The GENC Standard specifies a profile of ISO 3166, Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions. This profile addresses unique U.S. Government requirements for: restrictions in recognition of the national sovereignty of a country; identification and recognition of geopolitical entities not included in ISO 3166; and use of names of countries and country subdivisions that have been approved by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN).
The US Government cannot use ISO 3166 directly. US Public Law 80-242 (1947) requires the US Government to use geographic names that have been approved by the BGN. ISO 3166 contains some country and subdivision names that vary from those approved by the BGN. The geopolitical entities included in ISO 3166 are those that are recognized by the United Nations (UN). The GENC Ed1.0 is the US Government implementation of ISO 3166-1 that conforms to BGN and US Government recognition policy.
For reasons cited above, ISO 3166-1:2006 has been withdrawn upon FGDC endorsement of the GENC Standard Edition 1.0.
The Country Codes Working Group of the Geospatial Intelligence Standards Working Group (GWG) developed the GENC Ed1.0. It referred the GENC Ed1.0 to the FGDC Standards Working Group for recommendation for FGDC endorsement. The FGDC Coordination Group subsequently approved the GENC Ed1.0 for FGDC endorsement, and the FGDC Steering Committee took the final action to endorse the standard.