Serbia
    .ru – Russia *
    .rw – Rwanda


  • .sa – Saudi Arabia
    .sb – Solomon Islands *
    .sc – Seychelles *
    .sd – Sudan
    .se – Sweden *
    .sg – Singapore
    .sh – Saint Helena *
    .si – Slovenia
    .sj – Svalbard and Jan Mayen islands (not in use; no registrations)
    .sk – Slovakia
    .sl – Sierra Leone
    .sm – San Marino *
    .sn – Senegal
    .so – Somalia * (down, still is delegated to Monolith [] Philadelphia, an entity defunct since end-1998)
    .sr – Suriname *
    .st – Sγo Tomι and Prνncipe *
    .su – Soviet Union (deprecated; being phased out; code "transitionally reserved" by ISO 3166-1)
    .sv – El Salvador
    .sy – Syria *
    .sz – Swaziland *


  • .tc – Turks and Caicos Islands
    .td – Chad
    .tf – French Southern Territories
    .tg – Togo *
    .th – Thailand
    .tj – Tajikistan *
    .tk – Tokelau *
    .tl – East Timor (formerly .tp) *
    .tm – Turkmenistan *
    .tn – Tunisia
    .to – Tonga *
    .tp – East Timor (deprecated – use .tl; code "transitionally reserved" by ISO 3166-1)
    .tr – Turkey
    .tt – Trinidad and Tobago *
    .tv – Tuvalu *
    .tw – Republic of China (Taiwan) *
    .tz – Tanzania


  • .ua – Ukraine
    .ug – Uganda *
    .uk – United Kingdom (code "exceptionally reserved" by ISO 3166-1) (see also .gb)
    .us – United States *
    .uy – Uruguay
    .uz – Uzbekistan


  • .va – Vatican City
    .vc – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines *
    .ve – Venezuela
    .vg – British Virgin Islands *
    .vi – United States Virgin Islands
    .vn – Vietnam
    .vu – Vanuatu *


  • .wf – Wallis and Futuna
    .ws – Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) *


  • .ye – Yemen
    .yt – Mayotte
    .yu – Yugoslavia (subsequently renamed Serbia and Montenegro)
    (code officially replaced by .cs (see above) but still used; code "transitionally reserved" by ISO 3166-1)


  • .za – South Africa *
    .zm – Zambia
    .zw – Zimbabwe

External links

Home | Up | Top-level domain | Country code top-level domain | Generic top-level domain | Sponsored top-level domain | List of Internet top-level domains | Proposed top-level domain | Pseudo top-level domain | Second-level domain

Domaining Guide, made by MultiMedia | Websites for sale

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

Music Videos
Select Interface Language:

English French German Hungarian Italian Norwegian Spanish
Shopping Random Product
Shopping Search

Emporium Contents
Gallery Most Viewed
Gallery Most Viewed
Recommended Software Sites

Montego Scripts - Home of HTML Newsletter

Totally Nuked Mods

EZ Communities - Custom PHP/MySQL Scripts and Solutions

RavenNuke(tm) Test site

Codezwiz Your #1 Help Resource

CSE HTML Validator Helped Clean up This Page!

PC Sympathy - Your Source for PC News and Technical Support

Mantis Bugtracker

Nuke-Evolution - Home of Tricked Out News Mod, FaceBox and SlimBox RavenNuke(tm) mods