Working with United Nations Datasets
Nov. 19, 2013

United Nations Economic Commission on Europe – UN/LOCODE

The UNECE dataset for United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations (UN/LOCODE) is updated annually. The dataset maintains a list of standardized 3-letter international codes for transport centers/hubs around the world and international waters. Transport centers include: airports, sea ports, rail terminals, transit centers, oil platforms, etc. These codes are used by most major shippers around the world, manufacturers and governments.

This standard has been in-place since 1980 and today contains codes for nearly 100,000 locations.

Access to the main page for the UN/LOCODE dataset can be found at the link below:


The UN/LOCODE dataset can be directly downloaded in a CSV file format at the following link, along with a PDF describing the layout (metadata) of the dataset, in a zip file:

The current (2013-1) dataset is broken down into three CSV files:

                2013-1 UNLOCODE CodeListPart1.csv                      (A-F)      Andorra thru France      
                2013-1 UNLOCODE CodeListPart2.csv                      (G-N)    Gabon thru New Zealand
                2013-1 UNLOCODE CodeListPart3.csv                      (O-Z)     Oman thru Zimbabwe

The format of the dataset is as follows:

                Column 1:            Change Column
                Column 2:            ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 Country Code
                Column 3:            UN/LOCODE 3-letter identifier
                Column 4:            Local name of the location in Latin script (i.e., Romanized characters)
                Column 5:            Local name of the location in English script (i.e., ASCII)
                Column 6:            ISO 3166-2 alpha-2/3 Subdivision Code (i.e., 1st level administrative division)
        Column 7:                Function Classifier
                Column 8:            Status
                Column 9:            Date
                Column 10:         IATA code for International Airports (if different from the UN/LOCODE)
                Column 11:         Latitude/Longitude

Change Column

If an entry has been recently changed or designated as will be changed, an annotation is placed in the change column as follows:

                X             Mark for deletion in the next issue
                #             Change in the location name
                ¦             Other change in entry
                +             Entry added to the current issue
                =             Reference entry
                !              Retained for certain entries in the USA code list (“controlled duplications”)

ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 Country Code

This column identifies the country that the location lies in using the international standard ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 Country Code. For example, CA is for Canada and US for United States. For locations in international waters (e.g., oil platforms) the code “XZ” is used.

UN/LOCODE 3-letter identifier

This column is the three letter UN/LOCODE assigned to the location. For the United States, the set of allocable codes has been exceeded, and the convention of using a digit in the 3rd character position was adopted to designate some locations. All UN/LOCODE identifiers are in English script (i.e., ASCII).

Local name of the location in Latin script

This column contains the local name of the location in Latin script (i.e., Romanized with diacritic characters), for example: Günselsdorf

Local name of the location in English script

This column contains the local name of the location in English script (i.e., Romanized w/o diacritic characers = ASCII), for example: Gunselsdorf.

Both the English and Latin script versions of the location may use the following abbreviations (note only the I. has a period):

·         Apt         -              Airport

·         I.             -              Island(s)

·         Pto         -              Puerto

·         Pt            -              Port

·         St            -              Saint

Both the English and Latin script versions of the location may be further annotated as follows:

Name (Other Language Name)  - Names within (…) is the name of the location in another official       language of the country.

Old Name = New Name                - Entries that contain historically differing name as well as the current name of the location (e.g., Peking = Beijing).

Name = Alternate Name              - An alternate name are other recognized names for the location.

Name, Admin                                    - Names may be followed by (separated by a comma) by an administrative division, such as an Island or Island unit (Taramajima, Okinawa.

Name/Place                                       - Names may be followed by (separated by a slash) by a place (incorporated locale), such as a city (Heathrow Airport/London).

ISO 3166-2 alpha-2/3 Subdivision Code

This column identifies the subdivision (1st level administrative division) within a country that the location lies in using the international standard ISO 3166-2 alpha-2/3 Subdivision Code. For example, AB is for Alberta, Canada and CA is for California, United States. For locations in international waters no subdivision code is specified.

Function Classifier

This column identifies the transport function of the location as follows:

1                     Port

2                     Rail Terminal

3                     Road (Transport) Terminal

4                     Airport

5                     Postal Exchange Office

6                     Reserved for multimodal functions, ICD's, etc

7                     Reserved for fixed transport functions (e.g., oil platforms)

B                     Border Crossings

The above are specified in an ordered group list as “12345678B”. For example, a location that is both an airport and rail terminal would be specified as “-2-4-----“


This column reports the current standing of the code:

AA = Approved by competent national government agency

AC = Approved by Customs Authority

AF = Approved by national facilitation body

AI = Code adopted by international organisation (IATA or ECLAC)

AM = Approved by the UN/LOCODE Maintenance Agency

AS = Approved by national standardisation body

AQ = Entry approved, functions not verified

RL = Recognised location - Existence and representation of location name confirmed by

check against nominated gazetteer or other reference work

RN = Request from credible national sources for locations in their own country

RQ = Request under consideration

RR = Request rejected

QQ = Original entry not verified since date indicated

UR = Entry included on user's request; not officially approved

XX = Entry that will be removed from the next issue of UN/LOCODE


This column shows the year/month of the latest approval addition or change of the entry. The entries are either 3 or 4 digits and are decoded as follows:

                3 digits: First digit is the year 2000 + 1st digit
                                 Next two digits are the month (e.g., 01 = January, 12 = December).
                4 digits: First two digits are the year 2000 + two digits.
                                Next two digits are the month.

IATA Airport Code

This column contains the IATA (International Air Transport Association) code for locations that are international airports and where the IATA code differs from the UN/LOCODE. If the code is the same, the column is left blank.


This column is the latitude/longitude geographic centroid of the location in degree/minute format as follows:

                ddmm[N or S]   dddmm[W or E]

                dd = 2 digit degrees
                ddd = 3 digit degrees
                mm = 2 digit minutes
                [N or S ] = followed by N for North or S for South
                [ W or S ] = followed by W for West or E for East

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